Covid-19 has accelerated the digitization of 4IR, bringing with it an increased demand for tech related jobs and the emergence of new jobs resulting from pandemic induced changes in our lives and the workplace. This has resulted in a double disruption scenario for workers who have to deal with the combined impact of these new demands.
LinkedIn Weighs in on Most in-demand jobs
According to LinkedIn, tech roles continue to be in high demand to meet the workplace digital transformation catalysed by the health crisis. This has seen a rise in demand for web development and engineering roles related as businesses develop further infrastructure to accommodate remote working, while meeting the increased demand of online shopping.
With vaccine distribution, LinkedIn data has seen a significant spike in the need for pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and nurses
Most in-demand jobs in SA
Locally, according to the latest CareerJunction Index, South Africa mirrors the LinkedIn job trends. This has seen a similar uptake in the demand for medical and health professionals, sales, marketing, architecture and engineering over the first few months of this year.
Significant online demand indicates positive employment trends. The IT, business & management and finance sectors are undoubtedly the most sought-after sectors, followed by the sales, admin, office & support and architecture & engineering sectors, among others listed.
Tertiary institution work recruitment programmes
McKinsey reports that consumers have moved dramatically toward online channels, and companies and industries have responded in turn with a rapid shift toward interacting with customers through digital channels. This is translating into a demand for skills including tech, IT, web development graphic design, cyber security and more.
Despite the slowdown in demand and the record unemployment, there are certain industries which are showing an uptick in demand, with graduates benefitting as a result.
The Work-integrated Learning (WIL) Programme at Boston Media House is part of the work recruitment programme. WIL is a practical experiential learning programme, where final year students complete 80 working hours as part of their qualification. In turn this prepares graduates for the workplace.
The work recruitment programme has seen demand growing for final years and graduates for paid internships, providing insight into the current jobs in demand. The main areas are (overwhelmingly) in television, then digital/social media marketing, followed by advertising, and graphic design. In animation, the demand outweighs supply of available skills.
The demand has 7 companies this year wanting Boston final year students for paid WIL internships, some wanting as many as 10 and 25 students from different courses.
Future of work
Digital adoption has taken a quantum leap of up to 5 years, transforming the jobs which are in demand.
While the automation of the 4IR is set to create a global job loss of as many as 85 million jobs, this will be counteracted by the creation of 97 million new jobs, according to the World Economic Forum.
CareerJunction has seen a lower demand in jobs than 12 months ago indicating the impact of COVID19 related restrictions on the local labour market. According to Stats SA, the latest unemployment number for the fourth quarter of 2020 show that the unemployment rate has reached 32.5% – the highest since the start of the Quarterly Labour Force Survey in 2008.
However, the adoption and growth of the digital environment means that new roles are developing throughout the world, which in turn means investing in both our students and employees to prevent their redundancy as a result of digital migration of businesses.
As institutions responsible for supplying talent to meet the demands of the workplace, tertiary recruitment programmes can play a significant role in transforming the employment crisis by bridging digital gaps, boosting the economy and helping to facilitate employment opportunities to reduce the escalation of South Africa’s current unemployment dilemma.
Peter Hacker, International Masters student, and Educator at Boston City Campus has a lot of experience in dealing with students in Higher education, combined with lessons from his own education journey! Here he gives some solid advice to students in school and in varsity, trying to get through a scary workload, exams and to combat stress.
What are the three important qualities students and graduates must have?
Perseverance: Perseverance -because the road ahead will never smooth, every person will experience some form of bumps or hiccups. These do not define who you are. However, the manner in which you overcame these challenges will define who you are.
Motivation / Passion: Successful students and graduates need to be motivated and invested in their qualifications of choice. Some people get “bored” after a certain amount of time spent on a specific subject/profession. When you get “bored,” you inevitably lose interest, which will lead to lower levels of performance and confidence. Therefore, be intrigued and show a willingness to learn, which will motivate your drive to advance.
No fear of failure: Failure is something we all hate to experience, as some believe that failure defines who we are. This is untrue. Even the largest corporations in the world experience some sort of failure daily. However, this does not slow down their progress. They learn from their mistakes and amend their strategies for the future. The same concept applies to successful graduates. When you fail, don’t think, “I can’t do it,”. Rather learn where you went wrong, and build on your experience.
Advice to Grade 11’s and Grade 12’s who have had battled a year of schooling in a pandemic?
You are about to complete a phase in your educational pursuit. Do not relent. Pursue a higher or further qualification. Strive to gain admission into College to do a degree of your choice. If you do not meet the entry requirements, find out what you need to do to achieve them. Success comes to those who work hard and push through the challenges.
