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Career choice of females in the private sector: empirical evidence from the United Arab Emirates

Rajwa AlDhaheri (College of Business Administration, Abu Dhabi University, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates)
Fauzia Jabeen (College of Business Administration, Abu Dhabi University, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates)
Matloub Hussain (College of Business Administration, Abu Dhabi University, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates)
Ali Abu-Rahma (College of Business Administration, Abu Dhabi University, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates)

Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning

ISSN: 2042-3896

Article publication date: 8 May 2017

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the influence of a range of factors on the decision of female Emirati students to join the private sector as a career choice.

Design/methodology/approach

This study employs the analytic hierarchy process (AHP) to prioritise the factors affecting Emirati students’ choice of career. The AHP model was developed with five criteria and 19 sub-criteria based on previous literature. Data were collected through interviews of 12 female Emirati students enroled in higher educational institutions in the UAE. The respondents were selected from both public and private universities on the basis of their majors and their academic performance (GPA). The data collected were interpreted and a priority vector was assigned to each criterion and sub-criterion.

Findings

The findings show that emotional stability for engineering students and job-skills mismatch for business students are the most important factors that influence the career choice of female Emirati students in the private sector.

Research limitations/implications

Authors can develop this model in their academic pursuits, and the AHP method can be used to solve employment-related decision-making problems in the private sector. Also, the findings can help policy makers and related associations to develop various policies based on the specific factors found to empower female Emirati students in the private sector in an effective manner.

Originality/value

The low rates of employment of the native population in the private sector is a major issue in the UAE. The study is the first of its kind to propose an AHP model that prioritises the factors which influence female Emirati students to join the private sector.

Keywords

Citation

AlDhaheri, R., Jabeen, F., Hussain, M. and Abu-Rahma, A. (2017), "Career choice of females in the private sector: empirical evidence from the United Arab Emirates", Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning, Vol. 7 No. 2, pp. 179-197. https://doi.org/10.1108/HESWBL-10-2016-0075

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited