Best career choices for educated young South Africans


With a college diploma or university degree, you are more likely to find a job – plus you are much more likely to earn a higher-than-average income.

As the world replaces humans with machines at work, the number of jobs is shrinking rapidly. And this trend is only set to continue in South Africa as strikes and high labour costs.. companies into speeding up their automation plans. That’s the stark warning from economists.

Your children are going to find it even harder to find employment and secure a good income. This is because the whole world is moving in the direction of relying on technology, not people.

Many jobs have disappeared and the scary truth is that many more will vanish.

There are far more people than roles available for work that’s classified as unskilled and semi-skilled. This is making it tough for workers in the mining sector and other industries to bargain for decent wages.

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If you don’t want to struggle to get a job and you don’t want to settle for a life of modest means, you need to get the best education you can – and aim for the most skilled positions. This is work that only a few people can do.

Many of these employment opportunities are in fields that require professionals with good mathematical abilities and in-depth scientific knowledge. Statistics compiled by Adzuna, a South African job search provider, show that subjects in high demand are mainly in the fields of economics, medicine and engineering.

You can expect a monthly salary of more than R30 000 if you pick a degree in one of these disciplines. The amount you earn will depend on experience.

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However, don’t feel disheartened if you do not have the grades for acceptance to a university programme. Other tertiary education can pave the way for a successful career and decent income. As Adzuna’s figures indicate, you can also earn a healthy salary if you qualify as an electrician or financial adviser.

A Payscale.com survey of thousands of jobs shows that salary packages are excellent for people with specialised qualifications. Accountants, software developers and business analysts can expect to earn between R130 000 and R500 000 each year. If you progress to financial manager, your annual salary could receive a boost to about R700 000.

Statistics SA figures reveal that people with tertiary education earn three times more than friends who have looked for work immediately after finishing school. The unemployment rate is lowest among people who have gone on to further studies.

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It may be too late for you to upgrade your qualifications. But it isn’t too late for your children to completehigher education, laying the foundation for a comfortable lifestyle free of money worries.

You may believe that it is not possible for you to pay for your children to attend university or college. However, if you are a home owner, you can come up with the cash for higher education if you manage your property investment wisely.

RBA Homes specialises in educating property owners on how to harness the power of their biggest investment for important needs, like tertiary qualifications.

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