Ask yourself, “Who am I to be, whom am I becoming, who do I want to be?”. This current point in time is YOUR moment to figure out this question. As a grade 11 or 12 learner, test yourself against the environments that you are going up against. Do it with passion, and you will find your calling. Invest some time and complete the online Career Compass, an interest assessment tool provided free by Boston, that will tell you which industry you are most suited to. Boston training advisors will help you take that further by advising on the next best step suited to both you, your financial situation, and the entry requirements of the qualification. Boston has shown that success in a qualification soars when you match it appropriately to a person’s interests.
You have overcome challenges – what were they and what did you learn from them that can help others? I have had two tough challenges in my life, which most students can relate to.
The first was the financial standing of myself and my parents. We did not have the financial luxury to support my life choices. However, they gave me life and love. I completed a tough Gap year overseas that helped me save money. I returned home and registered for a Diploma in Business Management at Boston.
The second was crippling anxiety. I learned to acknowledge that what I was experiencing was normal, and did not define who I am. It was a challenge that helped grow my mental capacity, and it was temporary. I overcame this challenge by using what worked best FOR ME, which was to achieve personal growth and success. One of the steps that I took was visualizing my future success. This helped me find hope and uplifted my emotional state.
My career goals are defined in my approach to life: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-based (SMART). That being said, I would say that my final career goal would be to change people’s lives. Change your life and register at Boston today.
– Keep your (1) sanity and (2) manage your happiness –
There are several things we cannot control about lockdown and Covid-19 – not knowing how long it will last can feel unnerving – but we can manage some parts of the day, and we must focus on these matters and not the things we can’t control. Reflecting on what we have control over is essential says Educational Psychologist Jacques Viljoen from Boston City Campus.
This situation is one of extreme uncertainty. We don’t know what will happen, how long it will last, or what things will be like when it’s over. One aspect we do know, however, is that worrying about it won’t change the outcome. Learning how to tolerate uncertainty is a massive part of building healthy coping skills for ourselves
(1) Tips to keep your sanity
Margie Warrell, an internationally acclaimed keynote speaker & bestselling author, commented that our current battle should be human vs virus, and not human vs human; thus we embrace the words of Nelson Mandela that “education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
TAKE COGNISANCE OF YOUR CURRENT BEING
At the moment, we may be experiencing several different griefs. We’re grieving our loss of independence and individual spontaneity as more of our preferred restaurants and businesses close down, and we’re bound to stay at home. We are losing our comforting habits, and many of us are feeling alone and detached. It’s the loss of our everyday world that’s abruptly gone. It’s the loss of human contact. We’re also feeling anticipatory grief – that feeling we get about our uncertainty of what the future holds. There’s something terrible out there. Usually, it centres on death. How can we deal with our collective grief, and learn to live with uncertainty? Anticipatory grief is when our thoughts construct a future outcome that imagines the worst. In an effort to calm yourself, you need to come into the present.
Although the stages of grief aren’t linear and may not necessarily happen in a particular order, understanding the stages of grief could provide some scaffolding for this unknown world.
There’s denial, which we see a lot of, and common responses are: This virus won’t attack us; the infection affects only overseas countries. Thus people carry on partying the night away while lockdown was already enforced, others show disregard for lockdown measures and going on with business as usual. Sometimes there’s anger, and common responses are: you’re making me stay home and thus taking away my movements/ my employment/ my socialising. Street vendors are not able to carry on with their life-supporting businesses; we hear of arguments at home, we see differences in social media and critical comments toward people, groups, and government. This could generally be associated with sadness: I don’t know when this will end. Then there’s bargaining – Okay, if I confine to my home for three weeks everything will be sorted, right? Some people even find them turning to religion. And finally, hopefully, there’s acceptance. Typical responses like “This is actually happening; I have to figure out how to continue. Acceptance, as you might have guessed, is where the power lies. We find control in acceptance, i.e. “I can wash my hands. I can keep a safe distance. I can learn how to work virtually” etc.
Know how to safeguard yourself and others from COVID-19 and comply with the guidelines for social distancing.
Choose particular times of the day when you will get news updates, and ensure they are from reliable and trustworthy sources – avoid overexposure. Too much information can intensify stress. Reach for the facts, even the tough ones, because tension intensifies and fantasies thrive in the absence of knowledge. Try to keep matters in perspective – attempt to view this as a new and unprecedented period that might also have some gains.
ENCOURAGE HEALTHY HABITS AND ROUTINE
Get enough sleep, eat healthy foods and exercise frequently. Keeping a regular sleep schedule, with anticipated times to wake up and go to bed, is particularly crucial to maintaining a positive mood and fulfilling expectations, personal, work-related, or academically. Regular routines bring relief and stability. Keep your usual day-to-day actions and habits as much as possible – tell yourself that life is remaining, and ground yourself by creating agendas and setting goals.
