Do you know what figure constitutes the job competition among students who have science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) qualifications? Have you noticed that a significant percentage of undergraduates with STEM background are jobless? Federal National Council of the UAE states that “thousands of … graduates are unable to secure jobs” (Dajani, 2017, para. 1). In the next few years, we will all start searching for a job, and there is a huge chance we will not find any. Arts education is a way to decrease this chance substantially. According to the recent survey, UAE business leaders demand a new skill set from employees, including creativity, emotional intelligence, and critical thinking (Jarrar, 2018). Arts education can enhance these relevant to job skills.
Thus, I want to suggest that within the academic institutions in the UAE, the emphasis should be put on arts education as art classes can crucially improve academic and professional experience of students. Today, I will talk about arts education itself, its impact on undergraduates’ performance and opportunities to get a job, and the benefits of arts education. Now, when the audience has a good understanding of the aspects of art training that I plan to cover, let me start by exploring arts education.
Arts education can help students get teamwork experience that they could never get by learning mathematics or science. Have you ever heard that you need to have leadership skills to get higher positions? Yes? Then you can get it if you take art classes. Statistics show that arts education can develop emotional intelligence, and decision-making abilities that are required to be a leader (Bowen & Kisida, 2019). Academic institutions, as well as management of companies, demand leaders. To get them, educational organizations should put greater emphasis on arts education.
Arts education brings significant academic benefits. Raise your hands If you have ever thought about how you can improve your performance or how to decrease the stress you have during the studying process. I tell you that I have a solution to these issues. What if I can tell you a secret that arts & design classes can improve your academic, social, and emotional outcomes. Studies showed that arts education boosts the academic performance of students and increases standardized test scores (Bowen & Kisida, 2019). I hope that you feel the same about it as I do: enhancing your academic performance by taking dance classes? Yes, sure, I can get two dance classes to boost myself.
However, let us talk about serious things now: today, the job market is saturated with professionals with STEM qualification, and there is a lack of arts & design graduates in UAE (Dhaheri, 2017). In several years, we will start finding jobs, and it will not be easy for us. This evidence is supported by policies UAE government discusses nowadays. There is a necessity to move from STEM to STEAM education that includes the art & design field in UAE (Derderian, 2018). The situation may consequently influence the ranking an academic institution has, thus, we, as future graduates, can benefit from it by having degrees from famous universities.
After hearing about the arts education impact on the life of students, let me now remind you of some of the essential developments of arts education within the academic institutions in the UAE. After getting an education, each graduate should secure a job. However, it is not possible as a job market in the UAE is overcrowded. Arts education may improve the situation if the academic institutions would place greater emphasis on arts education. I can make a guess that at least one of your friends has told you that it is hard to compete with talents from all over the world in the UAE. British Council Report suggests the same: we are no longer competing amongst ourselves, “but with the greatest minds around the world” (Jarrar, 2018, p. 7). Imagine how you could boost your experience if your educational organization has the highest ranking in the world, and you could get an essential skill set for a future job. If academic education would emphasize arts education, we all could find our place in life and reach extreme heights in any professional field; imagine and then decide.
Bowen, D., & Kisida, B. (2019). Investigating causal effects of arts education experiences: Experimental Evidence from Houston’s Arts Access Initiative. Research Report, 7(4), 1-28.
Dajani, H. (2017). UAE minister told of frustration at Emirati unemployment levels. The National. Web.
Derderian, E. (2018). Arts education: Resources and Options for the UAE and Ras Al Khaimah. Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates: Al Qasimi Foundation.
Dhaheri, H. A. (2017). Why art education is crucial for the UAE’s development. Gulf News. Web.
Jarrar, Y. (2018). Future skills supporting the UAE’s future workforce. Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates: British Council.