New research unveiled on Wednesday indicates that the leading sectors for hiring in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region are advertising/marketing/public relations (25%), healthcare/medical services (14%), military/defence/police (13%), and banking/finance (13%). The 2024 Fresh Graduates in the Mena Survey by and YouGov revealed that among these, advertising/marketing/public relations (22%) is the most attractive career choice for fresh graduates, followed by IT/internet/e-commerce (19%) and business consultancy (17%). The survey aimed to pinpoint the most appealing industries for recent graduates and to highlight the challenges they encounter in job hunting. This year, numerous industries in the Mena region are flourishing, offering fresh graduates ample career opportunities. Notably, 82% of respondents expressed satisfaction with the quality of their higher education, with 35% being 'very' satisfied. The survey also found that 42% of respondents believe that lower salary expectations drive certain industries to hire more fresh graduates, while 37% think it's because young graduates can tackle more challenges. Ola Haddad, General Manager at, commented on the findings, emphasizing the tools provides to help graduates enhance their CVs and skills. Regarding workplace skills, computer skills (53%) were deemed most crucial, followed by interpersonal/team skills and communication skills (both at 39%). Respondents rated their own skills highly, particularly in interpersonal/team skills (89%), communication skills (86%), and flexibility/adaptability (85%). The biggest challenge for 43% of Mena graduates in job hunting is not knowing how to approach the search effectively or find relevant jobs (43%). The nature of the job or passion for the role (46%) is the most significant factor in job selection for respondents. 74% of fresh graduates expect a basic salary for their first job, and 45% anticipate personal medical insurance. If they cannot find their desired job, 54% of graduates would continue searching, and 28% would explore other roles/industries. Zafar Shah, Account Director at YouGov, highlighted the survey's insights into aligning recruitment with graduate aspirations, noting a shift in demanded skills in the digital age. The survey data was collected online across various countries in the Mena region.