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Choose an in-demand career

Written by: Dikeledi Molobela

With the high unemployment rate amongst the youth in South Africa, school learners are encouraged to familiarise themselves with the list of occupations in high demand (OIHD) that is compiled by the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET).

‘Occupations in high demand’ refers to those occupations that show relatively high employment growth based on past, present and future trends and that are currently in shortage. This means that young people who qualify in these fields are more likely to find a job. By encouraging young people to train for in-demand jobs, it also means that South Africa will have the people with the skills needed to grow the economy.

Higher Education and Training Minister Dr Blade Nzimande released the latest list in November 2020. The list is put together every two years by the department, which studies the labour market to see which sectors need more skilled people.

This helps universities, colleges and other training institutions better plan their courses, and helps high school learners make good subject and career choices.

Speaking to Vuk’uzenzele, DHET spokesperson Ishmael Mnisi says all organisations, both in the public and private sectors, need to know which skills are needed to grow South Africa's economy and develop the country socially.

Mnisi believes that choosing subjects and possible career paths is challenging for youngsters. The best way to help them, he says, is through better information about career opportunities and what subjects are needed for admission to the various courses.

  He says self-employment must also be considered, rather than working for a boss or waiting for a job to become available. “… so entrepreneurship education and support are important,” he says.

There are 345 jobs on the 2020 OIHD list including:

  • Director (enterprise/organisation) – the minimum qualification required is a diploma or advanced certificate (NQF Level 6) in a business/finance-related field. Those interested will have to do the following subjects in high school: mathematics, business studies and finance-related subjects.
  • School principal – the minimum qualification required is a bachelor’s degree or advanced diploma (NQF Level 7) in education.
  • Actuary – the minimum qualification required is a bachelor’s degree or advanced diploma (NQF Level 7) in actuarial science. Subjects such as pure mathematics, physical science and English are important in high school.
  • Footwear designer – Diploma or advanced certificate (NQF Level 6) in the design and construction field.
  • Electrical engineering technician – the minimum requirement is a diploma or advanced certificate (NQF Level 6) in the electrical engineering field. Subjects to study in high school are mathematics, physical science, English or Afrikaans.

The full list can be accessed on: https://www.gov.za/sites/default/files/gcis_document/202011/43937gon1266...

The DHET is set to publish its next list of occupations in high demand in November.

Educational opportunities or skills to acquire without matric

Many young people may think that they cannot further their studies without a matric certificate, but this is untrue. Technical and vocational education and training (TVET) colleges offer multiple courses that allow you to further your studies without a matric certificate.

Some of these courses include national certificate (vocational) courses that are equivalent to a matric certificate in various disciplines. These courses are NQF Level 4 certified, which is the same certification as matric on the NQF level.

Just to mention a few, these courses include a national certificate in small business financial management, bookkeeping, project management studies and business management studies.

Learners interested in these courses who do not have a matric certificate, can visit their nearest TVET college for more information

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