What are recruiters and employers looking for?

While every industry has seen spikes in growth over time. Workplaces have seen an increased demand in tech skills and personal skills.


When we are contracted to find candidates for a specific job opening, we are asked to find candidates that have specific skills listed on their resume. This can include professional qualifications as well as experience gained during employment.

Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.

Nelson Mandela

One of the questions we are asked is if it matters at which university or higher learning institute you have studied. As long as it is an accredited course, employers usually do not push for graduates from specific higher education institutes.

Some careers and professions do require specific degrees, subjects, or other qualifications. If you have a particular career in mind, check against job adverts for positions in that field. This will be a good indicator of what to study.

If you already have qualifications but notice that the position you want requires a qualification that you don’t have, you can also look into free courses from these online portals:

  • UCTMOOCs – research and development, innovation and technology, health professionals
  • WitsX – offers courses that can be audited for free or to receive a certificate for a small fee.
  • MIT’s Open Courseware features introductory programming courses as well as energy, entrepreneurship
  • Stanford business & management, data sciences
  • BerkeleyX – blockchain, data science, marketing
  • Harvard – programming, computer science
  • AWS – computing, machine learning, serverless computing, networking and DevOps
  • Coursera – management and project management, IT support, data analytics
  • Study.com –  marketing, accounting, business
  • Udemyfree courses, IT, programming and marketing, business
  • Google Garage – marketing, entrepreneurship, data and tech

What are the top tech skills for 2021?

  • IT Support
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Cybersecurity
  • Project management
  • Software Development
  • Cloud Computing
  • Augmented Reality & Virtual Reality
  • Data Science
  • Business Intelligence Analysis (BI)

Soft Skills

Soft skills are the personal skills that make you a great employee outside of the technical skills needed for your job. Some of these soft skills include:

  1. Creative problem solving and innovation
  2. Communication skills
  3. A growth mindset
  4. Emotional intelligence
  5. Collaboration/teamwork
  6. Adaptability
  7. Leadership
  8. Active listening
  9. Time management
  10. Decision making
  11. Self-motivation
  12. Critical thinking

(We will discuss this deeper soft skills in another article.)

In conclusion

While every employer has a list of skills they want an employee to have, it does happen that the job offer goes to an employee that doesn’t match 100% because they can illustrate and elaborate on the skills and soft skills they have that would make them a more valuable employee.

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