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Job trends

Prepare yourself for future opportunities by exploring jobs that are expected to be high in demand across Scotland.

Staying in the loop

Understanding trends in the labour market is crucial for making choices about your career. 

When you know where the jobs are likely to be, you can focus on building skills that are high in demand for these roles.  

Scotland has an incredible history of innovation and we’ve built on this legacy by becoming world-leaders in renewables, technology and life sciences – all of which need skilled people like you. 

So, let’s look at some job trends in Scotland today.

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Go where the growth is

Here are Scotland's highest growing industries

  1. Tourism – New opportunities are driven by our cultural heritage, stunning natural landscapes and culinary scene. By 2026, around 39,300 skilled people will be needed to fulfil roles in culture, media, sports, sales and public services within our expanding tourism industry. 
  2. Health care – Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s been a growing demand for health professionals in Scotland. As demand on the industry continues, the workforce will require 25,900 more skilled people to fulfil roles in both face-to-face settings and labs by 2026. 
  3. Social care – Support people with learning difficulties, physical disabilities or mental health challenges. By 2026, over 18,000 people in Scotland will be required to fulfil roles in every aspect of social care. From administration and secretarial positions to health care and science. 

All stats taken from the Sectoral Skills Assessments (2023)

Skills in demand


Did you know that digital skills appear in at least 82% of online job adverts? Jobs that ask you to use digital skills pay 29% higher than jobs that don’t*.

This means that your technological skills are very appealing to most employers. Tap into the trending market and focus on developing skills in:  

  • data analysis and statistics 
  • programming 
  • cybersecurity 
  • digital ethics 

*Digital Economy Skills Action Plan 2023

Common skills

In April 2024, the skills highest in demand in job adverts were: 

  1. Communication This could be good writing skills, creating cool graphics for social media or pulling together important notices and presentations for a large group of people. 
  2. Management This could be overseeing a project from start to finish, breaking down a large goal into small tasks for your team or looking after other employees.
  3. Customer service Can you switch on your customer service voice? The ability to go above and beyond for customers calling in or visiting your place of work is useful in many different business scenarios.

Stat taken from the Economy, People and Skills report May 2024

Scotland’s going for Net Zero – play your part

Have you heard that the country’s on a mission to be carbon neutral by 2045? To achieve this, Scotland needs everyone pulling in the same direction – in work and at home.

Green careers aren’t just about windfarms, solar power and renewable energy. As industries become more eco-friendly, every job has the potential to be greener!

Areas of green growth

  1. Engineering and Manufacturing – The Scottish Government wants to reduce industrial emissions by 21% before 2032. That’s a big target! Across the country, 159,100 people currently work in engineering, and there will be plenty more opportunities to manufacture a career here.
  2. Transport – Go places in a career that employs around 109,000 people. As Scotland creates more low emissions vehicles, jobs in transport will continue to rise. There’ll be high demand for workers in engineering, electrical and rail technician roles – to name just a few.
  3. Construction – Fancy building a greener, more sustainable country? By 2029, Scotland will need an extra 79,100 employees to work in construction. At the moment, the construction industry has a shortage of workers, so there are lots of opportunities for you to put together a rewarding career here.

*Stats taken from the Climate Emergency Skills Action Plan 2020 to 2025

Learn more about green careers across Scotland.

In summary

Being aware of job trends gives you an edge in the future job market. Explore trends in industries and go where the growth is.

Make yourself as employable as possible by gaining skills that are in high demand. From computers to communications, build a skillset that sets you up for success.