Crucial educational skills to future-proof your career in 2023

As matriculants wait eagerly for their results, some learners are planning to head to institutions of higher learning to further their studies while others will be forced to find jobs.

With South Africa’s unemployment rate at more than 33% in the third quarter of 2022, the country’s economic challenges make it difficult for many people to secure employment, especially the youth who do not have work experience.

There are many youngsters who have passed their matric and completed their tertiary education but are still battling to get employed.

For the youth who want to pursue their dream careers in 2023 through upskilling themselves, there are new and promising developments in the tech and digital economy that aim to create more job opportunities.

Future-proofing your career means choosing to acquire skills that most employers want in their organisations now and well into the future. Certain digital skills rank highly in this category.

Every industry has been impacted by digitisation and soon there will be no career path that does not require some form of digital skill.

Divesh Sooka, general manager at ALX, a leading technology training provider and a division of the global youth skills company Africa Leadership Group, said the only way to break into a lucrative and promising career in the information, communication and technology (ICT) sector is to learn the skills that are most sought-after by the tech firms leading the digitisation of the global economy.

“Skill areas such as software engineering, data science and analysis, as well as cloud computing are skyrocketing in demand and the faster young people can access high-quality training, the faster they can acquire jobs,” said Sooka.

“Specialised and focused skills that bridge the gap between universities and apprenticeships are critical and desperately needed. For example, ALX’s intense and rigorous courses require no previous experience and focus on practical outcomes rather than just theoretical understanding, giving youth access to world-class courses of Silicon Valley standards.”

Sooka added that acquiring digital skills can create opportunities in a wide variety of industries, providing job opportunities and equipping the youth with essential skills for the future digital workplace while providing a lasting solution to the global technology talent shortage.

He highlighted five tech careers that matriculants and mid-career professionals should consider:

  • Software engineering

Learn to create and manipulate the building blocks that create digital platforms that we use to operate computers, mobile devices and other technology. These skills are the basics of designing and operating software that powers everything from video games and mobile apps to aviation systems and missions to the moon.

  • Data analyst

Data analysis is the processing of information in a way that helps organisations solve complex problems in their systems and operations. Data analysis is one of the most sought-after skills in the global labour market.

  • Data Science

Like data analysis, data science is about the processing of information to solve problems in complex systems such as the running of a business or an organisation. Data science delves into the systems and platforms created to aid in the analysis of data, including the mathematical processes involved in data analysis. These skills enable you with a pipeline to a promising, high-earning career.

  • AWS cloud practitioner

The Amazon Web Services is one of the widest used cloud services in the world. The growing demand for cloud storage and computing services around the world has made this a high-demand area for skilled professionals, especially cloud practitioners. A cloud practitioner is a technician that is well-versed in cloud computing that helps companies use a cloud-computing platform according to its specific needs.

  • Salesforce Administrator

Salesforce administrators solve business problems by defining system requirements and customising the salesforce platform for users of the software. These skills teach you how to make salesforce work best for the specific company that uses it.

Sooka said global industry players in the digital and tech industries are looking to Africa as an emerging hotspot for skilled digital talent.

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