In-demand skills right now

Demand for certain skills goes through lulls and booms, according to the Skills Development Corporation.

Recent research by the Skills Development Corporation highlighted the most in-demand jobs locally as at the end of 2021.

“The research that we did helped a lot of young people get an idea of where they should focus to forge strong career paths. One thing that came up a lot though, was, which skills individuals should focus on to make themselves more employable in the various sectors,” says Wessel Botha, managing director of SDC Wealth Management and spokesperson for Skills Development Corporation.

One needs to be mindful of the impact of the lockdown, which has caused both lulls and booms in the demand for particular skills. While certain skills may feature well now, they may not be considered evergreen over a larger time frame and vice versa.

The most employable skills in South Africa

  • Information technology: Of all the skills in demand in 2022, IT-related specialisations rank the highest. Applicants in this sector are spoiled for choice, with staffing shortages prevalent across a broad range of IT specialisations – from physical IT support to software development and even peripheral functions, such as specialised project management in the software development sector.

    Jobs in line with this area of specialty include programme and software development, IT infrastructure management, IT analytics, design, and architecture and web design.

    Careers in this sector are considered more evergreen than others mentioned on this list, given the ease with which professionals can pivot to new demands and the projected longevity of the industry itself.


  • Mathematics, analytics, and engineering: These skills are, by far, the broadest ranging in terms of application in a career sense. In the simplest terms, multiple industries are lacking critical thinkers with an aptitude for seeing the world in shapes and numbers. This poses significant opportunities for individuals who possess these skills, as they are spoilt for choice when choosing a career. Jobs/industries in line with these skills include (but are not limited to): Actuarial science, finance and insurance, engineering, city planning and site surveying, data science/ analytics and architecture.


  • Creative and artistic: “Moving from the left side of the brain to the right, creatives are in equally high demand as those mentioned before,” says Wessel.

    Once again, skills in this area can be applied to a broad range of industries, depending on the individual’s preference or skill set. A dire need has been identified for individuals in the 2D and 3D animation fields. Potential jobs/ industries in line with these skills can include: creative director, 2D and 3D animation, copywriting and interior design.


  • Athleticism and sports: Skills related to careers in athletics are amongst the top-identified skills lacking in South Africa in 2022. You may think that a career in athletics or sport means exclusively using your body to produce an income, however, this field offers career opportunities to individuals of all kinds. These are some of the jobs you can apply your skills set to: personal training, physiotherapy, sports science, coaching.


  • Management and leadership: Employers across every industry are desperately trying to identify individuals with the ability to lead their teams and businesses. These are just a handful of the jobs in this area of specialty: sales management, project management, production management, team leader, operations management, marketing management, and general management.