Upskilling: the time is now
Whether you are wanting to progress in your career, deepen your knowledge in your chosen field or are looking for a complete career change, upskilling is an excellent way to take steps to achieving these goals.
In the ever-changing world of work, where we need to keep up with the latest trends, processes and technology, it is vital to invest in professional and personal development. Whether you want to progress in your career, deepen your knowledge in your chosen field or are looking for a complete career change, upskilling is an excellent way to take steps to achieving these goals.
Why upskilling matters
Investing in your professional growth can do wonders for developing and advancing your career. In your current role, you’re likely to be continually learning but specific upskilling can take that a step further. Identify a skill gap in your team or one where there is a shortage of resource and propose learning this skill to support you in your current role and the wider business in it objectives.
This may be taking a course to learn a new technology or methodology that would augment your existing role. Applying what you have learnt within that area and sharing your new-found knowledge with your team will be beneficial for all. It could lead to you being seen as the expert on that subject within the team, making you more valuable to your employer. It also demonstrates your commitment, initiative and willingness to learn, so that when a new opportunity presents itself either internally or externally you are positioned well to apply for it.
Enhancing your CV
Upskilling can you improve your chances of being hired in a competitive job market. When crafting a compelling CV, you want to show employers the best version of yourself. Having a combination of technical and soft skills pertinent to the role can be advantageous in demonstrating your value. Furthermore, having an extensive technical skill set and being able to demonstrate your proficiency in each area can broaden your career prospects, by providing you access to more niche specialised roles.
Staying relevant in the market
Whether due to technological advancements, process improvements or competitive pressures, industries are constantly innovating and evolving in order to remain competitive, which may mean you need to also. Take the impact of AI for example and how it is reshaping the world of work. Aerotek’s parent company Allegis Group reports that whilst AI may have eliminated certain tasks; it has paved the way for new jobs and responsibilities thus creating demand for new skills.
How to upskill
There are various opportunities to upskill from having a mentor and attending seminars to online courses. Whatever you decide it is important to focus on upskilling both your technical skills and your soft skills. When assessing your suitability for a role, employers look for both technical skills and your more transferrable (soft) skills to determine if you are the right fit. When deciding what to upskill it can be helpful to read job adverts for the job you’d like to do next and identify the gaps on your own CV or have a one to one conversation with your manager to assess where there may be current skill gaps in the team.
Once you have decided what to upskill in, there are a plethora of options for online learning that can hone in on your technical and soft skills. Below is just an example of what is available.
edX* offers over 2500 online courses from 140 institutions to sharpen technical skills. The platform has a combination of paid and free courses across a multitude of disciplines from business management and communications to data science and engineering and course lengths vary.
Google Digital Garage* offers free courses across data and tech and digital marketing. In addition to this, they also offer career development courses which focus on polishing up soft skills. However you decide to upskill, make sure you are making the right decision for you and your personal and professional growth.