In a competitive labour market, holding a degree that is accredited by professional bodies and recognised by industry leaders is one way to stand out from the crowd. With enrolments in the UAE’s private universities having risen by almost 40% over the past four years, more and more graduate-level candidates are flowing into the local labour market.
While the job landscape is increasingly buoyant, employers’ expectations are growing, and in some sectors of the economy professional recognition is becoming an essential validation of candidates’ skills and abilities.
Working in partnership with accreditation bodies, the University of Wollongong in Dubai (UOWD) has professional recognition embedded in a number of its undergraduate and postgraduate degree programmes, offering students the opportunity to gain exemptions and advancements in a range of industry accreditation schemes.
Susie Isaacson, UAE Head of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) believes that professional accreditation is not only important to validate a candidate’s technical skills and knowledge, but also to demonstrate that they meet the highest professional and ethical standards and have a commitment to maintaining these practices through continuous professional development.
Susie said, “The ACCA Qualification, which has been benchmarked as being equivalent to a UK Master’s Degree, has been developed to meet the needs of employers who have said they want to recruit people who have both a breadth and depth of finance expertise and capabilities. Graduates of the Bachelor of Commerce Accounting Major from the University of Wollongong in Dubai have the privilege of getting the maximum number of exemptions from the ACCA papers.”
The UOWD programme allows advanced entry to the ACCA professional accreditation scheme, which means graduates have only five of the 14 papers to sit after completing their degree. UOWD programmes also offer professional recognition in Marketing, Project Management, Engineering and Computer Science disciplines.
UOWD’s BCom in Marketing and the Master of Strategic Marketing programmes are recognised by the UK-based Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM), providing graduates of these programmes direct entry to the CIM postgraduate accreditation programmes, which demonstrates their professional credibility of marketing practitioners.
Similarly, UOWD’s Bachelor of Information Technology in Management Information Systems and the Bachelor of Computer Science programme, including the two majors in Digital Systems Security and Multimedia and Game Development, are accredited by the Australian Computer Society, benchmarking UOWD graduates at an international level.
For engineering professionals, UOWD’s Master in Engineering Management programme offers a unique opportunity to obtain credits towards the Project Management Institute’s ‘Project Management Professional’ qualification. As project management becomes an increasingly important discipline in engineering roles, this programme adds significant value to the employability of professionals in the field.
Drawing on the results from the ACCA’s survey on accreditation among CFOs around the world, Susie added, “When it comes to sustainable business growth, 76% said it ‘really adds value to their business’ for their finance professionals to have the complete finance knowledge and skills set.”