Emerging technologies are changing the way companies operate, challenging employees to develop new skill sets and adopt an attitude of lifelong learning. Upskilling provides career growth opportunities and works to guarantee employees’ skill sets do not become obsolete.
So, what is upskilling, and why is it essential for all career fields? Continue reading this article to learn everything you need to know, including an upskilling definition, the benefits of upskilling, upskilling examples, the top five upskilling areas to consider, and a deep dive into why upskilling is vital for the future of work.
Upskilling is a workplace concept that encourages ongoing learning through training and development initiatives to take one’s current skills to the next level. Upskilling usually occurs along a predetermined career path and provides employees with prominent prospects for promotions as their abilities improve. Upskilling works to fill the skills gap with additional training and learning opportunities and focuses on both hard and soft skills.
Why Is Upskilling Important for the Future of Work?
Upskilling is beneficial for your own personal growth, which better prepares you for the new future of work. The workforce is affected by technical, generational, and societal trends. Learning new things regularly aids in your fulfillment and growth, not only as an employee but also as a human being.
- Learn basic programming to boost problem-solving skills. One example of upskilling is taking a current skill, such as problem-solving, and advancing it by learning the fundamentals of coding. This can help boost your qualifications for jobs in a rapidly advancing technological workforce.
- Receive leadership and management training to get promoted to a leadership role. Leadership and management training can teach you how to be the best leader, whether you have a huge team or have just hired your first employee. Upskill your leadership skills with additional training to qualify for a job promotion.
- Develop communication skills to communicate effectively with clients and coworkers. Effective communication is an essential and teachable skill that can help you reach your career goals. There are plenty of educational and training opportunities available that focus on improving communication skills.
- Expand expertise to increase your demand in the labor market. Become a highly-qualified specialist and you can almost guarantee yourself a future-proof career in the labor market, wherein the demand for professional services is quickly growing.
- Raise emotional intelligence to help bridge the skills gap. Emotional intelligence is an important soft skill that can be enhanced to improve employee morale, engagement, and retention, overall. Upskilling communication and leadership skills with emotional intelligence help bridge the skills gap in leadership roles and increases qualifications for promotional leadership opportunities.
What Are the Benefits of Upskilling?
- Meeting the changing demands of your industry. Change is unavoidable in the business world. Employees must adapt to constant changes and upgrade their knowledge to stay on track. Upskilling can help to better prepare employees for these demands.
- Raising your earning potential. Upskilling can provide you with a strong case for a raise in your salary. You’ll bring new abilities to the table, and you can explain how those new skills will help your firm, business, or organization.
- Having a competitive advantage over less-skilled employees in the job market. Upskilling establishes a competitive advantage that can improve your position in the job market, giving you an advantage in both job security and when applying for jobs.
- Enabling your professional growth and career change. Employers are looking for adaptive thinkers, problem solvers, communicators, and leaders. With a diverse range of skills, you will have more flexibility and opportunity to grow in your career path.
- Building a future-proof career. One of the most remarkable ways to secure your demand in the labor market is to upskill and possess skills superior to those of other candidates in your sector. This gives you peace of mind in job security.
How to Upskill Yourself: 5 Areas to Consider
When you learn new skills and help close your own knowledge gap, it is beneficial to more than just your job role and career. You’ll grow as a person as you allow yourself to discover new passions for topics you may never have thought you’d be interested in. Upskilling can include digital upskilling, development of soft and leadership skills, as well as improving analytical skills.
1. Digital Literacy
In our technologically advancing world, you may want to consider advancing your basic computer skills. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) 2018 study, 16 percent of the US are not digitally literate. For countries to remain productive, more technologically competent workforces are required.
You should also know that over 70 percent of jobs in the United States today demand intermediate to advanced digital skills. These include using computers properly, touch typing, using software like Microsoft Office, and utilizing social media.
2. Tech Skills
Technical skills can help you work more efficiently, increase your confidence, and make you a more attractive candidate to companies. By gaining some common tech skills, like coding, data analysis, or social media management, you can get further ahead in your career. According to Glassdoor, the average annual income for entry-level IT professionals is $62,835 per year, while those with fifteen or more years of expertise can earn approximately $93,855 annually.
