The most in-demand job skills in South Africa right now

CareerJunction has published its latest Index, showing which job skills are most in-demand in South Africa right now.

The jobs portal noted that the seasonally-adjusted demand profile for jobs in the country increased by 6% in January, while job search activity increased by 8%.

An uptake in hiring activity is evident for professionals within medical & health, sales, marketing and architecture & engineering over the recent months.

Trending jobs provide an indication of positions that have become more popular in the online job market and have seen a recent spike in demand. CareerJunction said that its latest research shows that the following occupational fields are currently the most sought-after skill sets in the job market:

  • Software Development – Despite a declining trend in hiring activity, soft-ware developers remain highly demanded in the local job market.
  • Middle / Department Management – Demand for middle and department managers saw hardly any change since December 2020. Middle management skills are in demand.
  • Representative / Sales Consulting – Despite a dip in demand, sales representatives remain in high demand.

Trending jobs include:

Team Leader & Supervisor

Average salary offerings for an intermediate level position:

  • GP R17,825 to R22,589
  • WC R20,758 to R23,671
  • KZN R18,024 to R22,053

Representative / Sales Consulting

Average salary offerings for an intermediate level position:

  • GP R19,542 to R24,631
  • WC R20,782 to R26,406
  • KZN  R19,061 to R23,717

Executive Management / Director

Average salary offerings for an intermediate level position:

  • GP R95,818 to R120,862
  • WC  R82,888 to R115,069
  • KZN R84,933 to R110,000

Demand

The IT, business & management and finance sectors are the most sought-after sectors, followed by the sales, admin, office & support and architecture & engineering sectors, among others, CareerJunction said.

When looking at active job seekers across various sectors, areas of high supply correlate closely to areas of high demand – however supply outstrips demand in some areas, leading to a competitive environment for job seekers.

An uptake in hiring activity is evident for professionals within medical & health, sales, marketing and architecture & engineering over the recent months, it said, while the hiring activity trend is more fluctuating and volatile for the admin, office & support, business & management, finance, warehousing & logistics, manufacturing & assembly and ICT sectors.

 

Demand vs Supply

CareerJunction’s data aligns with skills related data from FNB and recruitment specialist Michael Page, which also points to an uptick in demand for ICT and tech skills in the country, as well as for competent managers.

Michael Page highlighted the following skills as being sought after by local firms:

  • IT Specialists: Technology advancements and many organisations’ undergoing digital transformation, hiring IT specialists on a project-by-project basis has proven to be a working solution, incorporating the work-from-home flexibility. Having sound processes in place helps because this would avoid the time spent getting the temp workers ‘up to speed’.
  • Change Management / Turnaround Specialists: Organisations are having to restructure their businesses to accommodate the ‘new normal’. For this, professionals with expertise in formulating change strategies are in demand, so that businesses can develop cultures of agility and responsiveness in order to stay competitive.
  • Finance Project Experts: With many businesses adversely impacted in terms of their finances, specialists are in demand with forecasting and decision-making experience.

FNB, meanwhile, highlighted data science as an increasingly necessary skill in South Africa, particularly as companies move to adopt a more digital-first approach to doing business on the back of the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown lifestyle.

Data science, data analytics and fintech skills, while not 100% future-proof, were skills in high demand before the pandemic hit, but amid the second wave in January, and in the face of future waves of Covid-19, are highly sought-after more than ever, the bank said.

Critical skills

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced during his state of the nation address last week (11 February) that the government would release the long-awaited critical skills list for South Africa soon.

“The revised list of critical skills will be published for public comment by the Department of Home Affairs within one week to ensure that the final version reflects the skills needed by the economy,” the president said.

Analysts have noted that the commitment to releasing this list is an important milestone for the country, after years of delays, as will allow the immigration of vital skills needed to grow the economy.

The list will also give a better indication of the holes in the local workforce.

Several of these gaps have already been indentified by government in the construction sector specifically, with Higher Education, Science and Innovation minister Blade Nzimande highlighting ten such skills which are being highly sought-after in the industry.

This includes:

  • Construction Project Managers;
  • Civil engineers;
  • Civil Engineering Technologists;
  • Architect;
  • Civil Engineering Technicians;
  • Building Inspectors;
  • Carpenters;
  • Plumbers;
  • Steel Fixers
  • Electricians.

Read: The US will lift travel restrictions for in-demand South African workers – these are the skills that can get you in

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The most in-demand job skills in South Africa right now