Do you have the skills that SA needs right now? New survey reveals all
If you're deciding what to study, these are the jobs that are guaranteed to be in demand and well paid
Software development, IT, midlevel management, engineering and specialist accounting positions are what SA companies want to fill the most.
With those in these positions steadily being snapped up by overseas businesses because of their skills and higher wage offers, the pressure is now on recruiting agencies to find, attract and persuade people in these fields to stay in the country.
A survey by the online job recruitment company CareerJunction shows that since January there has been an 18% increase in demands by businesses for midlevel managers and a 6% increase in requests for skilled IT workers, with “high demands” for financial and project accountants.
“Job volumes for professionals in these fields have steadily increased during the past three months,” states CareerJunction in its latest monthly job index study.
The index monitors the country’s online labour market, and looks at what jobs are advertised by companies and what work jobseekers are applying for.
It shows that while year-on-year skills demand has decreased “significantly” in the health, sales, administration, office, support and marketing sectors, “a strong demand persists for professionals in finance, business and management, IT, architecture and engineering”.
The index shows that trending jobs for November included roles within executive management, purchasing and procurement and building project management.
The survey states that trending jobs “provide an indication of positions that have become more popular in the online job market and has seen a recent spike in demand”.
CareerJunction spokesperson Odile Badenhorst said the survey was done on a monthly basis and was used to see what positions employers were looking to fill and what jobseekers were applying for.
“We use the index to conduct a month-on-month, quarter-on-quarter and a year-on-year analysis of the job market.”
She said the positions employers were currently looking to fill were for software development, IT, midlevel management, engineering and accounting.
“Demands for people with these positions have been high since January,” she said.
Badenhorst said there was demand for those workers because there were not many people in the country with those kinds of skills.
“Software and IT development are scarce skills. It is the same for accountants and engineers, where there is a high demand, but limited supply.
“The reason for this is that many people do not have the money to go study for these skills. SA is not unique when it comes to such skills shortages, and we have noticed that those who do have these qualifications are being headhunted and moving abroad, where there are better work opportunities.”
Badenhorst said other reasons for a limited number of people in the country with these skill sets, especially IT, which was the most sought-after skills set on CareerJunction, were salaries.
“The IT sector fell to the bottom of the list for annual wage increases and experienced negative growth in wages of -3% year-on-year. The finance and construction sectors saw a minimal growth in wages of only 1%.”
She, however, added the finance, engineering and IT sectors dominated the SA job market where earning potential was concerned, with the highest earning professionals including engineers, accountants, financial analysts, asset managers, corporate lenders, business architects, IT project administrators and business and data analysts.
Badenhorst said the index showed the skills that were least sought after related to the education and training, hospitality, science and technology, sports and fitness, legal, design, media and arts and community and social welfare sectors.
“The reason for this is varied, including an oversupply of such skills with a shrinking job pool for people with such qualifications.
“When pupils leave school and are deciding on what they want to study, it is important that they look at the ratio of supply to demand when it comes to available skills and available jobs.”
Kineta John, Greys Recruitment Agency SA’s social media manager, said there had been a high volume of requests for people with software development skills, followed by IT skills
“There has also been a big request by businesses for people with financial skills, especially in accountancy.
“People are being sought for their IT, software development and accountancy skills because there is a boom in the market. These are also scarce skills.
“There are also demands for civil and transport engineers.”
She said there had been a decline in businesses seeking people with administration skills, which the market was saturated with.
PMG Recruitment Services manager Pam Bell said they had had lots of requests for software developers and IT specialists.
“A number of our clients have also requested midlevel managers and people who can fill senior executive positions who have sales and financial management skills.
“Other skills in demand this year are those who are skilled in electrical engineering and mechatronics [electrical and mechanical engineering specialists].”