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Top Careers in Demand in South Africa

This article contains information on the list of top careers in demand in South Africa for 2023.

Careers in Demand in South Africa

Unemployment is a general problem that has hit many African countries. As a result of this, a lot of individuals ranging from graduates, undergraduate down to skilled and unskilled have remained without jobs for many years. On the part of many graduates, it’s either what they studied in school is not among careers that are highly sought after or just one discouraging excuse..

There is no doubt that businesses were really affected due to the current global pandemic and as a result, many bounced back with new policies. While some businesses took to working remotely by going digital, others reskilled to meet up with the increased competition in the business world.

This has however brought about a change in the careers being demanded. Because everyone is looking for ways to make ends meet, people are also acquiring new skills to enable them to fit into the changing labour market. This is to say that as organizations tend to be demanding certain careers more than the other; people are invariably reskilling inorder to get jobs in those careers that are in high demands.

South Africa is one of the African countries that are faced with this unemployment problem. From research, the country has the highest youth unemployment rates globally.

In this article, we will be looking at the careers in high demand in South Africa to enable you to either make career choices in line with the trend or to improve on your skills in order to fit into careers that are highly sought after.

Thus, below are careers in high demand in South Africa


1. Medicine

The importance of Medicine in a country cannot be overemphasized. The medical career is still one of the top careers in high demand in South Africa and as such the path to earning a good salary.

There are different job opportunities in the Medical career such as Medicine and surgery, Nursing, Laboratory technology, etc. Regardless of the specialty, the goal of every expert in this field is to restore the health of the sick. They use their knowledge in the field to diagnose and treat human diseases, ailments, injuries, pain and other health conditions.

In other words, the duties of Medical practitioners range from treating people with illnesses and injuries, prescribing medications, diagnosing ailments, and recording patient information etc.

While the salary can vary according to the type of specialization, for the most part specialists have a higher earning potential as regards this career path. This is so because specialists must undergo “advanced education and clinical training” unlike general practitioners.

Skills required for this career path includes;

  • Excellent communication skills
  • Attention to detail
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Professionalism
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Decision-making Skills
  • Resilience
  • Teamwork skills

2. Engineering

Petroleum and Industrial Engineering is one of the highest demanded Engineering Specialties in South Africa. Petroleum Engineers locate reservoirs of natural gas and crude beneath the earth’s surface and then decide on whether or not it is worth extracting while Industrial Engineers discover ways of eliminating wastefulness in production processes. They design an efficient system that integrates workers, machines, materials and technology, to make a product or product services.

These two sets of Engineers are expected to possess the following skills

Strong technical skills, team working skills, Problem-solving skills, the ability to work under pressure, numerical and analytical skills, IT skills, good communication skills, etc.

3. Information Technology

IT sector in South Africa is generally large. It has access to the latest technologies and to equip people with the essential basic skills. Research shows that South Africa has an estimated number of more than 20,000 companies in the ICT sector. However, there is a shortage of specialized skills in the sector, which has a significantly negative effect on skills output in the sector. With this, there is a very high demand for professionals in this career.

IT managers are one of such professionals. They are responsible for planning, coordinating, and directing activities that have to do with the computer and information systems of a company. They are in charge of the installation and maintenance of hardware and software.

Software engineers are one of the most sought after ICT professionals in South Africa.

A Software engineer is a person who applies the principles of software engineering to the designing, development, testing, maintenance, and evaluation of computer software. To become one, you’ll need to possess skills in coding and programming, know how to use the programming languages like Java, Python, etc.

Those in this career should have a degree in IT with a major in computer science because of their vast roles which includes:

IT planning

  • This has to do with coordinating IT staffing, including hiring, supervision, scheduling, professional development, and discipline.
  • Collaborate with, and maintain communications with executives and department heads in the organization.
  • Research IT solutions and make recommendations for the improvement of IT systems and infrastructure, etc.

Therefore, if you’re an expert in IT management, South Africa is looking for your kind.

4. Finance

The financial sector of every country is usually very important and is constantly in high demand for professionals. A lot of experts are found in this profession which ranges from financial managers, Actuaries, Accountants, down to statisticians, Economists, etc. Financial managers are responsible for overseeing the financial statements of an Organization. They produce financial reports, direct investment activities, strategies and plans for long-term financial goals of a company.

They equally undertake system maintenance and administration functions. The nature of the job makes them work alongside with IT department inorder to plan, develop and launch strong financial system

An actuary is a business professional who deals with the measurement and management of risk and uncertainties, which could negatively affect both sides of the balance sheet or calculates financial values associated with uncertain events subject to risk, such as insurance premiums or pension contributions.

Due to the nature of the job, finance experts should have qualifications in mathematics, statistics, Economics, finance and have a good business sense. In addition actuaries should possess important skills such as, analytical skills, asset and liability management, good oral and written communication skills, problem-solving, IT and Numerical skills, etc.

