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01 May 2023 by Carly Louw

How to Choose a Career Path in South Africa with Guaranteed Job Prospects


Are you a recent graduate who's not sure what to study, or are you considering a career change? Don't worry, there are plenty of opportunities out there for you! One way to start exploring your options is by considering careers that are in high demand and will likely lead to a job after your studies.

South Africa is currently experiencing a shortage of skilled workers across almost all sectors, particularly in IT and finance, according to jobs portal CareerJunction. This shortage is causing staff shortages, which can negatively impact business growth and the country's GDP. However, this shortage also means that there are plenty of job opportunities for skilled workers.

While South Africa's recruitment landscape is different from that of Europe, skills shortages are amplified by the "brain drain" phenomenon, where highly skilled workers leave South Africa for better-paying jobs overseas. This, coupled with expensive tertiary education, has created a bottleneck for local businesses.

The sectors hit hardest by skills shortages are information technology and finance, but shortages are being felt almost across the board, including in Medical & Health, Marketing, Design, Media & Arts, Business & Management, and Engineering. In the IT sector, businesses and recruiters are struggling to find skilled talent in areas like software development, technical/ business architecture, and database design/ development/ administration. In the finance sector, there's a shortage of professionals in external auditing, taxation, and financial analysis.

However, the good news is that the South African government is actively trying to attract skilled professionals to support local businesses and industries. Many of the positions identified by CareerJunction have been added to the 2022 Critical Skills list, which determines skills and qualifications that are deemed critical for South Africa.

It's worth noting that skills shortages vary by region. Businesses in provinces with high economic activity, like Gauteng, the Western Cape, and KwaZulu-Natal, are more likely to experience recruitment difficulties for certain skills. However, there are opportunities across most South African regions, with a severe shortage in software development skills evident across the board.

So, if you're looking for a career with job security, consider studying a skill that's in demand. There are plenty of opportunities out there, and with the South African government actively trying to attract skilled workers, now is a great time to explore your options. Good luck!

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