Top In-Demand Jobs In South Africa For 2024


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South Africa's job market offers exciting opportunities, but navigating it can be tricky. To help you land a fulfilling and well-paying position, the Higher Education Department has compiled a list of the most in-demand jobs.


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The South African job market is dynamic and ever-changing. Finding a role that aligns with your skills and interests while offering good growth prospects can feel overwhelming.

This guide will explore the most needed careers across various industries, highlighting the skills employers are actively seeking.

South Africa's job market faces a double challenge: slow economic growth limiting job creation and a mismatch between skills and industry needs. This "skills gap" is evident in the high graduate unemployment rate, according to the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET).

The unemployment rate for graduates increased by 1.2 percentage points - from 18.5% in 2019 to 19.7% in 2023. 

The DHET's National List of Occupations in High Demand (OIHD) is a key weapon in this fight. Published annually, the OIHD identifies occupations experiencing a surge in job openings and competitive salaries.

This information helps bridge the gap by:

  • Guiding graduates: Knowing which fields are hiring empowers graduates to make informed career choices.
  • Directing resources: Educational institutions can tailor programmes to meet industry demands, ensuring graduates have the right skills.

The current situation paints a concerning picture. A staggering 51.7% of South Africans work in jobs unrelated to their qualifications.

The levels of education–job mismatches in South Africa are very high, as 51.7% of South African workers are employed in an occupation for which they do not have the correct education level. 

This mismatch is further amplified by overqualified (23%) and underqualified (28.7%) workers, and a significant portion (30.3%) working in entirely different fields.

"Occupations in high demand refer to those occupations that show comparatively strong employment, wage and vacancy (job advertisement) growth and for which employers are likely to recruit in the medium term."

Most In Demand Careers In South Africa Now

Business

  • Management: Logistics Managers, Road Transport Managers, Warehouse Managers, Fleet Managers, Airport or Harbour Managers, Health Service Specialised Clinic Managers, School Principals, College Principals, Retail General Managers, Facilities Managers, Call or Contact Centre Managers
  • Finance: Financial Managers, Accountants, Tax Professionals, Financial Investment Advisors, Management Accountants, Business Development Officers, Internal Auditors
  • Human Resources: Skills Development Practitioners, Human Resource Advisors, Training and Development Professionals
  • Marketing & Sales: Marketing Practitioners, Communication Coordinators, Sales Representatives

Information Technology (IT)

  • IT Specialists: ICT Systems Analysts, Data Scientists, Software Developers, Web Developers, Database Designers and Administrators, Systems Administrators, Computer Network and Systems Engineers, ICT Security Specialists
  • Technicians: ICT Support Services Managers

Engineering

  • General: Industrial Engineers, Industrial Engineering Technologists, Production Engineering Technologists
  • Civil: Civil Engineers, Civil Engineering Technologists
  • Environmental: Environmental Engineers, Environmental Scientists, Water Quality Analysts
  • Electrical: Electrical Engineers, Electrical Engineering Technicians
  • Mechanical: Mechanical Engineers, Mechanical Engineering Technicians
  • Other: Chemical Engineers, Mining Engineers, Metallurgical Engineers, Biomedical Engineers

Healthcare

  • Medical Professionals: General Medical Practitioners, Medical Specialists, Nurses, Pharmacists, Physiotherapists
  • Allied Health: Occupational Therapists, Speech Therapists, Audiologists

Education & Training

  • Teachers: FET Phase Teachers, Senior Phase Teachers, Foundation Phase Teachers, Intermediate Phase Teachers
  • Trainers: Education or Training Advisors, ICT Trainers

Science & Research

  • Natural & Physical Scientists: Chemists, Geologists, Geophysicists, Hydrologists, Actuaries, Mathematicians, Statisticians, General Biologists, Biochemists, Biotechnologists, Zoologists
  • Agricultural Scientists: Agricultural Consultants, Agricultural Scientists, Wine Makers, Food and Beverage Scientists

Other

  • Quantity Surveyors
  • Urban and Regional Planners
  • Transport Analysts
  • Surveyors
  • Architects
  • Fashion Designers
  • Industrial Designers
  • Lawyers (Attorneys & Paralegals)
  • Social Workers
  • Editors & Writers (Book/Script Editors & Technical Writers)
  • Translators & Interpreters
  • Pilots
  • Commercial Sales Representatives
  • Property Managers
  • Chefs
  • Graphic Designers (included under Camera Operator)

Whether you're a seasoned professional or a fresh graduate, this information will equip you to make informed decisions about your future career path.

Suggested Article:

unemployed person sign

StatsSA has released the latest Quarterly Employment Statistics (QES) report which details employment in South Africa. While employment in the country declined, wages and earnings increased in the fourth quarter of 2023.






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