5. E-Commerce

Commerce involves the exchange of goods and services between businesses or entities. This implies that commerce is basically focused  on the distribution aspect of business against the production aspect.

Whatever the case, countries are concerned with managing commerce in a way that enhances the well-being of citizens, by means providing jobs and producing beneficial goods and services.

This therefore means that Commerce leads to the prospering of nations and an increased standard of living, but if left unchecked or unregulated, it can lead to negative impacts.

Currently, commerce has evolved and it is no longer viewed in the same light from way back as there are improvements over the years. Commerce has gone beyond the traditional method of exchange which favoured mainly big firms to a variant of commerce which supports the buying and selling of goods electronically via the Internet. Thus, E-commerce, unlike traditional commerce allows individual consumers and producers to exchange value for goods and services with little or no barriers.

Knowing that South Africa is the 37th largest market for e-commerce in recent times, e-commerce has grown and will continue to rise in South Africa.

This is an indicator that anyone who is a professional in digital marketing or anything involving marketing is currently a hot cake in South Africa.

Digital marketing can provide companies with outstanding advertising via digital marketers but Marketing strategists are solely responsible for creating marketing strategies, identifying the best messaging and creative concept, and executing the strategy.

A lot of professionals are connected to E-commerce. As a result, a career in e-commerce is a sure way of earning massively in South Africa as there is Constant demand for professionals in this field.

6. Agriculture

All humans need food to survive. As a result of this, the agricultural sector of any economy is on the lookout for Agricultural experts who will help to improve the level of productivity. An important professional who is highly sought after in this field is a Plant Manager.

Plant managers or industrial production managers are in charge of manufacturing or production facilities. They are actively involved in a plant’s daily operation. They are responsible for watching over and organizing the daily operation of manufacturing plants, etc.

Agriculture has come to stay and South Africa is looking out for professionals in the field.

7. Law

This career in South Africa is one that is well recognized and also in high demand. A lawyer is a person who holds a license to practice law. Lawyers work in both the public sector and the private sector. They advocate on behalf of their clients. Their help might range from giving their client advice on how the law applies to their case to formally representing their client in a courtroom. They might prepare legal documents, interview witnesses, conduct depositions, argue court motions and conduct trials, etc.

What lawyers do, are crucial to everybody in society, from the government to organizations, to citizens. Everybody needs a lawyer to settle a dispute or conflict for them, defend or vindicate them in a court case and even to give counseling on legal matters.

They interpret the law, to make it more understandable to the rest of us who aren’t lawyers.

If you must be successful in the career path, then you require the following:

  • A deep understanding of the law
  • Ability to analyze
  • Attention to details
  • Ability to reason logically
  • Sound judgment
  • Very Persuasive.

8. Human Resources

It is one thing to have a business and organization with employees and it is another thing to know how best to manage the staff. This is where human resources come in.

Human Resources professionals are responsible for the hiring, firing and management of employees. They are typically involved in the hiring process, interviewing candidates and reviewing resumes to choose suitable candidates. They are also responsible for the management of employees once they are hired. This can involve scheduling, attending to grievances and many other ongoing tasks. When an employee is no longer suitable for a company, it is the human resources professional who will either work to make the situation better or terminate the employment agreement.

This career is not just for any person at all because this department determines how conducive the work environment will be for employees. This is very important for the success of the organization. Thus, a person in this career path must have a Degree or certification in Human Resource.

As businesses and firms are constantly on the increase in South Africa, the demand for Human resources careers are equally in high demand.

9. Graphic Designing

Graphics designing is a career that has come to stay and as such it is one of the careers in high-demand in South Africa because companies and businesses have taken to using graphics to run marketing campaigns and advertise their products and services.

A graphic designer creates images or motion pictures either by hand or with computer software for the purpose of communication.

Hence, communication is highly effective when business objectives meet visual aesthetics accordingly. Graphic design is used to persuade its target audience to care about the design in front of the brand. Quality graphics help to build the brand’s image into customer’s eyes, they create a long-lasting positive impression on people.

Due to the rise of the internet and technology, new businesses are springing up every day and that is why the need for eye-catching graphics has become very essential to many businesses.

This is why there’s an ever growing demand for graphics designers. As a graphics designer, most of your jobs will include logo, websites creation, animation, flyers, product illustration etc.

Unlike other professions, graphic designing doesn’t really require any form of degree or certification. However, a foundation degree, HND or bachelor’s degree in computer science, graphic design or  design-based courses are an added advantage.

So, if you’re a very creative person with a good sense of colour combination. Not having a laptop is no longer an excuse because people have taken to phone graphics.


There are lots of careers in high demand in South Africa and this article covered just a few considered to be on top of the list. What’s be the case, note that the world has gone digital and  as a result of this virtually every job requires individuals with IT skills. So, as much as possible, get exposed to IT skills as it will be an added advantage in every other career in existence.

If you’re thinking of career choices to make in South Africa and be sure of the going extinct in a few years to come, consider some of those in this article. They are surely not phasing off anytime soon.

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