Should I Upskill? Or Is My Experience Enough?

This is a guest post from Careers Australia

There’s no doubt that in any industry the skills most sought after by employers are constantly evolving. This leaves many jobseekers and those looking to change careers questioning their existing skill set and whether it would make sense to upskill. The fact is, in any career, upskilling can open up new opportunities, and for those looking for a new job, can make you instantly more valuable within the job market.

Why Experience Can Quickly Become Outdated

If you’ve sent out resume after resume without hearing anything, chances are your experience may not be setting you apart from the pack. This is where jobseekers and those wanting to change careers should assess their existing industry and where it is going. For example, in 2015, the ability to create manual ledgers for an accounting role may be obsolete, so if applying for a bookkeeping position, experience with cloud-based accounting software may be required.

If you’ve been out of the workforce for a period, or worked in the same role for a long time, you existing skill set may not be enough for you to be considered for many positions. With the job market continuously evolving, and as competitive as ever, taking time to enhance your skill set can create more options and help jobseekers command a higher salary.

What Sorts Of Skills Are In Demand?

In any career, demand for certain skills will change due to advances in technology, skill shortages, and other areas of an industry that are growing or developing. Jobseekers and employees can identify where these opportunities lie by researching their respective industries and keeping a consistent eye on the job market. Checking job advertisements for skills that are in demand will ensure applicants know the areas they can target in their own professional learning and development. The thing to remember is that no career is static, and especially for those looking to change careers, being equipped with up-to-date skills is one of the best ways to ensure they can make the change happen.

How Do I Upskill?

Fortunately for those wanting to learn new ropes, and gain new skills, there are many different routes to upskilling that can be pursued. These may include:

• Online training. These can include numerous e-learning courses, many of which equip those enrolled with industry skills and certifications.
• University, TAFE or tertiary providers. There are many vocational and tertiary courses that job seekers can undertake while continuing to work, part or full time. Education providers such as Careers Australia are one example of a company providing a number of qualifications that are industry recognised for specific careers.
• On the job training. Many employers choose to provide (and pay for) learning and development opportunities to their existing staff who want to move sideways or upwards in their industry. For employees to take advantage of this, often all that’s needed is to show initiative and ask!

Those asking the question about whether they should upskill need only to ask themselves the question of whether or not they are looking for a career change, salary raise or more variety in their job. If the answer is yes to any of these, then upskilling can be the key to making these changes happen.

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