Deciding what to study at university or later in life is a fine balancing act between following your heart and being realistic about your job prospects after graduation. Exploring the most in-demand occupations can help you choose a promising career path that best aligns with your aspirations, strengths, and preferred way of life.
The UK government, for one, every year provides a detailed list of roles that are in short supply in different areas of the country. Under the new points-based immigration system, most non-UK resident workers must apply for a visa to work in the UK, but these roles have more relaxed eligibility criteria for sponsored work visa applications.
Let's find out which jobs made the UK shortage occupation list in 2023:
Biological scientists and biochemists
Biological scientists and biochemists examine and investigate the morphology, structure, chemistry and physical characteristics of living organisms, including their inter-relationships, environments and diseases.
Necessary qualifications: a BA/BSc degree with honours, degree apprenticeship, graduate diploma or a Level 6 National Vocational Qualification (NVQ).
Archaeologists learn about the past by studying sites, excavating, classifying, recording and preserving objects.
Necessary qualifications: a BA/BSc degree, degrees accredited by the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists (CIfA), apprenticeships.
Civil engineers design and manage construction projects, from bridges and buildings to transport links and sports stadiums.
Necessary qualifications: a university course, a college course, an apprenticeship,
working towards the role (starting as a civil engineering technician).
IT business analysts
IT business analysts investigate situations and problems to find improvements for businesses in the sphere of IT.
Necessary qualifications: a university course, an apprenticeship, applying directly if you've got several years' experience in project management, consulting or IT.
Cyber security specialists
A cyber security specialist is an IT expert whose work is to make sure that networks are safe from external threats like hackers who want access for malicious purposes.
Necessary qualifications: Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, Information Systems, or equivalent education or work experience.
Graphic designers create visual branding, adverts, brochures, magazines, website designs, product packaging and displays.
Necessary qualifications: a university course, a college course in subjects such as graphic design, art and design, communication design, and illustration.
Laboratory technicians support scientists and help carry out tests, research and investigations.
Necessary qualifications: a university course in subjects like biology, biomedical science
chemistry, and environmental science, a college course such as Level 2 Certificate or Level 3 Diploma in Applied Science.
Programmers and software development professionals
Software developers design, build and test computer programmes.
Necessary qualifications: a university course (subjects such as computer science, information technology, software development, financial technology), a college course, an apprenticeship, a graduate training scheme.