The pace of technological innovation means that our lives have changed dramatically just think of the first cellphone you ever owned versus the model you have now. That same level of change has affected the job market as we know it, making it an ever-changing beast that can be difficult to navigate.
What does this mean for the modern job seeker? Based on research conducted worldwide, its clear that job trends will continue to evolve as human needs and industries advance. This means that, no matter what your degree, you are going to need to ensure you are armed with the skills that will be in demand going forward.
Here are the top 10 jobs of the future that you might want to consider:
Software systems and app developer: The explosion of technology and mobile platforms has driven demand for the development of operating systems and network software, as well as for applications for games, news and social platforms. The need for these skills is expected to keep growing, so its a useful field in which to skill yourself. A degree in computer science or a related field is a standard requirement for entry into the field. Being a developer will provide exciting career options, as the rapid progress in technology means that you will need to keep learning and honing your skills.
Computer systems analyst: Computers are the backbone of most organisations, so being the person who is able to speak their language will make you an invaluable cog in the operation. Computer systems analysts essentially analyse data-processing problems to develop and improve computer systems. Typical educational requirements for anyone looking to work in the field are a bachelors degree in information technology or any other computer-related field.
Data scientist: Big data is the future, and the need to collect and evaluate large quantities of data is going to continue growing. A degree in computer science or IT will help you get a foot in the door, and there are many opportunities for advancement in this field.
Banking and finance financial and asset manager, accountant, auditor, actuarial scientist: If you are a job seeker with a qualification in the banking and finance sector, you have made a wise choice, as there are plenty of opportunities open to you through the broad spectrum of fields requiring skilled professionals. A degree in accounting, economics or actuarial science will give you a solid foundation and get you onto the first rung of the career ladder. Those in the banking and finance world need to be able to identify and calculate risk, so logic and reasoning skills are essential.
Market research analyst and marketing specialist: As the names suggest, marketing analysts and specialists research market conditions and consumer behaviour to develop marketing strategies and campaigns that will help organisations in an increasingly competitive business landscape. A bachelors degree in marketing or communications is a typical requirement to enter the field, while the more technical market research analysis jobs may require a background or foundation in statistical or data analysis.
Infrastructure engineer, architect, town planner: With much of Africa enjoying greater international attention, infrastructure is going to become a key component in attracting investment. Skilled professionals in fields across the infrastructure spectrum are going to be in demand. Planning is a vital part of infrastructure, and careers in town planning, engineering, architecture, construction, business and technology will serve you well. A bachelors degree in these specialised areas is the minimum requirement to get started in any of these careers.
Teacher: Education is an area of grave importance in South Africa and we currently face a critical shortage of qualified teachers. There is more than one route open to you if you want to become a teacher: a four-year Bachelor of Education degree specialising either in the foundation, intermediate, senior or further education and training phases; or a three- or four-year bachelors degree such as a BSc or BA in a field suitable for admission to the one-year postgraduate certificate in education programme. Although notoriously low paid, teaching offers great job satisfaction in passing on knowledge to tomorrows leaders.
Doctor and medical professional: Healthcare is another field facing severe challenges, with staff shortages and a lack of incoming talent posing major problems. Demand for skilled professionals, be it doctors, nurses or hospital administrators, is only going to skyrocket in the next few years. Doctors need a minimum of a MBChB (Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery). If becoming a nurse seems more up your alley, you can choose between completing a bachelors degree in nursing and midwifery, a diploma in nursing, a higher certificate: auxiliary nursing or an advanced diploma in midwifery.
Lawyers: Lawyers remain in high demand, making it a career with many opportunities across a variety of fields, depending on what you specialise in. Its also known for being on the higher end of the salary spectrum, which makes it a popular option. You will need to complete an LLB if you want to work as a lawyer. Some characteristics that may help you get ahead in the field are reason, and having critical thinking skills and a questioning mind.
Entrepreneurs: The role of entrepreneurship continues to grow in importance in South Africa as a viable job-creation solution. In the 2016 Global Entrepreneurship Index, South Africa was ranked 52ndout of 132 countries and was the highest-ranked country in sub-Saharan Africa. There are opportunities available for entrepreneurs and, given South Africas high unemployment figures, there is a need for start-ups in the country. Funding is usually the biggest hurdle for entrepreneurs, but if you find a niche and do your research, there are a growing number of sources from which you will be able to secure funding from banks to government initiatives and venture capital.