Forward Middle East & Pakistan

Are you ready to advance your career?

Forward is a free, five-month online learning program offered by McKinsey to equip young talent with must-have practical skills to succeed in the future of work.

What you can expect

Forward is a three-level learning journey where you can develop new ways of thinking, boost your confidence, and learn to lead with purpose. At the end of the program, receive a McKinsey Forward digital badge and join an exclusive global network of young, life-long learners.

Interactive learning journey

Learn through a variety of formats, including digital courses, discussion boards, virtual workshops with McKinsey experts, and a group assignment with real-time peer feedback.

  • complete the Foundation level: 8 weeks, two hours per week
  • complete the Advanced level and earn a shareable McKinsey Forward digital badge: 12 weeks, two hours per week
  • participate in the Network level: 18 months, ongoing optional activities

Skills you can use immediately

Gain the skills and tools to:

  • turn complex business challenges into opportunities using structured and creative thinking
  • communicate with impact to move your audience to action
  • apply agile ways of working and spot opportunities to use data and technology
  • be adaptable, and build resilience and emotional awareness to work successfully–both independently and in teams, especially in times of change

Eligibility criteria

To access Forward, you must meet the following criteria:

  • currently reside in the Middle East region (currently Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen) or Pakistan
  • currently employed, self-employed, or in between jobs
  • have no more than five years of formal work experience
  • have completed post-secondary education (for example: diploma, associate degree, undergraduate degree)
  • have a good command of the English language, as the program will be conducted in English


participants from 70+ countries


recommendation rate


of alumni feel more confident in their skills


experienced career growth within two months of completing Forward

Mark your growth

Earn the McKinsey Forward badge

Participants who complete the Foundation and Advanced levels will earn a personalized digital badge, which is shareable across social media and other digital channels.

What Forward alumni are saying


In many cultures, making mistakes at work is often stigmatized, and confrontations are typically avoided. However, Forward has shown me how to turn mistakes into learning opportunities and manage diversity in opinions smoothly.

Sarah, consultant Saudi Arabia

This has been an above-and-beyond learning experience. I have gained an invaluable amount of knowledge and confidence. I am finally ready to begin working on my start-up ideas that I aimed to long ago.

Muhammad, entrepreneur Pakistan

Forward is such a great program. It teaches you simple things, but they’re so effective. When you learn them, you just think: ‘Why hasn’t anyone taught me this before?’

Rakan Lebanon

Meet Abdelrahman

As a fresh graduate from Egypt, Abdelrahman was on the lookout to gain an extra edge in his first job. Forward gave him practical skills and frameworks that helped him stand out at work. What made an even bigger difference for him was the opportunity to interact with a global network of young professionals.

Meet Bedour

Bedour, a graphic designer from the UAE, reveals how her fear of failure sometimes gets in her way. She describes the practical thinking tools she acquired and the mindset shift she experienced thanks to Forward.

Take a step Forward to advance your career

Applications open until June 20, 2023

Read more about the program

McKinsey Forward program reaches its first 100,000 learners

The Forward program, a free six-month online learning journey offered by McKinsey, has reached its first milestone of enrolling 100,000 learners from more than 60 countries across Africa, the Middle East, Pakistan, Turkey, and Azerbaijan in 18 months since its inception. The program aims to reach an additional 150,000 learners in 2023.

Other regions


A virtual learning program that boosts the careers of young professionals in Africa.

Turkey & Azerbaijan

A virtual learning program that boosts the careers of young professionals in Turkey & Azerbaijan.

Get to know McKinsey in the Middle East

McKinsey in the Middle East

Learn how McKinsey has helped leaders in the Middle East create growth and development, and build regional and global champions in major sectors.