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Guest post: Helping graduates in MENA close the skills gap

In this post Look in MENA, an education network, explain their campaign to help graduates in the Middle East and North Africa get ready for the workplace.

In this post Look in MENA, an education network, explain their campaign to help graduates in the Middle East and North Africa get ready for the workplace.

The world of work can seem a daunting, but exciting, place after graduation. But all too often graduates are disappointed: opportunities are few, and competition is fierce.

It doesn’t help that many graduates aren’t adequately prepared for the workplace, even if they believe they are. According to a survey released by PayScale and executive development firm Future Workplace, 87% of recent grads feel they are prepared for their jobs. But unfortunately for young employees, only 50% of managers agree. There’s a clear a gap between the essential skills required to succeed in a profession and the skills taught to students in universities.


But graduates shouldn’t panic, it’s possible to close this gap and ensure hiring managers notice you. This can be done by identifying the skills vital to your future career and developing them through taking on extra courses and study.

These skills might be more broad like: writing proficiency, public speaking and critical thinking. Or they might be more specific depending on the work or job you’re looking at.

For example: an aspiring accountant would need a CMA certification to help them further their career, an aspiring programmer might want to master the Go and SCALA languages, and someone keen to become an architect might want to increase their knowledge of Revit, AutoCAD and Sketchup.

At Look in MENA we’re working hard to help graduates in MENA develop these skills and others, so they can get a headstart in the workplace. We’ve recently launched the ‘You Major’ campaign which features discussion and advice about different majors and recommends extra courses for students to take to improve their skills. It features contributions from FutureLearn, along with our regional partners like Arageek, Syrian Researchers, Jordanian Path of Knowledge, Saudi Scientific, Libyan Scientific Club, The Moroccan Scientific Community and HotCourses ME.

Find out more about the campaign (for arabic speakers)
Or find a FutureLearn course to help you prepare for the workplace.

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