Transferable Skills that Employers will Always Need

Jessamy Amic

Posted: September 18, 2023

Table of Contents

In today’s blog, we look at the industries actively recruiting, and that would be a good bet for those who are looking to improve their employability. Plus, we look at the learning opportunities to enter these careers and the timeless, transferable skills that are in demand to excel at any of them.

Unemployment, especially among the youth, remains one of South Africa’s biggest challenges. But things may be improving, even if at a very slow rate. The June 2023 report from job portal CareerJunction showed an encouraging 10% increase in hiring nationwide.

The most in-demand jobs and skills

CareerJunction’s report shows the most in-demand jobs in South Africa over the first six months of this year were in business and management, finance and information technology (IT), admin, office and support, and sales.

When considering the timeless, transferable skills that are relevant across these industries, two stand out: leadership and management. These skills are often thought to be the same but are, in fact, quite different. Each sector also requires a unique set of additional soft skills that, if you have them or hone them, will enable you to transition from one industry to another.

For example, if you have a background in business development and you find a project manager position you’d like to pursue, you can rely on your transferable skills to secure the position. As a business development manager, you likely spent time planning, developing timelines and processes, and organising a team to reach your goals. Those are transferable skills that can help you land a new job.

How to acquire skills for the most in-demand jobs

Next, we take a look at the most in-demand industries, their current growth, and the jobs within these that people are hiring for. If you work in any of these industries and are thinking of making a career change into one of the others, a switch could be really easy to make.

However, it will mean two things: taking a relevant course to gain technical/hard skills for your new target career and ensuring you have the right transferable skills that would allow you to succeed.

TIP: If you don’t have all the required soft skills, MasterStart offers an online short course in Power Skills Essentials where you’ll learn timeless skills that are applicable across industries.


Building & Construction (+22%)

  • Building Project Management

Hard skills: Operations Management, Project Management

Soft skills: Communication, conflict management, teamwork, leadership, problem-solving, time management, decision-making


Business & Management  (+17%)

  • Middle / Department Management
  • Senior Management
  • Team Leader & Supervisor
  • Business Development 
  • Executive Management / Director

Hard skills: Business and Management Development, Strategic Leadership, Business Management, Leading with Impact

Soft skills: Team building, emotional intelligence, adaptability, critical thinking, negotiation, communication


Finance (+15%)

  • Financial / Project Accounting
  • Bookkeeping
  • Accounts Payable / Receivable
  • Purchasing & Procurement
  • Cost & Management Accounting

Hard skills: Financial Analysis for Investment, Fintech: An Opportunity to Disrupt, Finance for Non-Financial Managers

Soft skills: Analytical and critical thinking, presentation, communication, teamwork, problem-solving, organisation


Information Technology (IT)  (+14%)

  • Software Development
  • System / Network Administration
  • Data Analysis / Data Warehousing
  • Business Analysis

Hard skills: Fundamentals of Business and Systems Analysis, Data Analysis and Visualisation, Digital Transformation: A Practical Strategy; AI: A Practical Approach

Soft skills: Organisation, analytical thinking, creativity, resourcefulness, attention to detail, adaptability, problem-solving and critical thinking


Admin, Office & Support (+8%)

  • Admin Clerk
  • Human Resources
  • Client / Customer Support

Hard skills: Human Resource Skills for People Management, Diversity and Inclusion, Power Skills Essentials, Business Writing

Soft skills: Teamwork, communication, organisation, active listening, emotional intelligence, flexibility


Sales (+7%)

  • Representative / Sales Consulting
  • Account Management

Hard skills: Digital Sales Management, Digital Marketing, Negotiation Skills

Soft skills: Relationship building, emotional intelligence, negotiation, communication, multitasking, strategic thinking, adaptability


Upskill with MasterStart

Transferable skills are in demand, and having them means your future employer doesn’t have to worry about helping you develop them. Applying your existing transferable skills to new challenges demonstrates to employers that you’re versatile and adaptable – which are also transferable skills!

Browse the individual courses relevant to each industry to find out more about what you’ll learn and how. And if you have any questions, contact us, and we’ll get back to you straight away.

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