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The skills employers want most right now

Standing out from the crowd.resize

If you are a software developer or programmer your chances of employment increased by 6% between July 2017 and August 2017. This is according to Career Junction’s Trendsetter report in its latest Salary Review.

With 798,289 South Africans currently writing matric final exams, the question “What next?” is, like it is every year, on many minds. Our country’s unemployment issue, and more specifically, high rate of unemployed youth, is an on-going point of discussion.

Do what you love and the money will follow?

Strong heart

Not to be too cynical but I question how true this still holds. Of course passion and love for what you do is vital, but maybe a little bit of mind with all that heart will improve your chances of employment; and this is where reports like the Career Junction Trendsetter starts playing a role.

As mentioned, software developers and programmers are currently the most in-demand professionals according to activity on the Career Junction platform. This is followed by middle or department management positions; demand for these managerial skills increased by 3% in August, and finally sales representatives remain in high demand with positions advertised increasing by 25% in the last six months.

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The report states that high levels of online demand for certain skills or increased opportunities in certain industries indicate positive employment prospects. Based on this the following five industries are currently looking great for new entrants to the job market:

  • Medical and health
  • Information technology
  • Architecture and engineering
  • Building and construction
  • Sales

It’s a long-term game

Think differently

Granted, making a decision based on a month-on-month change in employment statistics leaves a lot of room for errors (don’t forget to also leave a little room for heart in your decision-making), in this sense Career Junction’s Annual Trend Analysis provides relevant, and useful, information.

How the role of sales representatives will change, and become critically more important, in future

This section of the report explores industry trends based on the number of positions advertised in various industries over the last 13 months.

Admin, Office & Supply; Architecture & Engineering; and Manufacturing & Assembly were all pretty much stable over the last year or so, with the number of positions advertised remaining level each month.

IT; Finance; Business & Management; and Medical & Health are the industries that have seen a slow-down in activity, with fewer positions available over the period of analysis, while Sales; Marketing; and Building & Construction have seen a steady increase in positions advertised over the last 13 months.

Overall, there has been an increase in competition for jobs and certain industries have had less jobs available. This suggests that, despite all the information available to help the youth make a decision on what to qualify as, heart and passion remains a vital element. In a competitive market it is likely to be the one thing that gives you the edge – who wants it the most?


Mariette Steynberg is a qualified economist with a post-graduate diploma in financial planning. She has enjoyed working on holistic financial plans for clients in various stages of life, as well as a development economist assessing the socioeconomic impacts of new developments. When she is not working, Mariette enjoys parenting her quirky, delightful toddler girl. Cloth diapering, Eskimo kisses and the importance of reading to your child are all causes close to her heart. Mariette is passionate about financial education and hopes to use the experience she has gained to share knowledge with HomeTimes’ readership. Her goal is to provide information that is implementable by everyone.

Review overview