Saudi Arabia’s economy primarily relies on the exportation of oil & gas. Due to the drop in oil prices over recent years, Saudi’s GDP experienced a decline of around 0.85% (mainly driven by the oil sector) in 2017. However, as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia undergoes a major economic reform, mainly focusing on the diversification away from oil & gas (Vision 2030) and the slight recovery in oil prices, things are beginning to change and in 2018 there is an expected GDP growth of approximately 2%. A continued increase in oil prices would benefit the government in terms of being able to finance its plans in relation to Vision 2030.
Continued investment in sectors such as Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and the entertainment sector could have the potential to create a significant amount of jobs across the Kingdom.
Due to the changes happening in Saudi as well as being tasked with hosting summits such as the G20 in 2020 the job landscape is witnessing a positive shift for professionals with expertise in Economics, Public Policy and PPP. It is expected for these sectors to become more popular with Saudi nationals in terms of education and career paths particularly Public Policy.
Consequently, there is also an increase in Strategy & PMO experts required by ministries, to ensure that their visions are in line with Vision 2030. These roles fall into the ministries’ Vision Realisation Offices which consists of 12 Vision programs, with Strategy & PMO being a centrepiece. Furthermore, more multinational consulting firms are growing their Saudi offices, with Saudisation being their main priority. The growing trend of local based Saudi consultancies is starting to win more business and develop closer relationships with both the public and private sector. There has been a significant uplift in international firms increasing their Saudi based employees in order to reduce travel costs and increase their local footprint.
In ministries, Cooper Fitch has seen an 18% increase of Senior Strategy & PMO roles in 2018 in comparison to 2017. This is related to the Vision Realisation Offices where individuals are required to come in and set up these departments. These roles are solely for Saudi nationals and we mainly see the talent coming from the Big 4. On the consulting side, we have seen a 13% increase in more junior roles (Associates & Senior Associates), as firms look to the future and creating firms predominantly of Saudi nationals. Lastly, 80% of all roles related to Strategy & PMO have been for bilinguals
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