Saudi youth eye digital channels for academic, business success



JEDDAH: S. VIPULANANDA

Published — Tuesday 16 July 2013

Last update 23 July 2013 7:33 am

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Technology is now destroying jobs faster than it’s creating them. It has been predicted that many of the things executives do today will be automated within a couple of decades. The cost of higher education too keeps climbing higher and higher.
But the rise of social media is also opening up a wide range of opportunities to advance our careers and business prospects. The top four channels, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+, are all used for different purposes by different people, groups and brands these days.
“I believe the LinkedIn website has helped me to reach my career dream,” Hasan Mohammed, a 34-year-old Saudi businessman, told Arab News.
He said he earlier worked at a local bank in Jeddah.
“I wanted to change my career path and applied in many companies, but sadly no one replied to me,” he said.
“I used the LinkedIn website and uploaded my CV and kept updating it with every course, training and workshop I got during my work at that bank. I was happy when a leading international company called me and offered me a job as a manager at its Jeddah office,” he added.
Layla Al-Khaldi, a 29-year-old public relations manager, is thanking Twitter for brightening her career prospects.
After her graduation, Layla said she was looking for a job at a local company.
“I couldn’t find what I wanted so I ended up working for an international agency in Jeddah,” she said.
“But I was not happy because the head office was in Dubai, which means there is no way I will climb the career ladder there,” she said.
“I started emailing a company I was trying to approach but they only replied to me when I tweeted them,” said the PR professional.
“I finally got my chance to be a PR manager at the company I was targeting since I graduated from college,” said Layla Al-Khaldi.
Economists and business leaders, who deal with the Saudi market, are also watching the developments in the digital media with interest.
Jarmo T. Kotilaine, a regional analyst, said he expects the current trends to continue and the digital media to emerge as an integral element of the mainstream information dissemination infrastructure in virtually all areas.
“Social media seems to be quickly establishing itself as a popular and increasingly important channel for disseminating information and ideas,” he told Arab News.
“This is happening in ways that echo the earlier rise of the Internet and other aspects of mobile telecommunications,” said Kotilaine.
“The potential of this change is increasingly recognized by companies, which is further consolidating the role of digital media,” he said.
Basil Al-Ghalayini, CEO of BMG Financial Group, told Arab News digital media channels were being actively used in different aspects of businesses including marketing, recruitment, sales, etc.
He acknowledged that new media channels had started making a considerable impact on investment decisions in Saudi Arabia.
“The youth are already heavily using the social media for browsing through financial news, analysis, investment reports and recommendations, etc,” said Al-Ghalayini.

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