Here are the most critical tech skills in South Africa

The Minister of Home Affairs, Aaron Motsoaledi, has published the 2021 Critical Skills List which shows which skills are in high demand in South Africa.

This is an important development as it provides South African businesses with a framework if they want to attract skilled workers to South Africa.

A critical skills work visa may only be issued to an individual possessing such skills or qualifications determined to be critical for South Africa.

The last critical skills list was published by the Department of Home Affairs in 2014, which means an update was sorely needed.

The importance of a revised critical skills list was highlighted by President Cyril Ramaphosa in his State of the Nation Address, especially as the country is trying to grow the economy.

South Africa is losing thousands of skilled professionals per year to other countries, and it is crucial to also attract talent to local shores.

Xpatweb director Marisa Jacobs said attracting the skills the country need is vital if we are to increase economic output and get the economy back on track.

“In today’s sophisticated and highly competitive economies, countries are competing for skills to help them stay abreast of fast-moving technologies and rapidly changing business models,” she said.

“A growing number of countries are using their immigration policies to attract these skills to their shores,” she said.

The revised critical skills list is therefore important to ensure South Africa is not left behind in the fight for valuable skills globally.

It should be noted that the 2021 Critical Skills List is only a draft list and that businesses and other interested parties have been given an opportunity to further comment on critical skills that are needed.

Critical technology skills

A summary of the critical tech skills is provided in the table below.

Critical Skills List
Job/Skill Qualification
Chief information officer Bachelor’s degree or advanced diploma
ICT project manager Diploma or advanced certificate
Data management manager Diploma or advanced certificate
Application development manager Bachelor’s degree or advanced diploma
Information technology manager Bachelor’s degree or advanced diploma
Information systems director Bachelor honours degree, postgraduate diploma, or bachelor’s degree
Multimedia designer Bachelor’s degree or advanced diploma
Web designer Bachelor’s degree or advanced diploma
ICT systems analyst Bachelor’s degree or advanced diploma
Data scientist Bachelor’s degree or advanced diploma
Software developer Diploma or advanced certificate
Programmer analyst Diploma or advanced certificate
Developer programmer Diploma or advanced certificate
Multimedia specialist Bachelor’s degree or advanced Diploma
Web developer Diploma or advanced certificate
Applications programmer Diploma or advanced certificate
Computers quality assurance analyst Diploma or advanced certificate
Database designer and administrator Diploma or advanced certificate
Network analyst Diploma or advanced certificate
ICT security specialist Diploma or advanced certificate
Information services manager Bachelor’s degree or advanced diploma
ICT communications assistant Diploma or advanced certificate
Computer network technician Diploma or advanced certificate

Now read: The most sought-after skills in South Africa

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Here are the most critical tech skills in South Africa