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The Top Skills in Hong Kong for Employability

Find out the top skills employers in Hong Kong are looking for. We take a look at some of the most in-demand hard and soft skills and discover how you can learn them.

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Hong Kong’s economy has been struggling for the past few years, at first due to political unrest, and now because of the COVID-19 pandemic. This has undoubtedly had an effect on the rate of unemployment in the country, which rose to 7.2% in February 2021. This is the highest level of unemployment in almost 17 years, making the number of unemployed stand at approximately 261,600 people.

The main reason why things are not improving is because the city remains under restrictions that are limiting tourism and commerce. Additionally, a report by Manpower Group suggested that 65% of Hong Kong employers struggle to fill vacancies because of skill shortages.

In order to combat some of these issues, we take a look at some of the hard and soft employability skills in Hong Kong and suggest some courses that can help you develop your own skill set. 

What skills are employers in Hong Kong looking for?

This isn’t a straightforward question to answer. In reality, the skills you’ll need will depend on the job you’re applying for and the type of company you want to work at. However, there are some resources that highlight where some of the top skills in Hong Kong might be. 

We took a look at the Hong Kong Occupation list to find out what the skill shortages in the country are. The list is designed to attract foreign migrants with desirable skills who will be able to contribute to the economy. Each hard skill we’ve listed corresponds to a desirable job on the occupation list.

Hard skills 

First, let’s look at some of the in-demand hard skills employers are looking for. These are the job-specific qualifications that you’ll need to succeed in a particular role. They’re the skills that can be taught in a formal and structured way. Some of the top hard skills in Hong Kong include:


The occupation list states that architecture is one of the most in-demand skills in Hong Kong currently. Hong Kong is home to the most skyscrapers in the world, so if you’d like to help design these tall structures, your skills would be welcomed in the vertical city.

Sustainable architecture and development will be particularly useful to have an understanding of, as Hong Kong is interested in how the country can build sustainable buildings such as their green ICC skyscraper. Try our course in Sustainable Construction to find out more, or take a look at our course in Modern Building Design.

Healthcare & Medical

Hong Kong has listed a range of healthcare jobs on their occupation list, including vets, dentists and nurses. Depending on which area you’re interested in, we have an extensive range of healthcare courses available. You’ll probably need additional training too, but our courses are a great place to either get started or develop your understanding of certain areas.

If you’re particularly interested in nursing, we have plenty of nursing courses that can help you improve your existing skills in a wide variety of areas. With our ExpertTrack on public health and nursing, you’ll discover the valuable role that nurses play in healthcare systems. 

Creative skills

There is certainly a lack of people with certain creative skills in Hong Kong, as the occupation list mentions that the country is lacking performers, musicians, broadcasters and TV production experts. Luckily, we have a range of courses available for those who want to develop their creative skills.

If you’re passionate about music, why not try learning to play jazz piano with our ExpertTrack? Or perhaps production design or animation will be more up your street. You can take a look at all of our creative arts courses on our website.


If you’re looking for a varied and rewarding career, you can’t go far wrong with digital advertising. As more companies and industries go digital, there will be plenty of job opportunities available. What’s more, you can learn a diverse range of skills to help you stand out. 

Our free two-week course on digital marketing can help you learn the basics of some of the strategies used, while our ExpertTrack on creative marketing gives a more detailed look.  


It seems like all different types of engineer are in high demand in Hong Kong, including civil, environmental, mechanical and electrical. So whatever your particular passion is, if you’re good at maths and science, you may want to consider studying engineering.

Those interested in working on their engineering skills will find a variety of courses on FutureLearn. You can improve your technical report writing skills or learn about financial management in the industry.


Hong Kong has skill shortages across the board for financial and accounting services, making accountancy a great skill to pick up. Many international accounting companies reside in Hong Kong, so you should have plenty of choice should you choose to pursue a career.

We have an excellent range of finance and accounting courses available if you think this might be the right career path for you. You can gain an introduction to accounting in our Understanding Financial Statements course, or if you’re serious about pursuing a career in accounting, you can take our microcredential in Management Accounting and gain academic credits. 

Legal practice

Legal jobs are high in demand in Hong Kong, as lawyers and other professionals are always needed in society. Not all those who study law have to go on to be lawyers, but it can be an excellent foundation for getting a range of jobs, including a government administrator, investment banker or politician. 

We have a great range of law courses here at FutureLearn, if you want to find out more about a certain area before you pursue a career in law. You can start with our How to Become a Lawyer course, and venture out into different fields such as criminal justice and contract law.  

Soft skills

When it comes to employability skills in Hong Kong, practical knowledge is certainly important. However, many employers feel that interpersonal and transferable skills are just as important as hard skills. Here are some of the soft skills that are sought-after at the moment:

Management and leadership 

No matter what job role you’re in, being able to show management and leadership qualities can make you stand out from the crowd. Often, these skills mean that you work well with others and bring out the best in them. They tie into many other abilities, such as organisation, problem-solving, and productivity. 

We have several ExpertTracks and courses available that can help you work on these essential skills. Get started with our course on people management skills, or develop your international leadership skills for the workplace. 


Whatever job you work in, the chances are that you’ll need to work with other people. Teamwork skills are some of the most essential ones out there, yet many people don’t spend the time developing them. If you can demonstrate efficiency in this area, you’re sure to stand out to employers. 

Given the current circumstances, many people from Hong Kong are having to work remotely. Why not spend time improving your collaborative work skills for this environment? 


If the last 12 months have taught us anything, it’s that we have to be flexible and adaptable when reacting to change. In uncertain times, those who can show resilience and dependability, as well as other such leadership skills, can be invaluable to employers. 

Our course on wellbeing and resilience at work takes you through how to deal with the rapidly changing workplace. As well as looking at why employers value adaptability, you’ll also evaluate your own strengths in this area.  

Final thoughts 

As you can see, employers in Hong Kong look for a diverse range of hard and soft skills. So, no matter what stage of your career you’re at, it can be beneficial to develop your expertise in many of these areas. With the courses, microcredentials, and ExpertTracks we’ve outlined throughout this article, you can work on some of the top skills in Hong Kong for employability and overcome the challenges in the job market.


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