Gaming is helping equip Gen-Z in the United Arab Emirates with skills that could help them land their first jobs according to a new study.
The research, commissioned by YouTube and conducted by Censuswide, revealed that 80% of recruiters in the UAE are more likely to hire someone who is a gamer and can talk about the skills they have developed gaming. While 63% of Gen-Z gaming respondents in the UAE agreed that gaming has given them the confidence to tackle problems in the working world, only 40% said they’d mention it in an interview or on their CV. The survey supports existing research on how gaming helps equip its players with valuable transferable skills.
When asked about the skills they look for most when hiring someone for an entry-level role, employers deemed communication (54%), problem solving (46%) and being calm under pressure (42%) as the most useful skills.
Cross referencing that with the skills young people say gamers are most likely to have, 74% of respondents agreed that engaging with their fellow gamers on platforms helped them be more confident communicators, a skill highly coveted by recruiters.
The ability to communicate and engage with like minded people on topics of interest is key to the YouTube experience and that includes YouTube’s large gaming community. For example, YouTube recently announced that total views for gaming-related content surpassed 2 trillion in 2022, and as of December of last year gaming-related content brought in more than 500 million logged-in daily active viewers and more than 120 billion hours of watch time.
The gaming community is also strong in the UAE, where some of the top UAE-based gaming creators like
Rima, Basharkk, ZayedGaming and KhaliDasEC0 have more than 10 million subscribers combined and over 2 billion public views on YouTube.
Rima Al Osta (Rima) commented on the content creation experience on YouTube, noting “My experience on YouTube made me more confident, authentic and less shy. YouTube played an important role in driving me out of my comfort zone and encouraging me to adapt, develop and improve”. Rima also added that gaming developed her ability to react swiftly – which has helped with her content creation journey and engaging with her audience.
“I think a platform like YouTube that allows us to watch either recordings of gameplay or streams, live streams of gameplay allows us to understand how top level gamers or other gamers in general approach problem solving in the games that we’re also playing and seeing how they cope under pressure, how they change their strategies on the fly. So we get to learn new skills, we get to see how new strategies might pan out, and we get to learn something that we can bring back to our own gameplay,” said Matt Barr, Senior Lecturer and Associate Professor at the University of Glasgow, and author of the book Graduate Skills and Game-Based Learning.
“Millions of people come to YouTube to learn how to get better at games that studies have shown help develop important skills for career success. I was delighted that recruiters were able to see the skills that avid gamers can bring to their organisations. We’re supremely proud of the role YouTube creators play in this learning journey, as they help young people learn to get better at a hobby proven to have such a powerful impact offline,” said Tarek Amin, Director of Partnerships at YouTube in MENA.
Commenting on the report, Jeron van den Elshout, Business Director at Hays Middle East, a multinational recruitment and workforce solutions agency said “Skills learned from gaming can be applied in many professional contexts. With limited practical experience, highlighting transferable skills acquired through gaming can set Gen Z applicants apart from other candidates. For example, Gen Z gamers can showcase relevant accomplishments such as high rankings or awards earned in competitive gaming tournaments. They can also connect their gaming experiences to specific skills required for the job by describing how gaming has taught them to think creatively, handle pressure, and work collaboratively.”
“By demonstrating their transferable skills and how they have been developed through gaming, Gen Z candidates can position themselves as valuable assets to potential employers.” van den Elshout added.