The idea that your education should stop after you graduate and enter the job market is out of date. We live in a world where things move quickly. New industries are emerging and old industries are going through significant changes to adapt to a digital environment.
The wage growth was slow and uneven over the past 40 yearsand training or retraining could be the best way to keep pace with a rapidly changing job market while increasing your earning potential.
What is upskilling?
Upskilling describes the acquisition of new skills. In most cases, employees seek new skills in order to gain an advantage in their field and gain access to higher-paying jobs. They can also build on existing skills to improve productivity and performance in their existing job.
Retraining is different. You can think of this as a form of professional conversion. You may need to acquire new skills to find work in a different field if your industry doesn’t have good prospects for the future.
Target the right skills
Upskilling is an investment in your future. As with any other investment, you need to consider the cost and the potential return.
Some skills will be more valuable than others. You can identify these skills by speaking with your employer, manager, or staff representative. Ask about the best skills they’re looking for when interviewing candidates and ask about the skills that are hardest to find.
Industry experts are another interesting resource. You can find out about the trends shaping your industry through interviews, podcasts, specialist publications, conferences and virtual events. For example, analytics is a changing business discipline and a growing number of companies are looking for people who know how to work with data.
Professional certifications can be another way to increase your earning potential. Depending on your industry, certification can give you access to a job with more responsibility and higher salary.
You should also consider the skills you already have. Becoming an expert in an area you are already familiar with can be easier than learning a new skill from scratch. If you plan to stay with the same employer, consider the skills gaps that exist on your current team and how education can help you fill those gaps.
Pay attention to the source from which you plan to acquire new skills. You can increase your earning potential by choosing a source that is recognized by employers, such as: B. a professional organization or an accredited school.
A new way to learn
On average, the workers will have 12 jobs in the course of their life. Today’s job market is extremely flexible and job seekers will work for multiple employers over the years and potentially change their careers.
Upskilling is not a one-time thing. You should view learning and professional development as an ongoing process.
Going back to school to get a degree is one of the first things that pops into your mind when thinking about adult education. However, you should know that there are other types of learning experiences that can be valuable in the workplace.
If you understand how to identify different learning opportunities, you can keep building new skills over the years. For example, you can take a single course online to gain certification, take a training program offered by your employer, or learn through a job shadowing experience.
Job satisfaction and personal goals
Acquiring new skills requires investment of your time and resources. It is important to choose a project that supports your personal and professional goals. You should also consider how continuing education will improve your job satisfaction. Ask yourself which skills to focus on in order to get your dream job.
Skills that give you access to a job with better wages and benefits can have a direct impact on your wellbeing and job satisfaction. You should also consider job security as this is a factor that can reduce work-related stress.
A job that matches your personal values is worth pursuing. Think about the skills that will give you access to a job where you can make a difference by working with the community or creating a positive company culture. For example, if you aspire to a leadership position, you will have the opportunity to help others.
You should also consider long-term advancement opportunities. If you are constantly developing new skills, then becoming a manager can potentially lead to an opportunity to work as a manager.
Possible obstacles and how they can be addressed
Even though 94% of the employees say they would stay with an employer longer if they had access to training opportunities. For many companies, learning is not a priority.
If your employer doesn’t offer a training program, talk to your manager or HR representative about your project. Your employer may be able to cover some of your training costs or set a more flexible schedule to give you time to study.
In some cases, corporate culture can be an obstacle to continuous learning. If you find yourself in this situation, you should think about looking for work elsewhere.
Money can be an obstacle. If your employer finds your training valuable, they may be willing to pay some of the cost. You should also consider using savings or borrowing money if you are certain that continuing education will provide you with more income in the future.
Time is another potential barrier. Learning and acquiring new skills can be time consuming, and you already have other roles to juggle with. Many schools and trade organizations understand this limitation and offer flexible programs.
You can find programs that use bite-sized lessons so you can learn new skills in a series of short sessions. There are flexible delivery methods such as online learning. For example, the University of New South Wales Sydney offers one Master of Management that you can conclude online on a flexible schedule.
Upgrading could be key to earning more and accessing a job that is more rewarding when you feel like you are stuck in your current job. Talk to your employer about training opportunities and identify the skills that are valuable for your professional goals.