List of Scarce Skills in South Africa (2019)


A scarce skill may be defined as a qualification or job in which there are very few people available to do it. There are dozens of scarce skills in South Africa which have largely been ignored, resulting in high unemployment rates. The positive side to this problem is that you will be able to find a job more easily with a decent salary that should increase as you progress to the top of your career.

List of Scarce Skills in South Africa

Here’s a list of scarce skills in South Africa you should consider studying for.

list of scarce skills in south africa

Health-related skills

The health sector currently has few hands compared to the workload it handles, requiring a large number of health workers to be able to function efficiently. Visit a government hospital close to you and you will see that the wards are congested but there only few personnel attending to the patients.

Careers within the sector include clinical nurse, registered nurse, nursing educator, nurse researcher, medical doctor, hospital pharmacist, medical scientists, different types of specialists and many more.

Web development

The world is going the digital way and businesses as well as organization are at the fore front of the ongoing transition. Companies today need a website through which they can establish their online presence and engage their customers but many are yet to own one.

A web developer can take advantage of this need and likewise, copywriters, content writers and so on to make sure the site is fully functional. Web development is an evergreen niche that enjoys continuous demand all year round.

Software development

As part of the increasing digitization, many companies are also embracing the use of software to make their business operations easier, faster and smoother. The software must also be innovative and user-friendly to generate a buzz so businesses can be competitive. There’s a huge demand for software developers and those who acquire this IT-related skill are often easily hired.

Network and information security

Data breach and theft is a major concern for businesses today as cyber crimes have doubled over the last decade and also become increasingly advanced. Many reputable companies like Facebook have been victims of data breach and theft, a situation which has seen many businesses invest in data protection. Herein lays another scarce skill as there’s a vast inadequacy of network and information security experts.

Management skills

Management skills have always been in high demand in South Africa and it’s unlikely that it would change any time soon. Many companies are looking to hire competent managers that can steer them in the path of efficiency, productivity and profitability. Starting a career with the goal of working your way up the corporate ladder and securing a managerial position should give you some bright future prospects.


Most businesses exist because they make sales and any slight change in their sales record can be immediately felt. As many companies are witnessing an increasing rise in the number of competitors, many are giving priority to their sales staff in terms of recruitment, training and motivation. Consider acquiring selling skills or becoming a marketing manager as these are in high demand.

Financial skills

Financial skills refers to everything that’s pertains to maintaining financial records and using them for analysis. Examples of financial skills include: accounting, auditing, financial management and investment analysis. These skills should be around for a long time despite fears that some jobs may be automated due to the advancement in technology. Companies and corporate organizations will always require these skills to maintain a healthy financial life.

Quantity surveying

As many construction projects are being initiated by both the government and the private sector, there’s a need for the service of quantity surveyors who prepare contracts including details of the quantities of required materials – from initial estimates too the final acquisition of the materials. This helps to prevent unnecessary shortages as well as wastages. Quantity surveying skills are in huge demand today and will likely continue to remain high for many years to come.


Many people study to treat and provide care for sick patients but not so many consider treating and providing medical care to animals; hence, the huge demand for vets. Many people will gladly pay huge sums for their pets like dogs and cats to keep them healthy while others require their services because they’re into animal husbandry. Either ways, a career in veterinary holds a solid future for whoever acquires the skills.


Engineering is a vast discipline that includes a range of divisions like civil engineering, chemical engineering, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering and so on. Since the goal of engineering is to provide solutions to the problems of the society, competent engineers will enjoy increasing demand for their skills. Although South African universities churn out many engineering students every year, many choose to work in other countries, creating skills gap in this sector which you can fill.

Education and training professionals

The education sector is one of the South African sectors with an ever-increasing demand for teachers as the number of people enrolling in school is also increasing. Many undergraduates seldom plan to be teachers, which is why skills shortages are rife. In essence, there are is a demand for teachers for various subjects like accounting, agriculture, business studies, computer studies, biology and so on.

Building architects

The continuous building of structures all across South Africa is proof that this skill is in huge demand, and the demand is likely to increase as many people in rental properties are looking to build their own. The services of an architect include providing a design for the house and overseeing the construction to make sure it is line with the plan. Start preparing for a career in building architecture which is less crowded compared to other fields.


Ever wanted to hire an artisan but found it difficult to do so? It’s simply because people who engage in these crafts are not enough to meet the demand. Examples crafts that can be learned include boiler maker, fitter and turner, carpenter, welder, plumber, toolmaker, diesel mechanic, electronic instrument trades worker, air-conditioning and mechanical services plumber, automotive motor mechanic, pressure welder etc.

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