About a quarter of SA’s new matriculants won’t find jobs this year. Those who don’t study further are in for an especially tough time - they’re competing for limited employment with a million people who lost their jobs in 2009.
But hard workers who earn further qualifications don’t necessarily have to be pessimistic. According to an international Manpower Employment Outlook Survey, SA is among 18 countries with the best prospects for new appointments - 13 per cent more employers want to hire than want to retrench in the first quarter. And experts seem to agree that people with post-matric skills, the right attitude and perseverance will find it easier to get work.
“You need to be more proactive than ever and empower yourself. There’s a growing shortage of people with skills,” Lawrence Wordon of Kelly recruitment group says.
Maths- and science-related jobs offer some of the best opportunities, and there are opportunities for those with a head for business and good organisers.
“Shortages in any field with maths and science as cornerstones will continue to increase. Students must make a paradigm shift. Women students must consider formerly male domains such as engineering,” Wordon says.
Work in information and services is becoming more important and careers such as project management will be sought after too. Tourism is also a promising industry, human resources development researcher Dr André Kraak says. Climatology and energy-related careers could become top options later.
Not many students are interested in core careers in the public sector such as teaching, nursing and policing, he says, but shortages haven’t disappeared because of the recession and this sector offers some of the best opportunities. Young people should jump at internships and Dr Kraak advises they “first be a foot soldier - it’s a way to learn your skill”.
YOU’s list of SA’s top 10 careers: computer software engineer; multimedia artist; meteorologist-climatologist; biomedical engineer; actuary; project manager; city planner; civil engineer; tourism manager and teacher.
Get the latest issue of YOU for more about these career options.