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Any takers for online courses? Survey finds majority in UAE are open to it in 2023

A new survey found people are considering online learning for self-improvement and broaden knowledge

Any takers for online courses? Survey finds majority in UAE are open to it in 2023
[Source photo: Anvita Gupta/Fast Company Middle East]

With a potential threefold increase in the number of people enrolling in online courses to remain relevant in the workforce as compared to 2022, the e-learning market in the UAE is anticipated to experience extraordinary growth in 2023.

While only about a third (31%) of those surveyed took online courses up until November 2022, a study conducted by the global online learning platform Coursera found that 95% of those surveyed are “open” and 68% are “very open” to taking an online course in 2023.

With only 17% of respondents saying they had a “strong regret” about going to college, the data shows that the degree is still highly regarded among UAE citizens. However, the change to a digital economy shows that graduates need additional skills to prepare for the workforce and are embracing creative online learning solutions to help close the gap.

One in five respondents to the study admitted that they seldom or “never” use the abilities they acquired during their undergraduate studies in the workplace, and 36% said their degree did not prepare them for their position. According to the report, 63% of respondents who were polled across the UAE would not select their current career if they could go back in time, and approximately 31% of respondents said they regret the degree they chose.

In 2023, 45% of individuals considering online learning are seeking “self-improvement” courses, while 44% want to “broaden knowledge” to acquire a variety of high-demand talents, including technical and soft skills.

Meanwhile, in the UAE, learning a new language ranks among the top three skills individuals are interested in acquiring in 2023, advanced digital skills like programming, cloud computing, and software engineering (31%), and investing and trading (27%).

According to the report, 83% of UAE consumers think that in five years, employers would respect tech-related skills certificates from companies like Google and Meta as highly as traditional degrees. 

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