The South African job market has become extremely competitive, making it hard for job seekers to secure work.

Finding a job has become increasingly difficult in this country, this is echoed by the unemployment rate which is at an all time high with 34.4 percent of South Africans remaining unemployed.

The good news is that further education options have expanded dramatically over the past year in response to changed demands in the workplace.

Employers now are heavily focused on hiring candidates with specific Information Technology-related skill sets, and many of these skill sets can be developed in a relatively short period of time, even without a previous IT background.

Elbie Liebenberg the MD at the private education provider MindSharp said more people are re-evaluating their skills in order to be more employable.

“Many people are currently evaluating their careers, realising that they need to invest in the development of their skills to ensure their continued employability,” said Liebenberg.

Doing this does not have to be complicated either, those who seek to build on their existing skills in the new year do not need to make radical changes in their life to be able to do so.

There are plenty of options available online for people who want to learn new skills in a short period of time.

“Regardless of the current field in which you find yourself, there are a host of new programmes in which you can enrol to build on and expand your professional portfolio, which will increase your desirability in the job marketplace and ensure you can move up the proverbial career ladder,” said Liebenberg.

“So whether you are in education, business, the media, finance, or any other field, one or more IT short courses will vastly increase your ability to fulfil a diverse number of roles or enable you to start a whole new career entirely, and will therefore increase your future options and ability to diversify or move to a more sustainable role within your organisation,” she added.

Here are some courses she suggests:

Web developer

In 2020, more businesses and companies went online and remote than any time in human history. Brick and mortar stores became online shops; boardroom meetings became online syncs; and even things as simple as buying groceries increasingly moved online. Behind all of this digital activity are full stack web developers.

Photo by Arnold Francisca on Unsplash

These tech professionals keep us connected and working in a world that relies on information communication technologies to run, and will remain in high demand long into the future.

Courses to consider: HTML & CSS, JavaScript, HTML5 Application Development

Data Security Specialist

As data becomes the world’s most valuable resource, the demand for data security is ever increasing. Qualifying as a data security specialist will enable you to understand the tools, techniques and knowledge required to also start thinking like a data scientist, a skill every modern-day working professional should have.

Within companies, Chief Information Officers are crucial to help guide the direction of a company, based on insight into the meaning of available data.

Courses to consider: Python, Data Security Management, Databases

Software engineer

Software engineering is a creative career that allows you to work with software, hardware, and other computer systems in a wide variety of industries and jobs.

This career places you at the heart of the digital economy, with endless scope for growth. Each industry requires its software engineers to translate their insight of the industry into the software engineering space of that industry, so this is a great field in which you can apply prior knowledge to a new role.

Courses to consider: Java, Python, HTML5 Application Development

Web designer

A web designer is an IT professional who uses various computer software applications and programming languages to create and maintain web content.

This usually involves designing the layout, visual appearance and usability of a website to ensure the user has a pleasant browsing experience. Becoming a web designer will allow you to apply your existing knowledge of your field and market in a creative and stimulating new way.

Courses to consider: HTML & CSS, JavaScript, Adobe Illustrator CC 2020

Photo by iyus sugiharto on Unsplash

Graphic designer

Graphic designers use their creativity to create visual concepts that communicate certain ideas and messages. These visual concepts are created by hand or by using computer software, and include a variety of media. This takes the form of both physical and virtual art forms, and includes elements such as words, graphics, and images.

Courses to consider: Adobe Photoshop CC 2020, Adobe InDesign CC 2020, Adobe Illustrator CC 2020.