Post-pandemic professional concerns emerge, 66 percent of Saudi workers willing to train for different career path

Automation has exacerbated widespread job security concerns and self-study activities have increased since 2018, according to new study by Boston Consulting Group and

Dr. Christopher Daniel, Managing Director and Partner, BCG

Dr. Christopher Daniel, Managing Director and Partner, BCG

Riyadh: The COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly impacted the professional landscape, driving a paradigm shift in attitudes concerning long-term employment. According to a new study by Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and, almost two-thirds of workers in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) are prepared to pursue different career paths post-crisis, expressing a high willingness to retrain and develop new skillsets before embarking on new roles.

A report based on the study, Decoding Global Reskilling and Career Paths, is the third in a series of publications that BCG and have issued about the pandemic’s impact on people’s work preferences and careers, with this particular edition providing insights ascertained from various countries. From a Saudi Arabia standpoint, the findings are based on responses from 1,185 workforce participants in diverse positions and highlight potential employment trends that could emerge in due course.

As a result of the economic unpredictability stemming from the pandemic, professionals from a majority of industries are apprehensive, at least to some degree, regarding the future role of technology. Overall, 33 percent of Saudi workers feel that the threat of their positions becoming automated has increased in the past year. Workers over the age of 60 and younger people aged 20-40 are particularly aware of this risk, potentially due to greater awareness among younger generations and the nature of jobs held by their elders. Moreover, automation concerns are particularly pressing among those in white-collar service, consulting, and administrative positions, while people least concerned are those with human-centric roles, including sales and social care.

“The accelerated speed of digital transformation and technological disruption has given rise to widespread individual debate. Many are concerned about job security in a post-pandemic tech-driven climate, with workers questioning their futures due to the continued emergence of automation,” said Dr. Christopher Daniel, Managing Director and Partner, BCG Middle East. “This has subsequently led to a change in mindset among the working population, as evidenced by almost seven in ten respondents expressing their belief that retraining will open new and alternative professional avenues.”

Of the Saudi respondents, 66 percent are willing to retrain for a different job role, and this emerging trend is also consistent across degree types and age groups. Media and information professionals, social care workers, and those involved in purchasing and logistics expressed the most willingness to retrain, with the media and financial institutions industries demonstrating the highest willingness overall.

In terms of learning, 67% said that they now dedicate a few weeks minimum to skillset development over the course of a year, with this applying to workers from all age groups and various higher education backgrounds. Since the outset of the ongoing pandemic, law, media, digital, consulting, and creative jobs have recorded the highest levels of training. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia has demonstrated strong improvement in training resources since 2018. Self-study rose from 50% in 2018 to 60% in 2020 – close to the global average of 62% - with generous government programs reaching 21% last year. Participation in conferences and seminars has fallen from 45% to 31% in the same timeframe, while mobile application usage for training purposes has increased from 16% to 41%.

“Saudi workers from different verticals are broadening their horizons, having evaluated their current roles in the long-term and concluded that their future might lie in a different sector or career path,” said Dr. Christopher Daniel, Managing Director and Partner, BCG Middle East. “The apparent uptake is self-study is a clear indication of people’s determination to take extra steps and secure new positions for years to come. The pandemic’s impact on livelihoods from a professional perspective cannot be overlooked, and a considerable amount of people have suffered over the past year.”

The pandemic has directly impacted a considerable percentage of the Saudi workforce. In total, 38 percent of respondents reported that recent events have had a detrimental effect on their employment status, slightly above 36 percent global average. Some have had their working hours reduced, while others have experienced redundancy due to economic turbulence. Workers with a lower level of education have been particularly impacted, individuals who previously acquired bachelor’s degrees and above have fared better, and workers aged 41-50 have been most affected. Specific job roles, such as media and social care, were heavily hindered, and the travel and tourism sector also suffered significantly. Therefore, many people are enthused by the idea of retraining and embarking on new opportunities that provide greater professional security.

A copy of the report can be downloaded here.


About Boston Consulting Group

Boston Consulting Group partners with leaders in business and society to tackle their most important challenges and capture their greatest opportunities. BCG was the pioneer in business strategy when it was founded in 1963. Today, we work closely with clients to embrace a transformational approach aimed at benefiting all stakeholders—empowering organizations to grow, build sustainable competitive advantage, and drive positive societal impact.

Our diverse, global teams bring deep industry and functional expertise and a range of perspectives that question the status quo and spark change. BCG delivers solutions through leading-edge management consulting, technology and design, and corporate and digital ventures. We work in a uniquely collaborative model across the firm and throughout all levels of the client organization, fueled by the goal of helping our clients thrive and enabling them to make the world a better place. 

About is the leading job site in the Gulf and Middle East, connecting job seekers with employers looking to hire. Every day, thousands of new job vacancies are listed on the award-winning platform from the region's top employers. The portal is used by over 40,000 global employers and has a database of over 39,000,000 professionals.

Send us your press releases to

© Press Release 2021

Disclaimer: The contents of this press release was provided from an external third party provider. This website is not responsible for, and does not control, such external content. This content is provided on an “as is” and “as available” basis and has not been edited in any way. Neither this website nor our affiliates guarantee the accuracy of or endorse the views or opinions expressed in this press release.

The press release is provided for informational purposes only. The content does not provide tax, legal or investment advice or opinion regarding the suitability, value or profitability of any particular security, portfolio or investment strategy. Neither this website nor our affiliates shall be liable for any errors or inaccuracies in the content, or for any actions taken by you in reliance thereon. You expressly agree that your use of the information within this article is at your sole risk.

To the fullest extent permitted by applicable law, this website, its parent company, its subsidiaries, its affiliates and the respective shareholders, directors, officers, employees, agents, advertisers, content providers and licensors will not be liable (jointly or severally) to you for any direct, indirect, consequential, special, incidental, punitive or exemplary damages, including without limitation, lost profits, lost savings and lost revenues, whether in negligence, tort, contract or any other theory of liability, even if the parties have been advised of the possibility or could have foreseen any such damages.

More From Press Releases