Give priority to things you enjoy and even things you have meant to do but haven’t had enough time. Healing interventions, conversations, exercise, yoga, meditation and spiritual habits are good starting points, but also recognise the therapeutic impacts of art, handicrafts, music, journaling, reading, hobbies, and being helpful to others.
Make a deliberate shift to focus on the activities you are still able to do or those that you may have more opportunity to do if you’re at home more often. Focus on the actions that are in our control, like furthering your studies. Don’t procrastinate on expecting the worst. “While we can’t drive fear off with a big stick, we can learn ways to calm ourselves down and find a little peace of mind. Action is powerful, even if we start with just one thing.” Simran Sethi, NY Times.
Try to see this time as novel and distinct, not necessarily bad, even if it something you didn’t necessarily choose.
In a situation that’s uncertain, it’s natural to have many ‘what if?’ questions in our thoughts. When we lack knowledge, our troubled mind will usually fill in the gaps with worst-case situations, which can leave us feeling confused, weak, or vulnerable. Here are some questions you can ask yourself to move your thought process from catastrophe to one that is more effective:
What are the elements within my power?
Am I exaggerating the probability of the worst-case scenario?
What approaches have aided me to cope with challenging circumstances in the past that could help me now?
What is a small practical step that I can take now?
Acknowledge your red flags – Emotions need motion. When you are able to name it, you are able to feel it, and it moves through you. We must acknowledge what we go through. One way to manage moments of distress is to identify critical thoughts or physical sensations that tend to contribute to our cycle of suffering and feelings of being overwhelmed. Our thoughts (“Why can’t I concentrate?”), emotions (frustration, worry, sadness), physical sensations (tension, upset stomach, jitters) and actions (such as compulsively checking the latest COVID statistics) each feed into and increase these negative emotional feelings.
One can expect possible difficulty in concentrating, low motivation and a state of distraction. Adaptation will take time. Go easy on yourself. As we plunge into this new swing of remote work and isolation, we need to be practical in the goals we set, both for ourselves and others.
(2) TIPS TO manage your happiness
At times like these, we must avoid shaming, blaming, stereotyping, and isolating others, which only serves to worsen the current situation. After all, when fear runs high, the need for strength and courage runs higher.
If history has shown us anything, it’s that the worst of times can bring out the best in people — separately and collectively — drawingus to reflect broader and moving forward with wisdom. Let’s concentrate on doing just that.
Invest in virtual Connections
It’s essential to stay in virtual contact with family, friends, neighbours and other resources, your adult children, and anyone who matters to you. Use text messaging, virtual meetings, video-chat, email and telephone. Spending virtual time with supportive family and friends can bring a sense of comfort and stability as it tends to provoke a sense of calm rather than turmoil.
Visible distancing does not need to involve social detachment. We’re all in this together, and we will get through it together. You could share fast and simple dinner recipes; you could begin a virtual book or movie club; propose a workout over video chat; join an online group or peer forum, or enrol for an online course. People need to hear your voice — and vice versa. Show your friends, family, or vulnerable people in the community that you care. This may be more critical during times like these as it encourages a sense of hope, purpose, and worth. Talking through your concerns, thoughts, and feelings with others can also help you find helpful ways of dealing with or reasoning about a stressful situation. In the words of our President, Mr Ramaphosa – we need “to be courageous, patient, and above all, show compassion. Let us never despair. For we are a nation at one, and we will surely prevail. May God protect her people”.
CARE FOR YOURSELF
Practice self-compassion – This moment calls us to care for others and to be gentle with ourselves. Don’t be too harsh on yourself when you can’t close yourself off from your own fear and pain or that of the world. Fear isn’t fun, but it signals that we are fully human. Anxiety can be useful when it indicates a problem and motivates us to unite to solve it. If we make a deliberate effort to hold on to our humanity, it can bring us together.
Mindfulness techniques can be much useful in this kind of circumstances, where our routines are interrupted, and we may feel overcome by frustration and distress – acknowledge your feelings and mindfulness. We say to ourselves: ‘This is awful, and I’m going to be troubled about it, and I’m going to be annoyed about it, and I’m going to feel nervous,’ or what it is. This then enables us to move on and respond, ‘Okay, so now what necessitates to be done?’
Be fair to yourself and others – giving to others in times of need not only helps the receiver, but it enhances your wellbeing too.
Try the below support content that could benefit your mental and emotional wellness during this time.