If you want to future-proof your career path, one of the greatest things you can do is learn how to upskill. Even if you’re already well-trained in your industry and highly educated, there is always room for continuing education.
No industry is without improvements and changes. Upskilling allows you to advance your knowledge and experience as the industry evolves. We’re sharing how to upskill so you can advance your career in 2023 and beyond:
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What is Upskilling?
Upskilling involves learning new skills that your company, or industry as a whole, needs currently and in the future. When you decide to upskill, you’ll bridge the skills gap between where your company is now and where it wants to be in years.
Upskilling depends heavily on the industry you’re in or want to be in. It can also be a combination of learning soft skills and hard skills, depending on the courses you take. For the technology and digital industry, it may involve taking a
digital transformation course on how to help businesses transform alongside
the digital age.
It could also look like obtaining a Master’s degree in your field to move forward in
your career path and provide larger value to your company or your industry overall.
Why Is Upskilling Important? Why Should You Consider It In the Coming Year?
Many employees look to upskilling to “future-proof” their careers. It keeps them competitive in a growing job market. It also provides a safety net in their career due to an increase in knowledge and experience, and it can ensure significant
growth in salary and benefits.
On the other hand, many organisations look to hire or keep existing employees that upskill because it keeps the company competitive in a growing industry. As technology and information become more advanced, every organisation is looking for ways to
achieve sustainable growth in the job market.
Here are some key reasons why you should consider upskilling in the coming year:
If you’re ready to advance in your career, or if you feel your career is not progressing, upskilling is one of the best things you can do for yourself.
Choosing upskilling courses to help with training and developing new skills can help you spruce up your CV and make you more competitive in your organisation. You’ll be more eligible for more advanced roles that often pay more or offer more benefits.
Switching Career Paths
If you’re looking to switch careers entirely or change the trajectory of your career path, upskilling courses can be incredibly beneficial.
If you’ve already worked toward a higher education, such as a Bachelor’s degree, and you’ve gained work experience in an industry already, you don’t have to start over at ground zero. Instead, opting for courses in your desired
field allows you to make the switch from one industry to another faster.
Or, if you’ve decided you want to stay in your current industry, but want to change your career trajectory, professional development and leadership skills training will help.
How to Upskill Effectively and Efficiently
One of the key components of learning how to upskill is determining how to upskill effectively and efficiently.
One of the things you don’t want to do is choose the wrong courses that aren’t a good fit for you, which can cause you to spin your wheels without gaining any traction. You also don’t want to opt for education courses or different
ways of upskilling that don’t suit your needs.
Finally, you’ll want to make sure you’re in the right place in your career path and your mind before deciding on the mode of upskilling. That will ensure you can keep yourself motivated to finish what you start.
What Are Different Ways to Upskill?
There are many different ways to participate in upskilling training. Some may involve taking an online course, some may be in person for more hands-on training support.
The key is to find what is sustainable for you, especially if you’re choosing an upskilling course while in employment.
Free Upskilling Courses
First and foremost, there are free upskilling courses you can opt for. Many online resources offer upskilling courses free of charge.
Often, these courses may be geared towards soft skills to help leadership development.
However, you may be able to find government grants for upskilling courses to help you gain new knowledge and experience as your industry grows. The Springboard+ Initiative is one such way that you may be eligible. We have a complete guide on Springboard+ courses and eligibility requirements if you’d like to know more.
Paid Upskilling Courses
There are many paid courses to help continue your learning and development, no matter what industry you’re in or want to transition to.
At Innopharma Education, we offer many courses that can help you upskill both through in-person curriculums and online
The great news is that you may not have to pay for professional development courses directly. Many organisations are happy to invest in their employees’ skills, so they cover the costs of continuing education.
If you’re currently employed by an organisation, it may be worth it to ask your supervisor if there are any benefits regarding paid-for courses through the company.
Volunteer Your Time
While many people flock toward both free and paid upskilling courses, volunteering your time isn’t one to disregard completely.
This is especially true for recent graduates or employees who have recently entered a certain industry. Adding volunteer time to your CV is a great way to showcase experience if you don’t yet have work experience under your belt.
You can gain plenty of learning experience through volunteering, including soft skills such as leadership, time management, effective communication, teamwork, and more.
Depending on where you volunteer, you might even be able to gain more hard skills. For example, you can learn digital skills by helping a small nonprofit undergo digital transformation.
How to Motivate Yourself to Upskill
Once you decide you want to upskill, you may have to come to terms with how you’ll stay motivated moving forward. This is especially the case if you’re choosing an upskilling course while still in employment.
We recommend following these suggestions:
Set Your Goals and Intentions
First, you’ll want to set your goals and intentions. Just saying you want to upskill isn’t a strong enough reason to stay motivated throughout the process.
