Here are the 345 skills in high demand in South Africa

The Department of Higher Education and Training has published the National List of Occupations in High Demand for 2020.

This document details the occupations which have been identified as being in high demand at the national level.

“It is intended to inform decision-making in relation to a wide range of issues pertaining to, inter alia, education and training,” the department said.

The department added that the primary purpose of the list is to improve the tertiary education system to address the needs of the South African economy.

The list is reviewed every two years unless it is deemed necessary to do so earlier.

“The Department of Higher Education will publish its next list of occupations in high demand in 2022,” the department said.

Occupations in high demand

The department defines the occupations in this list as follows:

Occupations in high demand refer to those occupations that show relatively high employment growth based on past, present and future trends and that are currently in shortage.

Specifically, these occupations are said to be in high demand if they:

  • have shown relatively strong employment growth over the past years;
  • are currently showing relatively strong employment growth;
  • are expected to show relatively strong employment growth in the future;
  • have been identified as being in shortage1 in the labour market; or
  • are new and are expected to emerge in the near future as a result of innovation, technological advancements, the development of new industries, or government’s strategic priorities.

South Africa has a significant shortage of skilled professionals, a deficit which is made worse by the regular emigration of graduates to other countries.

“As is well known, South Africa continues to face devastating and deepening levels of unemployment,” said the department.

“Skills ‘mismatches,’ real and perceived, are widely regarded as constraining economic growth and development, and a barrier to social inclusion and poverty reduction.”

“Consequently, it is imperative to identify skills needs in South Africa and ensure that education and training, at all levels, respond to the needs of the economy,” it said.

The list of occupations

The 2020 list of high-demand occupations comprises a total of 345 occupations, which are listed in the tables below.

Occupations are highlighted as follows:

  • Green – Expected to recover relatively quickly from the impact of COVID-19, or shows signals of increased labour demand due to COVID-19.
  • Not highlighted – Expected to recover in a moderate timeframe from the impact of COVID-19, or labour demand is not expected to change due to COVID-19.
  • Red – Expected to recover slowly from the impact of COVID-19, or shows signals of decreased labour demand due to COVID-19.

Below is the full list of occupations defined by the government as being in high demand for 2020.

High demand skills long


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Here are the 345 skills in high demand in South Africa