These are the most in-demand job skills in South Africa right now

 ·21 Dec 2023

Jobs portal CareerJunction has published its latest employment insights report for December 2023, showing which job skills are currently in high demand by employers in South Africa.

The report offers an in-depth analysis of the online employment market in South Africa, focusing on the supply and demand for various occupations.

The data for the report was gathered from 5,000 of the country’s largest recruiters, agencies, and employers who advertise job positions on the CareerJunction portal.

Over the final months of 2023, there has only been a marginal uptick in recruitment activity, giving a sober edge to the recent Quarterly Labour Force and Quarterly Employment Surveys (QLFS and QES), which have shown a boost in employment in the country.

Recruitment activity from October to November 2023 was only up 1% for professionals.

Year-on-year, hiring activity is at the same level as it was a year ago, compared to November 2022.

“Over the last three months, hiring activity has increased for Restaurant & Hospitality, Architecture & Engineering, Finance and Business & Management professionals,” CareerJunction said.

“On the other hand, hiring activity for Sales, Information Technology as well as Admin, Office & Support professionals has declined over the last three months.”

When comparing hiring activity over the last three months (September, October, November 2023) with the previous three months (June, July, August 2023), hiring activity has increased for professionals in the following fields, with the relevant job skills:

Restaurant & Hospitality +40%

  • Counter / Waiter / Bartender
  • Food & Beverage Control

Architecture & Engineering +6%

  • Civil / Structural Engineering

Finance +3%

  • Bookkeeping
  • Financial / Project Accounting
  • Payroll & Wages

Business & Management +1%

  • Infrastructure / Operations Consulting
  • Business Development

Conversely, looking at the same period, hiring activity has slowed for professionals in the following fields:

Sales -8%

  • Representative / Sales Consulting

Information Technology -7%

  • Software Development
  • Business Analysis

Admin, Office & Support -2%

  • Switchboard / Reception

While sales jobs are seeing a drop in hiring activity nationally, there are still regional pockets where these skills are still in demand.

Across Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape provinces, there has been consistent demand for Sales professionals, CareerJunction noted, adding that year-on-year, Gauteng has seen the same level of hiring activity (2022 to 2023).

KwaZulu-Natal has seen a year-on-year increase of +8% – however, the Western Cape has seen a slight year-on-year decrease of -4%.

For those with skills in the warehousing and logistics sector, there is still strong demand for this in Gauteng and the Western Cape. However, demand has dropped significantly in KZN.

The field that has seen the biggest drop in demand since 2021 is the medical field – likely due to the conclusion of the Covid-19 pandemic during this period. All three major centres have seen double-digit declines in demand for these skills.

Putting the spotlight on media, design and arts, CareerJunction highlighted three key skills in this field that are currently in demand – mainly in Gauteng.

  • Graphic Designer
  • User Interface Designer
  • Copywriter

The group noted that this field is one of the few professional fields where having a diploma or degree or qualification isn’t always a requirement, with 25% of candidates not recording any qualification for their positions.

However, 22% have at least a diploma, and 18% a degree.

Salaries for top-demand positions can vary:

  • Digital Designer from R18 444 to R23 400 per month
  • Media Specialist from R16 970 to R23 879 per month
  • Product Designer from R30 238 to R37 798 per month

Read: Lights out for almost 1.5 million jobs in South Africa

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