The skills in highest demand in South Africa right now

The most sought-after skills in SA include IT and finance specialists.

Online jobs portal CareerJunction has published its latest index showing which job skills are most in demand in South Africa right now.

Leading sectors

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

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.

The index shows an uptick in hiring activity for professionals within medical and health, sales, marketing, and architecture and engineering over the recent months. However, there is more fluctuation in hiring activity for the admin, office and support, business and management, finance, warehousing and logistics, manufacturing and assembly, and ICT sectors.

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

Michael Page states that IT specialists are highly sought-after by local firms. With 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 work-from-home flexibility. Having sound processes in place helps, because this would avoid the time spent getting the temp workers ‘up to speed’.

Other skills in high demand are change management/turnaround specialists which are required as organisations are having to restructure their businesses to accommodate the ‘new normal’.

Additionally, finance project experts are crucial. With many businesses facing challenges in terms of their finances, specialists with forecasting and decision-making experience are wanted.

Data science, data analytics and fintech skills are in demand more than ever, according to FNB, which states that data science is an increasingly necessary skill in South Africa. This is particularly evident as companies move to adopt a more digital-first approach to doing business on the back of the Covid-19 pandemic, and lockdown lifestyle.