Sep 19 2011
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Aramco, SABIC top choice for Saudi graduates
Among local firms, after Aramco and SABIC , the most popular employers are Saudi Arabian Airlines, Mobily, Samba, Saudi Telecom Co. and the National Commercial Bank.
Khalid A. Al-Falih is the President and CEO of Saudi Aramco, the world's largest oil company in terms of market capitalization.
Mohamed H. Al-Mady has been the Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of SABIC since July 1998.
SABIC is the largest non-oil company in the Middle East and one of the world's 10 largest petrochemicals manufacturers.
Among government departments and ministries, the Capital Market Authority (CMA) had the highest popularity with graduates, the study noted.
GulfTalent.com's study "Recruiting Top Graduates in Saudi Arabia" was based on a survey of over 2,400 recent graduates and final-year students at six leading universities in the Kingdom.
The universities that participated in this landmark study include King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals (KFUPM), King Abdulaziz University, Jubail University College, Prince Sultan University, Alfaisal University, and Effat University.
The study provides a list of the top 50 most popular employers in Saudi Arabia - including multinationals, Saudi private companies, state-owned companies as well as government ministries.
Multinationals that came close to the top of the popularity rankings include oil services firm Schlumberger, consumer goods company Proctor & Gamble, and industrial conglomerate General Electric.
The survey findings come at a critical time for the private sector. Following the introduction of the government's Nitaqat system earlier in the year, companies in the Kingdom are required to meet ambitious quotas of Saudi employees.
Saudi graduates surveyed by GulfTalent.com cited the quality of a company's training and development program as the main attraction of joining them.
"They give you courses and let you learn. They send you to Dubai and to the US to develop yourself so you can advance in your field," said AbdulRahman, a graduate of King Fahd University who was interviewed by GulfTalent.com about why he had chosen Schlumberger as his top choice.
Other factors ranking highly for graduates were the opportunity to do interesting and challenging work, the company's public image and reputation, as well as the salary offered.
Average salary expectation of male graduates was found to be SR10,000 per month, while the figure for female graduates was much lower, at only SR5,000 per month. The gap reflects greater competition among female graduates for a smaller number of female vacancies currently available.
Female graduates also showed much greater interest than males in joining government organizations, citing higher job security, more flexible working hours and the infrastructure to absorb a female workforce.
According to the survey, job location was an important factor for many graduates, with most stating a preference for taking up a job close to their city of origin where they had grown up, rather than relocate to other regions of the country.
At the same time, there was significant interest in gaining international exposure - by working, traveling or training abroad. Based on the survey results, over 63 percent of males and 35 percent of female graduates would like the opportunity to live and work for a few years outside the Kingdom, and would be attracted to employers that offered them this opportunity.
The study also showed that graduates' employment decisions are heavily influenced by their families.
Over 76 percent of males and 91 percent of female graduates said their families were somehow involved in their choice of employer. Most families were reported to play an advisory role, while a minority of families made the final decision for their children - 3 percent for male graduates, and 12 percent in the case of female graduates.
GulfTalent.com's study was based on a survey of 2,440 Saudi graduates and final-year students in six leading universities in the Kingdom. The survey was conducted during June/July 2011.
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