Take the time to set clear goals and intentions. Why do you want to upskill? What do you hope to gain or accomplish after upskilling? Is this the only way to obtain it?
Once you have these set, you’ll have a clear motivator to rely on throughout the process.
Understand Where You Should Upskill
When you have your goals that you want to accomplish set, then you can work toward understanding where you should upskill. This will help keep you motivated because you’ll know that your method of upskilling will correlate with your goals.
For example, if your goal involves progressing your career in the MedTech industry, and taking on a
senior role in the development process of medical devices, you may not want to focus your skills training on soft skills. Instead, you’d probably want to focus more on medical device operations, research, and manufacturing technology.
On the other hand, if you’re looking to change your career trajectory from operations to a leadership role, then prioritising upskilling courses around leadership, communication, problem-solving, and teamwork would be more beneficial.
Create a Plan to Follow
Once you have the previous two steps completed, you can then create a plan to follow.
Having a clear-set plan of action will help you visualise the entire process. This will cut down on the guesswork and wondering what to do next. And in doing so, you can keep yourself motivated when upskilling.
What Are the Benefits of Upskilling?
There are many benefits of upskilling, no matter which method you choose. Here are some of the highlights:
Changing Career Paths
If you’ve spent time in one industry and decide you’d like to move to another, you don’t have to start at zero. Your current level of education and your work experience can still be used as your foundation.
However, you probably will need to have basic knowledge and foundations of the industry you want to move into. That’s where upskilling can help if you’re switching career paths.
You shouldn’t have to complete an entire new bachelor’s programme to move into a new industry. Instead, certificate and diploma programmes are faster ways to gain the knowledge and experience you need to start in a new industry.
Receiving an Increase in Salary
If you’re wondering how to progress in your career, you might find that learning how to upskill is the best tool in your arsenal.
Choosing to prioritise skill building often comes with an increase in salary or benefits. Many companies choose to invest in upskilled employees and want to pay them more for the value they bring to the company.
Upskilling doesn’t have to be solely about monetary gain if you don’t want it to be. Instead, it can be used as a tool to improve yourself. Sometimes, that’s just as much of a motivator as any increase in salary.
What Is the Difference Between Upskilling and Reskilling?
Although they sound similar there is a difference between upskilling and reskilling.
Upskilling involves learning new, advanced skills to close the gap between where a company wants its employers and where they are currently. If you choose to upskill, you’re likely to learn additional skills to be better equipped
at your current position, a new role in your career field, or a new role in an entirely different industry.
Reskilling often means refreshing your current skill set should something in the industry have changed. It can also mean learning a new set of skills to perform a different, although “adjacent” job.
When In Your Career Should You Consider Upskilling?
Determining the right time to upskill will help you stay motivated to see it through and obtain the benefits.
When it comes to personal timing, you’ll want to consider the following:
- Do you have the time to devote to your chosen method of upskilling?
- Do you have the budget for a course or programme? If not, is there a government grant you may be eligible for? Or will your company invest in your course or programme?
- Is your current career path in demand? If something should happen at your current organisation, will your role or industry still be in-demand elsewhere?
- Are you wanting to change industries entirely? What will that look like in terms of a time commitment and budget commitment?
- Are you progressing in your career or do you feel stuck? If you feel stuck, what skills are beneficial to a role above yours?
What Industries Should You Consider for Upskilling This Year?
In terms of the job market, now is a great time to consider upskilling. The Irish job market is growing more competitive in its search for quality candidates. That means, by upskilling, you have a great advantage.
These are some of the fastest-growing industries:
Technology and Digital Industries:
As the world becomes more digital and reliant on technology, the need for more qualified candidates is crucial. You can expect to find upskilling courses around proficiencies, such as:
Software and/or web development
Digital marketing and social media
Information technology (IT) support
Innopharma has digital transformation courses to help you upskill
in the tech and digital industries, including:
MedTech and Biopharmaceutical Industries:
The MedTech and the biopharmaceutical industries are the one of the fastest-growing industries in Ireland. The Emerald Isle has become a hub for many of the world’s major medical device and pharmaceutical companies.
You can expect to learn and develop skills such as:
Medical measurement and analysis
Medical device quality systems and regulations
Medical device technology
Innopharma has several programmes for the MedTech industry, including:
We also offer many pharmaceutical programmes for the biopharmaceutical
Food Science Industry:
The food science industry is also gaining momentum in Ireland. If you’re wanting to expand your career in the food science sector, then finding the right upskilling course will be beneficial. You can expect to develop
skills, such as:
Food science technology
Food safety and management
Food & beverage industry standards and regulations
Process improvement and product development
Supply chain management
If you’re hoping to either progress your career in the food science industry or kick start it, Innopharma Education has several food science programmes to help you upskill, including:
Ready to get started on finding an upskill course that’s right for you? Our team at Innopharma Education can help! Explore and learn more about our upskilling programmes here.