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Hottest future jobs in demand 2020 in South Africa

BY: Brigitte Schwartz|28 January 2019
BLOG| My future career

The world of work is changing rapidly and a lot of the ‘go-to’ careers – financial advisors, travel agents, accountants – are increasingly being handed over to robots or being radically changed through machine learning. As a result, deciding what to study and what career path to take is vitally important for school leavers and people starting their professional journeys.

Here are some of the top careers right now, which seem set to have longevity in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. We also suggest some Stellenbosch Graduate Institute courses to take, which could help you land one of these influential careers. If you prefer, watch the YouTube version of this blog called "five jobs that will be in global demand in 2020".


In a recent Business Insider article, Debbie Goodman-Bhyat, founder and CEO of executive search agency Jack Hammer, calls innovation officers a seriously sought-after job title right now. This is not surprising. Given the pace of change, companies need to flexibility adapt in order to remain competitive. Thus, an innovation officer – someone adept at managing change – is inevitably going to be in demand.

Innovation officers are constantly scanning the world outside their organisation – and within it – to identify what can be changed to keep the organisation nimble and robust.

What skills do you need?

Innovation officers need to have a very deep understanding of their organisation, industry, and customers, as well as economic and societal factors. Goodman-Bhyat says, “They need to ask questions such as ‘is this a good proposition’, ‘does it fit with our ultimate business goals’, ‘is it worth the investment’ and ‘is it going to radically improve our bottom line’? This person isn’t just a thinker; he or she is an operational expert who knows how to see an idea through or pulls the plug when necessary.”

What SGI courses should you study?


The agile methodology is an approach to project management which is geared towards continuous improvement in an organisation. This method is growing in popularity, particularly among ecommerce and digital companies that need to implement change on a continuous basis as part of their core business. An agile coach oversees the integration of agility.

What skills do you need?

The role of agile coach is designed to help guide the people in an organisation through the methodology. According to Goodman-Bhyat, they act as a management consultant, trainer, project manager and even a bit of a therapist.

What SGI courses should you study?

Winning at Online Video 4 Five jobs thatll be in global demand in 2020


This is one of the fastest growing jobs in the States, according to Time.com. According to Chron.com, “Commercial project managers coordinate the efforts of the different team members involved in a project. The managers work in various industries and may be involved with engineers, technicians and designers. Although the roles and responsibilities of a commercial project manager may vary, depending on the project's scope, this position has a fairly standardised set of core duties.”

What skills do you need?

Chron.com says that while project managers may work across a range of industries, the core duties always tend to be: defining project goals, planning a project, ensuring milestones are met, monitoring and providing direction, coordinating efforts with administration, and reallocating resources.

What should SGI courses should you study?


According to Fin24, many investors believe that we need to look not just at reducing risk, but also at how to produce tangible positive benefits to society. Spurred by movements such as #MeToo, #FeesMustFall and #BlackLivesMatter, impact investing is fast gathering steam.

This is another of Debbie Goodman-Bhyat’s picks for the top jobs right now. She says an impact investment executive is one who can “successfully lead and grow companies with a dual mandate of economic and social returns”. She says these individuals are in high demand throughout Africa. This job is about more than a successful financial outcome from a business deal – it is about making a positive social impact and ensuring sustainable growth.

What skills do you need?

  • This career is best suited to somebody with an undergraduate degree in law or finance
  • They should have a good understanding of the global investment ecosystem
  • Strong strategist skills are also important

What SGI courses should you study?

For more information on how SGI can help you land one of the ‘hottest jobs’ right now, visit SGI.co.za.

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