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Upskilling or reskilling now will give you more career options

by Elizabeth Harmon
Posted: September 27, 2021

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In a world of uncertainty, one thing that is certain is change. In the workplace, even before the pandemic, there were skills shortages in sectors like healthcare. Technological innovations were also making waves, with new jobs emerging, roles transforming and others eradicated by AI and automation. Over the last 18 months, change has continued, with more remote, distributed workforces, technology playing a more vital role, as well as significant job losses.

To adapt to the changing workforce, upskilling or reskilling is more important now than ever.

So, just as time doesn't stand still, nor should your learning.


What is the difference between upskilling and reskilling?

Upskilling is where you learn new skills that will support you in your current role. You may upskill to close a knowledge gap, such as learning how to use technology more effectively in your job. Or you may learn more advanced skills in your specialist area to stay at the top of your field.

Reskilling is about learning new skills that will help you move in a different direction. For example, you may want to reskill to enable you to work in one of Australia's growing industries, such as healthcare, where workers are in high demand. While you'll have some transferable skills, you will need to develop specialist skills to succeed in your new role.

What are the benefits of upskilling and reskilling?

There are many upskilling and reskilling benefits, with a few to consider below:

•    Professional development

As technology develops and the needs of businesses change, your skills need to stay up-to-date too. This will ensure you're not only doing your job, but you're able to excel.

•    Job security

In a turbulent job market, upskilling or reskilling can help you have more job security. Keeping your skills relevant will differentiate you from others and make you an asset to your team. If you’re reskilling and moving into an in-demand industry, you’ll have more opportunities as your skills will be sought after.

•    Further your career

By developing your skills, you will help your employer stay ahead of competitors. You may even be able to take on more responsibilities, which could lead to a pay rise or promotion.

•    Make your job more satisfying

Learning something new may make your job feel meaningful. It may give you a renewed passion for what you do, encourage innovative ideas, and even help you work more productively.

•    Find a new passion

As you learn, you may discover that you have a passion for a new area. This could enable you to become an expert in a new specialist area in your business or lead you towards an exciting career change.


How can you upskill and reskill?

Firstly, take some time to consider your goals.

Where do you see your career in the future?

Do you want to remain in your current role or be considered for a promotion?

Do you feel like it's time for a career change?

The answers to these questions will indicate whether you need to upskill or reskill.

Now consider what skills you need.

Do you currently have any knowledge gaps?

Or, if you're moving to a new career, what skills will be essential for you to develop?

You may want to talk to your manager or people in your new career as they'll be able to share advice on skills that will be valuable.

Next, it's time to develop your skills.

There are many reskilling and upskilling techniques, from reading articles on the latest best practices or industry news. You could attend industry events or join webinars. You may even want to consider finding a mentor.

If you're serious about developing your skills, an effective way to do this is to do a course. At Open Colleges, we have a wide selection of online courses in health, trades, childhood education, design, technology and business. Courses can be completed at your own pace and fit around your existing commitments too, like your current job.

To stay ahead of the curve, learning new skills shouldn't be a one-off exercise. Upskilling or reskilling should be a continuous process.

Are you ready for the future of work? Browse our range of nationally recognised courses now and develop the skills you need to thrive in your career.


Elizabeth Harmon

Elizabethis an experienced Freelance Social Media Consultant based in the south of England. She works with a growing number of clients all around the world, showing businesses how to use social media more effectively and helping them to get the maximum benefit from it.

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