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Critical Skills Lists for Countries Around the World.

Migration defines the world in which we live today. As an individual, one of the questions that you need to ask yourself is, are the skills that I have in demand around the world? Being in the right profession gives you the freedom to work from almost any country around the world.

Most countries out there have a critical skills list. If you possess skills that are in short supply, it will be very easy for you to migrate to the country of your choosing. In this article, we are going to outline the critical skills lists for different countries around the world;

The United States

The United States is a major destination for migrant workers. That’s largely because the world’s biggest economy has so much to offer in terms of opportunities and living standards. So, which skills are most in demand in the United States?

If you have the right skills and education level, you can apply for what is referred to as H-1B visa. This allows employers in the U.S to hire people with degrees in specialty professions for up to 6 years. The following are a few of the skills that are in demand;

  1. Computer professionals 
  2. University lecturers
  3. Engineers 
  4. Healthcare workers 
  5. People in the Finance sector
  6. Attorneys
  7. Architects 
  8. Medical professionals
  9. Scientists 
  10. Journalists and editors 
  11. Psychologists 


Australia is another favourite destination for people around the world. It’s a place that is famous for its sun and for the relaxed pace of life. If you would like the chance to work in Australia, there are a number of critical skills that can help make it happen.

Australia has what is referred to as a Priority Migration Skills List. This lists the skills that are in short supply in the country. If you have one of those, then you can apply for an Australian visa. The following are some of the skills that are in demand in Australia;

  1. Construction Project Manager
  2. Accountants
  3. Auditors
  4. Surveyor
  5. Cartographer
  6. Other Spatial Scientist
  7. Engineers
  8. People in the Medical field (doctors, nurses, pharmacists etc)
  9. Multimedia Specialist
  10. Analyst Programmer
  11. Developer Programmer
  12. Software Engineer
  13. Software and Applications Programmers
  14. ICT Security Specialist
  15. Social Workers
  16. Maintenance Planner
  17. Chefs

South Africa

South Africa is Africa’s most developed country. It’s not surprising, therefore, that a lot of people on the continent and beyond are looking to migrate to the Rainbow Nation. Migrating is easy if you have a skill that features on the country’s Critical Skills list.

The following are some of the professions that are in demand in the country;

1.   Actuary

2.   External auditor           

3.   Nurse educator

4.   Aeronautical engineer  

5.   FET phase school teacher (Grades 10-12)          

6.   Medical professionals

7.   Agricultural scientist  

8.   Geologist        

9.   Policy and planning manager

10. Architect         

11. ICT System Analyst     

12. Quantity surveyor

13. Biotechnologist

14. Industrial Engineer     

15. Research and development manager

16. Investment manager 

17. Chief Information Officer         

18. Engineers

19. Conservation scientist

20. Tax Professional


Canada is another top migration destination for professionals around the globe. This is a country that is well known for its amazing scenery. Canada has what is referred to as the Canada Occupation in Demand list. The following are some of the professions that feature on this list;

1.   Financial managers

2.   Human resources managers

3.   Purchasing managers

4.   Insurance, real estate and financial brokerage managers

5.   Banking, credit and other investment managers

6.   Advertising, marketing and public relations managers

7.   Telecommunication carriers managers

8.   Postal and courier services managers

9.   Architecture and science managers

10. Computer and information systems managers

11. Medical administrative assistants

12. Court reporters, medical transcriptionists and related occupations

13. Insurance underwriters

14. Assessors, valuators and appraisers

15. Customs, ship and other brokers

16. Health workers

17. Pharmacists

18. Audiologists and speech-language pathologists

19. Chefs

The United Kingdom

For many people, the United Kingdom is the ultimate migration destination. If you are one of the people looking to move to the UK, your task will be made easier if you have one of the skills that are in demand over there. The United Kingdom has what is referred to as a Shortage occupation list. The following are some of the professions that feature on this list;

1.   Health services and public health managers and directors –

2.   Residential, day and domiciliary care managers and proprietors

3.   Chemical scientists

4.   Biological scientists and biochemists

5.   Physical scientists

6.   Social and humanities scientists

7.   Civil engineers

8.   Mechanical engineers

9.   Electrical engineers

10. Electronics engineers

11. Design and development engineers

12. Production and process engineers

13. Engineering professionals not elsewhere classified

14. IT business analysts, architects and systems designers

15. Programmers and software development professionals

16. Web design and development professionals

17. Information technology and communications professionals not elsewhere classified – only cyber security specialists       

18. Veterinarians

19. Actuaries, economists and statisticians

20. Architects

21. Quality control and planning engineers

22. Laboratory technicians

23. Artists

24. Dancers and choreographers

25. Musicians

26. Arts officers, producers and directors

27. Graphic designer – all jobs

28. Welding trades

29. Care workers and home carers –

20. Senior care workers


In this article, we gave critical skills lists for some of the most sought after migration destinations around the world. Our lists are, by no means, exhaustive. They are just a broad outline of what you can expect. If there is a country that you are interested in, you should do more research to find out whether or not you qualify to migrate based on your professional skills.

One thing of note is that it’s not only degreed individuals who are sought after in countries around the world. In Australia, as an example, chefs are in high demand. In the United Kingdom, you can get a visa and a job if you are a Care Worker. That’s a profession that you can learn in a few months. In South Africa, IT professionals are in demand. Medical workers are in demand around the world, including in South Africa. If you are in the banking sector, you also have a chance to migrate to that country and to other countries around the world.

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