Covid-19 has accelerated the digitization of 4IR, bringing with it an increased demand for tech related jobs and the emergence of new jobs resulting from pandemic induced changes in our lives and the workplace. This has resulted in a double disruption scenario for workers who have to deal with the combined impact of these new demands.
LinkedIn Weighs in on Most in-demand jobs
According to LinkedIn, tech roles continue to be in high demand to meet the workplace digital transformation catalysed by the health crisis. This has seen a rise in demand for web development and engineering roles related as businesses develop further infrastructure to accommodate remote working, while meeting the increased demand of online shopping.
With vaccine distribution, LinkedIn data has seen a significant spike in the need for pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and nurses
Most in-demand jobs in SA
Locally, according to the latest CareerJunction Index, South Africa mirrors the LinkedIn job trends. This has seen a similar uptake in the demand for medical and health professionals, sales, marketing, architecture and engineering over the first few months of this year.
Significant online demand indicates positive employment trends. The IT, business & management and finance sectors are undoubtedly the most sought-after sectors, followed by the sales, admin, office & support and architecture & engineering sectors, among others listed.
Tertiary institution work recruitment programmes
McKinsey reports that consumers have moved dramatically toward online channels, and companies and industries have responded in turn with a rapid shift toward interacting with customers through digital channels. This is translating into a demand for skills including tech, IT, web development graphic design, cyber security and more.
Despite the slowdown in demand and the record unemployment, there are certain industries which are showing an uptick in demand, with graduates benefitting as a result.
The Work-integrated Learning (WIL) Programme at Boston Media House is part of the work recruitment programme. WIL is a practical experiential learning programme, where final year students complete 80 working hours as part of their qualification. In turn this prepares graduates for the workplace.
The work recruitment programme has seen demand growing for final years and graduates for paid internships, providing insight into the current jobs in demand. The main areas are (overwhelmingly) in television, then digital/social media marketing, followed by advertising, and graphic design. In animation, the demand outweighs supply of available skills.
The demand has 7 companies this year wanting Boston final year students for paid WIL internships, some wanting as many as 10 and 25 students from different courses.
Future of work
Digital adoption has taken a quantum leap of up to 5 years, transforming the jobs which are in demand.
While the automation of the 4IR is set to create a global job loss of as many as 85 million jobs, this will be counteracted by the creation of 97 million new jobs, according to the World Economic Forum.
CareerJunction has seen a lower demand in jobs than 12 months ago indicating the impact of COVID19 related restrictions on the local labour market. According to Stats SA, the latest unemployment number for the fourth quarter of 2020 show that the unemployment rate has reached 32.5% – the highest since the start of the Quarterly Labour Force Survey in 2008.
However, the adoption and growth of the digital environment means that new roles are developing throughout the world, which in turn means investing in both our students and employees to prevent their redundancy as a result of digital migration of businesses.
As institutions responsible for supplying talent to meet the demands of the workplace, tertiary recruitment programmes can play a significant role in transforming the employment crisis by bridging digital gaps, boosting the economy and helping to facilitate employment opportunities to reduce the escalation of South Africa’s current unemployment dilemma.