by Tia

Prospective students are often advised to consider the current job landscape and projections for the future before deciding on what career to pursue and what they need to study after school. These projections can however be a tricky call, which is why guidance in this regard is crucial, an education expert says.

“There is a growing emphasis on skills and reskilling rather than traditional career paths and job titles, and the importance of developing a versatile skill set to thrive in the modern workforce,” says Peter Kriel, General Manager at The Independent Institute of Education, SA’s leading private higher education provider.

“Key skills that are increasingly valued include analytical thinking, creative thinking, resilience, flexibility, agility, motivation, self-awareness, curiosity, lifelong learning, technological literacy, dependability, attention to detail, empathy, active listening, leadership, social influence and quality control.”

Developing these skills throughout one’s educational and life journey is relevant regardless of the field of expertise pursued.

However, decisions about choosing a specific career should be made with insight into the roles that are in demand in the workplace, now and also likely in the future, Kriel says.

“The Department of Higher Education and Training has about 240 careers on its National List of Occupations in High Demand that requires some form of post-school education ranging from Higher Certificates at NQF Level 5, to those that require a PhD,” says Kriel.

“A high-level analysis of the positions being advertised on various platforms aligns strongly with this list.”

Kriel notes that South Africa’s dynamic economy and evolving job market have led to significant growth in several key sectors. Among the most prominent are Medicine and Health, Engineering, Business & Management, Finance and Accounting, Law & Legal, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and Sales & Marketing.


While becoming a medical doctor, pharmacist or nurse are some obvious career options in medicine and health, there are more ways to access these disciplines, for example, a career in the Public Health sector.

  • Bachelor in Public Health:  Equips graduates with knowledge and skills to promote health and prevent illness in populations through disease prevention.
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Public Health: Aimed at working professionals for acquiring, strengthening and deepening knowledge to effectively contribute to strengthening public health service delivery systems.


Engineering remains a cornerstone of industrial development and innovation in South Africa, with significant demand in fields such as civil, mechanical, electrical, and chemical engineering.

  • Bachelor of Engineering in Electrical and Electronic Engineering: Focuses on the principles and applications of electrical systems, electronics, and electromagnetism in various industries.
  • Bachelor of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering: Emphasises the design, analysis, manufacturing, and maintenance of mechanical systems and machinery.
  • Bachelor of Engineering in Civil Engineering: Concentrates on the planning, design, construction, and maintenance of infrastructure projects such as buildings, roads, bridges, and water supply systems.


The Business & Management sector drives organisational growth and strategic development, with demand for skilled managers, consultants, and executives. This area offers a diverse array of career options, making it one of the most versatile and dynamic sectors.

  • Bachelor of Commerce: Provides a solid foundation in general business with opportunities to gain in-depth knowledge in selected areas of specialisation.
  • Bachelor of Business Administration: Provides a broad foundation in business principles and management practices.
  • Bachelor of Business Administration in Logistics and Supply Chain Management: Building knowledge and skills to efficiently manage the storage and movement of goods and services, ensuring effective and efficient supply chain operations.
  • Other qualifications include: Bachelor of Commerce in Entrepreneurship, Postgraduate Diploma in Management, Postgraduate Diploma in Digital Business, and the Postgraduate Diploma in Futures Thinking.


Finance and Accounting professionals are crucial for managing company finances, ensuring regulatory compliance, and strategic financial planning.

  • Bachelor of Accounting: To qualify students in the field of accountancy and provide a stepping stone to a range of professional accounting qualifications.
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Accounting: Enhances employability and prepares students to write the SAICA ITC exams in order to become a Chartered Accountant.
  • Additional qualifications include: Postgraduate Diploma in Finance and Accounting and the Postgraduate Diploma in Internal Auditing.


A career in law and the legal profession is both intellectually stimulating and socially impactful, offering a wide range of opportunities for specialization and advancement.

  • Higher Certificate in Legal Studies:  To enter the legal world of work in an entry level position such as a legal intern or the beginning of your legal journey as you choose to transition to a further legal qualification.
  • Bachelor of Commerce in Law: Develops a firm foundation in commercial and law subjects which would assist in the corporate world or in running their own businesses. 
  • Further legal qualification options include: Bachelor of Arts in Law and Bachelor of Laws.


As digital transformation accelerates, the ICT sector not only in South Africa, but internationally, is booming, with high demand for professionals in software development, cybersecurity, and systems administration.

  • Higher Certificate in Mobile Application and Web Development: Foundations of developing applications for the web and mobile devices, in order to become a junior application developer.
  • Bachelor of Computer and Information Sciences in Application Development: Extensive exposure to developing IT systems for a variety of platforms, including desktop databases and applications, cloud databases and web applications, and mobile applications.
  • Other qualifications include: Bachelor of Computer and Information Sciences in Game Design and Development, Bachelor of Information Technology in Business Systems, and Postgraduate Diploma in Data Analytics.


Sales and Marketing roles are crucial for driving revenue and market expansion. Companies seek dynamic sales and marketing professionals who can build strong customer relationships and close deals.

  • Higher Certificate in Digital Marketing: Provides introductory knowledge, understanding and skills in the digital marketing field equipping students with the core marketing principles and practices to enter the marketing and communications sector.
  • Diploma in Digital Marketing: Provides the applied marketing knowledge, understanding and skills necessary in leveraging different digital channels to increase brand awareness, drive sales, and promote goods and services.
  • Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing: Provides a broad foundation in business principles and management practices that focuses on marketing management.
  • Other qualifications include: Bachelor of Commerce in Digital Marketing, and Bachelor of Commerce in Strategic Brand Management.

“The recruitment landscape in South Africa is challenging but vibrant, with substantial opportunities across various disciplines for those with the right qualifications behind their names, coupled with the understanding that skills are valued, and continuous reskilling is important for a workforce that is adaptable and innovative,” says Kriel.

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