3. Soft Skills
Soft skills are essential in both personal and professional life. They are also the foundation for developing strong relationships. According to LinkedIn’s Global Talent Trends 2019 research, 92 percent of talent professionals believe soft skills are as vital or more important than hard skills when hiring. In addition, 89 percent believe that a new hire’s failure is due to a lack of crucial soft skills.
4. Leadership Skills
When it comes to managing people, leadership skills are essential. Leadership boosts self-esteem, improves your communication and negotiation abilities, and helps you grow as an employee and person. Leadership abilities are beneficial in many parts of a career, from job search to advancement. Upskilling your leadership skills is always a good idea, regardless of which job role or industry you work in.
5. Analytical Skills
Analytical skills can involve research analysis, data science, statistics, and other similar fields. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, analytical jobs are among the fastest-growing occupations in the United States. Statistical analysts, for example, are expected to grow at a 35 percent annual rate between 2019 and 2029. There are many training opportunities and classes you can take to improve your analytics skills.
The Top 5 Resources to Help You Upskill
Formal education refers to the structured educational system that extends from primary school to university, as well as specialized, vocational, technical, and professional training programs. Typically, employment rates directly correlate with levels of formal education.
According to Statista, nearly 12 percent of American adults ages 25 and older with an education level below a high school diploma were unemployed in 2020. Depending on your career path, you may want to consider enrolling in a formal training or degree program to increase your skills and qualifications for employment.
Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs)
Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are free online courses open to the public. MOOCs reach many people across the world with high-quality educational experiences. They’re also a cost-effective and flexible way to learn new skills and advance your career. Some of the most popular MOOC platforms include Coursera, edX, Khan Academy, Udacity, and Udemy.
An online course is a set of classes for asynchronous learning delivered via a web browser or a mobile device that may be viewed at any time and from any location. They are flexible and often more affordable than traditional on-campus degree programs. If you want to work in the tech sector, you can obtain in-demand technological skills through online tech courses, programs, and training.
Mentoring is a relationship in which a more experienced or knowledgeable person helps a less experienced person to acquire knowledge and skills. Having a mentor can teach you limitless skills and knowledge about your preferred career field and can unearth upskilling opportunities that may otherwise have gone unnoticed.
Coding bootcamps are postsecondary education programs that provide rigorous, hands-on training to help you become job-ready. Coding bootcamps will teach you specialized skills while also providing you with professional support and an alumni network. Beginners and professionals seeking a career shift can benefit from coding bootcamps.
The Best Coding Bootcamps for Digital Upskilling
|Training in UI/UX Design, Data Science, Data Analytics, and Web Development
|Training in Data Science, Data Analytics, Engineering Immersion, and Product Management
|Training in Data Analytics, Digital Marketing, Full Stack Development, and Cyber Security
|Training in Data Science, Web Development, Product Management, and Full Stack Development
|Training in Data Science, Web Development, and Full Stack Development
Should I Upskill?
Yes, you should upskills. Upskilling is not only a good idea, but it may also prove to be necessary for the future of work. Due to the rapid pace of technological change, there is an urgent need for upskilling in the global workforce.
Digital upskilling is one of the most critical areas of upskilling. Coding bootcamps, along with other upskilling resources can help you adapt to the ever-changing workforce, stay on track with emerging technologies, and guarantee yourself a future-proof career.
What Is Upskilling? FAQ
Upskilling means actively seeking the advancement of skills through higher education and training. Upskilling is typically referred to in the workplace as a means for promotion, a raise, or adaptation. Upskilling can be provided by the company or initiated by the employee.
Other words for “upskill” include “educate,” “coach,” “upgrade,” and “prepare”, though none of these perfectly replace the term. The simple meaning of upskilling describes learning new skills and advancing existing knowledge and skills.
To keep upskilling, you can continue to set your upskilling goals and identify your skill and knowledge gaps. The benefit of upskilling is that it is a lifelong endeavor. There are numerous ways and valuable resources available, from formal education to more flexible options, like online courses and coding bootcamps.
Learning to code, receiving leadership training, developing communication skills, or improving your emotional intelligence are all examples of upskilling. Upskilling refers to the adoption or advancement of any new skill.
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