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Majority of UAE workers see AI as key to future jobs

Employees advocate for compulsory AI education before age 18

Majority of UAE workers see AI as key to future jobs
[Source photo: Anvita Gupta/Fast Company Middle East]

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As Artificial Intelligence (AI) continues to reshape industries, a remarkable shift is underway among UAE employees—an eagerness to embrace AI as the key to unlocking their career potential. 

ServiceNow’s new report reveals that 79% of employees in the UAE believe possessing digital skills provides a competitive advantage in business. Similarly, 84% stated that emerging technologies are instrumental in enabling them to achieve their full potential.

The research underscored the notably more optimistic stance of UAE employees regarding the influence of AI on their roles, contrasting with their EMEA counterparts. 

Nearly three-quarters (74%) think AI represents the most significant opportunity for the future workforce. A corresponding percentage concurred that AI would enhance workforce productivity, whereas only 52% of EMEA employees held a similar view.

However, this optimism is tempered by a reality check. Half of UAE workers admit their formal education didn’t prepare them for the digital landscape, and 82% crave additional training to feel confident about their career prospects. 

This hunger for learning translates into a strong demand for mandatory AI education before age 18, with 72% supporting the idea. Coding receives similar backing, with 71% advocating for compulsory early education.

However, the responsibility doesn’t fall exclusively on individuals. A substantial 72% feel that employers are responsible for encouraging the development of AI skills within their workforce, while 81% advocate for standardized digital skills certifications to be acknowledged by employers.

Mark Ackerman, Area VP for Middle East & Africa at ServiceNow, said: “Organizations have to make a commitment to providing their employees with not just a career path, but also with the reskilling and up-skilling opportunities and training programs that will enable them to be their best selves and be valuable contributors to the company and broader community.”

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