7 skills in demand to get a good job in South Africa 2021

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A lot of people are wondering how life will be like after Covid19. While others are waiting, smart people are already preparing by advancing their skills and knowledge during this time. In this article we list 7 skills in demand that will likely help you get a well paying job.

Taking up courses and developing skills in demand will help you stay competitive and efficient during and post Covid-19.   

It is important to choose skills that are in high demand, skills which will not take you forever to secure a job with good income.

Fortunately, most of these skills are not difficult to acquire or develop. 

Below are 7 skills that we think will help you become competitive even after Covid19:

1. Artificial Intelligences

skills in demand artificial intelligence jobs

Technological knowledge is an in-demand skill in every sector in corporate and academia. Technology such as Artificial Intelligence is estimated to take over many professions 10 years from now.

This estimation is accelerating because of the Covid19 pandemic. Companies are fast-tracking to digitization and automation due to the pandemic. This is fast increasing the demand for Artificial Intelligence expertise.   

Companies are vying for AI programmers that can buildup machinery capable of replacing in-person business to allow businesses to stay lucrative.

An AI programmer earns an average of R504K a year. With AI you can venture into several tech careers also such as software engineering and data sciences. Thus, taking up Artificial Intelligence as a skill would be smart.    

2. Data Science

According to LinkedIn, Data Science is the top emerging job in 2020. This is because Organisations are looking for people who can create value out of organisation data.

Data science helps organisations accelerate decision making and increases the accuracy of the Data.  

Data science skills are currently in demand in industries such as education, finance, health, software and others.

Hence a huge unfilled space for data scientist skills. The average income of a Data Scientist is around R726k a year and is still increasing.  

3. Multiple Programming languages

Professions needing coding languages are plenty. Programming has 35% growth in hiring since 2015.  This is true even now when the pandemic is causing job losses to a lot of people.

 Companies’ digitization and automation are increasing the need for these skills. Programming languages are HTML and CSS which are at a beginner’s level.

Python is the fastest-growing language in programming. JavaScript is the most commonly used and Go which is in demand but only a few developers are familiar with it.  

There are several programming languages though the ones above are some of the most used.

Scala, Ruby, Typescript and Kotlin are the least used programming languages and are at a low supply though in demand. A software developer with skills in programming has an average salary of around R400- 580k per annum.  

4. Digital Marketing

With most companies digitizing, having some digital marketing skills is indispensable. And the demand for digital marketing skills keeps on increasing year after year.

Digital marketing skills such as Social Media Marketing, Search Engine Optimization, Content Marketing, Analytics and others have become essential skills for every almost industry

Social Media Marketing is beyond just posting a post or tweet, it is the understanding of the relationship between brands and consumers.

With this skill, one needs to generate traffic to the business website through Social Media channels.

Similarly, Content Marketing does not only involve writing, it involves blog posts, videos, podcasts, infographics, even social media status updates.

This promotes brand awareness by making the consumer understand the product or services.

You should be able to master at least most of these skills if you want to venture into a digital marketing career.  

Digital Marketing is a growing in-demand profession. A Digital marketer’s average income is R350k in a year.  

5. Cloud Computing

Most companies are switching from the normal server infrastructure to cloud services. This saves them from investing and maintaining the costly classical infrastructure. Without doubt a cloud computing is one of the key skills in demand in South Africa .

Garner Inc has estimated that the worldwide public cloud services market is to grow by 17% from 2019 227.8 billion dollars.

 This goes on to show the vast opportunities in this industry.

 There are several cloud computing platforms such as Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform, IBM bluemix and others.

 Amazon Web Services ranks as the best cloud computing platform offering over 50 services such as content delivery, database storage and networking. 

Cloud computing experts who are certified in AWS earn more than their counterparts who are non-certified.

 AWS is one of the most paying certifications. A specialist with skills in AWS earns an average of R 466k per annum. 

It is moreover a good way to advance in your career when the Covid19 chaos settles. Most especially if you are an IT specialist because AWS certification will make you stand out in your ventures.  

6. Cybersecurity

According to a study done on cybersecurity, companies in need of cybersecurity engineers has increased by 132%. 

This field of profession is fortunately for job seekers, in a high shortage of expertise. High demand for cybersecurity expertise is caused by the increasing magnitude of data breaches by hackers.

Some famously hacked companies are Sony, Adobe Canva and Ebay.  

Such situations show the great need for companies to have security engineers who will help them secure their data now and even after the pandemic.

This is most true for companies dealing with sensitive information such as customers personal information. This has therefore resulted in Cybersecurity skills becoming a top 10 high demand skill of 2020.

According to LinkedIn cybersecurity specialists earn good money. The average income of a cybersecurity specialist comes at around R 641 891 per year.  

7. Mobile Application Development

They are around 20 – 22 million smartphone users in South Africa. This is quite a huge market for businesses who not only want customers on their business websites but on their apps as well. 

Thus, if you are going to be among the individuals who have the skill of developing mobile apps you are at a huge advantage.  

With mobile development skills, you can build apps for yourself such as games creating more income channels.

Being familiarized to web development languages such as HTML5 and CSS will be of great use in navigating through career opportunities in this field post Covid19. 


There a lot of tech skills you can choose to adopt today that will make you a competitive candidate. Adopting skills will also make you remain employable in these uncertain times.

We have just mentioned the few top skills in demand now and post Covid19 since all of them are skills companies are in of need as they evolve their business systems to automation and digitization.

The one important decision you have to make will be, which of these skills will you adopt in preparing for a brighter future post Covid19? 


Nonhlanhla Dlodlo is a senior news report at Rateweb. Nonhlanhla is a student of International Relations at the University of South Africa. She reports primarily on personal finance and economics. You can contact her directly by email at

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