Aramco and SABIC voted most popular employers for Saudi Graduates

Posted on September 18, 2011

Training and development cited as the main attraction of top employers.

Average salary expectation for male graduates is 10,000 Rials per month, compared with just 5,000 for female graduates.

A research study released by confirms Saudi Aramco as the top career choice for Saudi graduates, followed by SABIC.’s study "Recruiting Top Graduates in Saudi Arabia" was based on a survey of over 2,400 recent graduates and final-year students at six leading universities in the Kingdom.

The universities that participated in this landmark study include King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals (KFUPM), King Abdulaziz University, Jubail University College, Prince Sultan University, Alfaisal University, and Effat University.

The study provides a list of the top 50 most popular employers in Saudi Arabia – including multinationals, Saudi private companies, state-owned companies as well as government ministries. [See full report ]

Top 50 Most Popular Employers for Saudi Gradates
  1. Saudi Aramco
  2. SABIC
  3. Schlumberger
  4. Saudi Arabian Airlines
  5. Procter & Gamble (P&G)
  6. General Electric (GE)
  7. Mobily
  8. Samba
  9. Saudi Telecom (STC)
  10. National Commercial Bank (NCB)
  11. National Guard Hospital
  12. King Faisal Specialist Hospital
  13. Google
  14. SABB
  15. Al Rajhi Bank
  16. Chevron
  17. Saudi Electricity Company (SEC)
  18. Baker Hughes
  19. KPMG
  20. McKinsey
  21. Petro Rabigh
  22. Unilever
  23. Capital Market Authority (CMA)
  24. Halliburton
  25. Ministry of Education
  1. Satorp
  2. Microsoft
  3. PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC)
  4. King Abdulaziz University Hospital
  5. Ernst & Young
  6. Saudi Binladin Group
  7. Royal Commission
  8. Deloitte
  9. BAE Systems
  10. Maaden
  11. HSBC
  12. Sasref
  13. Ministry of Interior
  14. Nestle
  15. Siemens
  16. Sipchem
  17. Emaar
  18. Marafiq
  19. CITC
  20. Ministry of Health
  21. Samsung
  22. King Fahad Armed Forces Hospital
  23. Savola
  24. Olayan
  25. Apple
Source: Survey of Saudi graduates

Multinationals that came close to the top of the popularity rankings include oil services firm Schlumberger, consumer goods company Proctor & Gamble, and industrial conglomerate General Electric.

Among local firms, after Aramco and SABIC, the most popular employers were found to be Saudi Arabian Airlines, Mobily, Samba, Saudi Telecom and the National Commercial Bank.

Among government departments and ministries, the Capital Market Authority (CMA) had the highest popularity with graduates.

The survey findings come at a critical time for the private sector. Following the introduction of the government’s Nitaqat system earlier in the year, companies in the Kingdom are required to meet ambitious quotas of Saudi employees.

Graduate Preferences

Saudi graduates surveyed by cited the quality of a company’s training and development programme as the main attraction of joining them.

"They give you courses and let you learn. They send you to Dubai and to the US to develop yourself so you can advance in your field." said AbdulRahman, a graduate of King Fahd University who was interviewed by about why he had chosen Schlumberger as his top choice.

Other factors ranking highly for graduates were the opportunity to do interesting and challenging work, the company’s public image and reputation, as well as the salary offered.

Average salary expectation of male graduates was found to be SAR 10,000 per month, while the figure for female graduates was much lower, at only SAR 5,000 per month. The gap reflects greater competition among female graduates for a smaller number of female vacancies currently available.

Female graduates also showed much greater interest than males in joining government organisations, citing higher job security, more flexible working hours and the infrastructure to absorb a female workforce.

Impact of Location and Family

According to the survey, job location was an important factor for many graduates, with most stating a preference for taking up a job close to their city of origin where they had grown up, rather than relocate to other regions of the country.

At the same time, there was significant interest in gaining international exposure – by working, travelling or training abroad. Based on the survey results, over 63% of males and 35% of female graduates would like the opportunity to live and work for a few years outside the Kingdom, and would be attracted to employers that offered them this opportunity.

The study also reveals that graduates’ employment decisions are heavily influenced by their families. Over 76% of males and 91% of female graduates said their families were somehow involved in their choice of employer. Most families were reported to play an advisory role, while a minority of families made the final decision for their children – 3% for male graduates, and 12% in the case of female graduates.’s study was based on a survey of 2,440 Saudi graduates and final-year students in six leading universities in the Kingdom. The survey was conducted during June/July 2011. The full survey results entitled "Recruiting Top Graduates in Saudi Arabia" is available for download from website free of charge.

[Download full report ]

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