Labor market: current trends and future professions | FinReview
1 June 2020

Labor market: current trends and future professions

The labor market is changing constantly and the professions that were in high demand 5 years ago may turn out to be outdated and low paid today. It is not so simple to predict such changes. That is why analysts have studied the world market and determined which specialists will be in demand within the next 5 years and where to acquire necessary knowledge and skills.

Nowadays, amidst the coronavirus pandemic, one of the most pressing issues in the country is the situation on the labor market. Companies began to resume their activities gradually after the end of the state of emergency in the country. Their number even increased by 1.4 thousand units as of early May and amounted to 316 thousand. However, the level of business activity has already fallen to multi-year lows – in April, the index was 37.2 points from the marker value of 50 points. This means that enterprises will not be able to restore their former staff numbers in the short term.

Even now, the number of workplaces is being reduced daily, while the number of applicants, on the contrary, is growing. For example, 125.4 thousand vacancies were posted on the electronic labor exchange as of early May, while the number of job applications published was almost twice less – 75.7 thousand units, and by May 25, the number of vacancies was almost halved, to 65.1 thousand units, while the number of job applications, on the contrary, rose to 165.3 thousand.

Therefore, given the rapidly growing competition in the labor market, there is a question: “What specialists are now most in demand in Kazakhstan?” Having studied the world labor market, as well as popular job search portals in Kazakhstan –,, – we identified professions in high demand.

Top managers

Optimization of enterprises to prevent the spread of Covid-19, digital business transformation and recovery of business activity after a long lockdown has increased the demand for managers capable of saving the company and bring it to a positive balance.

These specialists are especially relevant for small and medium-sized businesses, which account for 29.5% of the country’s GDP and provide jobs for over 3.3 million Kazakhstan nationals. Their recovery requires crisis and risk managers with a focus on long-term development. These specialists are in demand not only in the production sector, but also in entertainment, commerce, advertising and education.

Professions in IT technology and E-commerce

Specialists in the field of E-commerce and IT-technologies are in favor of the current crisis – since the third decade of March amidst the mass transition of enterprises into online mode, the demand for such specialists has increased by 5-7 times. At the same time, their high demand remains, as entrepreneurs are concerned about the second phase of the epidemic.

Among IT-specialists, the labor market most in need of masters of targeted and contextual advertising, digital-marketers, SMM- and SEO-specialists, developers of mobile applications, highly skilled engineers, architects creating virtual reality.

Big Data analysts

The analysis of big data is becoming a daily challenge for companies around the world and for Kazakhstani companies, among others. Economists estimate that about 80% of Kazakhstani companies from various sectors of the economy perform a number of tasks, which are solved with the help of analytical technologies. Right now, analytical assessments of data are becoming the basis for the strategic development of large enterprises. Therefore, in the labor market, analysts of the big data owning tools of processing of the statistical information and its visual representation gain active popularity. Such tools often include SPSS, R, MATLAB, SAS Data Miner, Tableau.

Sales specialists

The trade sector is the most popular area of business among SMEs involving one third of the operating enterprises or 432,100 entities. The average monthly turnover of trade enterprises for the last five years increased by 62% and amounted to 2.5 trillion tenge.

At the same time, in recent years, with the rapid development of e-commerce in the commercial sector, a new trend has emerged – shopping through mobile applications. In Kazakhstan, the share of buyers placing orders through smartphones has already approached 65%, ahead of global trends, where this figure is 54%. Therefore, entrepreneurs in order to meet consumer demand are actively chasing specialists able to briefly and concisely convey the company’s offer to a wide range of potential customers, as well as employees who understand the benefits and features of mobile advertising.

Innovation specialists

The main demand here concentrates on specialists focused on biochemical and high-tech developments, nanotechnology and robotics. Their research and development is actively used in the production and manufacturing sectors increasing productivity and accelerating economic diversification.

Medical professionals

The work of medical professionals in light of the spread of coronavirus infection has become more in demand and prestigious. Among the specialists in high demand among employers are infectious disease specialists, TB doctors, surgeons-oncologists, cosmetologists, gynecologists, endocrinologists.

Professional Development Managers, Coaches

Employers repeatedly noted that educational programs of Kazakhstan higher education institutions do not meet modern requirements of the labor market. As a consequence, almost a quarter of graduates cannot find a job, and 61 higher education institutions from 129 operating have the level of employment below 50 %.

Therefore, for covering needs in personnel, about 65 % of businesspersons invest in reorientation of their employees. This, in turn, creates an acute need for human resource specialists, who will be engaged not so much in personnel selection as in their training of professional skills according to the employer’s requirements.

Where can you get relevant knowledge and skills to be competitive in the labor market?

According to the results of the first quarter of 2020, there were 78.9 thousand unemployed young people aged 15-28 in the country. However, this number increased significantly in April and May, as companies began to optimize business processes to establish financial stability after the end of the state of emergency. According to some estimates, their number has already doubled. Accordingly, competition in the labor market has also increased.

Obviously, the increased demand for vacancies creates higher requirements to job seekers. Currently, about 56% of active job seekers have higher education on the labor market. However, according to the assessment of Atameken NCE, employers are satisfied with the quality of higher education only by 32%.

In Kazakhstan, one of the successful institutions for the professional development of human resources, as well as the improvement of their competence, taking into account modern market trends, is the Bureau for Continuing Professional Development (BCPD) of the Astana International Financial Centre.

Professional development in BCPD is carried out in 16 areas of the financial sector. In addition, more importantly, the BCPD improves the skills of specialists in international standards and prepares them for certification by programs such as CFA and ACCA, which are highly rated in the professional community.

These personnel are being prepared for work not only in AIFC itself, but also in companies participating in the Financial Centre, as well as in external organizations. In total, about 3 thousand people who already work in the national economy have been trained through BCPD. This is the economic effect of the BCPD’s activity, as the Kazakhstani labor market receives new highly qualified and competitive personnel.

In addition, the innovative QWANT programming school was launched to develop IT talents based on BCPD. Right now, the school trains more than 350 people in competitive areas of the IT services market – client and server software, cloud computing, Blockchain, operating systems, databases. Moreover, in the near future, these programs will expand with programs in the field of cyber security, artificial intelligence and digital marketing, which are priorities for the labor market.

QWANT training is delivered through a digital platform from Silicon Valley, QWASAR Silicon Valley, which combines the best practices of best programming schools in Europe and the United States.