Staying current with the latest trends and technological advancements is crucial to remaining relevant and adaptable in the current job market. Ireland attracts many of the world’s most disruptive and innovative companies, including Apple, Google, and Amazon. Modern employees need a commitment to continuous learning and upskilling to stand out.
According to the World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs Report 2023, over 75% of companies will adopt emerging technologies in big data, cloud computing, and AI. Employers expect a market churn of 23% of jobs, leading to a decrease in available positions prioritising high-skilled labour.
In this article, we explore why it’s essential to upskill for career advancement and the upskilling benefits for job seekers in the long run.
What are the benefits of upskilling?
Upskilling is more accessible than ever, thanks to an ever-growing choice of online platforms and resources. The benefits of upskilling extend far beyond just acquiring new knowledge. It makes prospective employers sit up and take notice. Hiring managers are always looking to plug skill gaps in their teams.
Beyond employability, continuous learning keeps the brain active and engaging, encouraging a growth mindset and helping individuals to be more confident when taking on new challenges. Learning new skills can also boost a person’s critical thinking and problem solving abilities, allowing people to consider new perspectives when faced with adversity.
Colin Hughes, head of the Graduate Business School at TU Ireland believes new leadership skills are required as more offices transition to a hybrid or virtual model.
“Organisations need to consider not only how suited employees are to virtual working but also whether their leaders are equipped to lead in a virtual environment and what upskilling they might require.”
Whether you’re a business leader looking to get up to speed on reporting practices, or an employee looking to take on more responsibilities at your current company to better position yourself for a new career, upskilling is vital to success. With technological advancements in AI and data analytics, new job roles require specific skill sets that may not be part of traditional job descriptions.
Ireland’s workforce must take advantage of these emerging fields to demonstrate the commitment and competency businesses need in their employees. Check Recruit Ireland’s job board for current vacancies from leading companies like Johnson & Johnson, Aldi, and GSK. Compare your existing skills with those on the job listing to find which areas achieve upskilling benefits.
The more skills you have, the better positioned you are for salary negotiations. According to Bankrate, those who fund their own development receive an average salary 15.3% higher than just 5.2% when development is company-funded.
For instance, mastering new cutting-edge technology can open up your career prospects to specialised roles, giving you the upper hand in any negotiation over salary. Also, companies are more likely to invest in a candidate who can demonstrate a commitment to advancement within their chosen career.
What’s the difference between upskilling and reskilling?
Upskilling and reskilling may sound similar, but they’re two different strategies for adapting to changes in the job market. While both include acquiring new skills, they involve distinctly different goals and outcomes.
- Upskilling: This is about taking what you already know to the next level to improve your performance in your current role. Typically, it would involve learning about advancements in your field, training in emerging technologies, and enhancing your current skill set to keep up with industry trends. For example, someone working in software development may want to learn a new programming language or learn how AI can be incorporated into what they already do.
- Reskilling: This is about learning new skills for an entirely different job role. People who want to switch careers often need to reskill to bridge the gap in their skill set. It’s also possible that your current role may become obsolete due to emerging technologies. For instance, someone who works in the print industry may need to reskill to become a digital creator, which will involve learning new software and best practices.
- Upskilling: Upskilling may be implemented by people who wish to succeed in their current job, adapt to changes within their individual role, or keep up to date with trends as their field of work evolves. It’s about staying relevant in an ever-changing environment. It may be achieved by attending training seminars, workshops, taking online courses, or pursuing higher education.
- Reskilling: Reskilling, on the other hand, is the path a person needs to take to acquire entirely new skills for a career change. While many roles may have transferable skills, learning additional skills in new technologies will often be needed. Reskilling may involve more extensive training and education to be achieved.
Both require a commitment to continuous learning and are integral to maintaining a competitive edge in the job market. Embracing these approaches is a great way to future-proof your career aspirations.
How do I upskill?
Upskilling can be achieved in many different ways. Some skills, like learning a new programming language, can be self-taught or learned through online courses. Other skills may be achieved similarly or may require more formal education or training. Here are some common methods for upskilling in Ireland:
- Online courses: Accessible and flexible, online courses offer various topics and skill levels, allowing you to learn at your own pace from anywhere.
- Workshops and seminars: These provide hands-on experience and direct interaction with experts, focusing on specific skills or industry trends.
- Mentorship: Engaging with a mentor offers personalised guidance and insights from an experienced professional in your field.
- Research: Keeping up with industry publications, journals, and online resources helps you stay informed about the latest trends and advancements in your area of interest.
- On-the-job training: Many employers provide workplace training programs that allow you to learn new skills while working, often with the benefit of practical application.
- Formal education: Enrolling in degree or certification programs at universities or colleges for a more structured and comprehensive learning experience in your chosen field.
However you choose to upskill, align your training with your career aspirations. Whether it will be self-taught or more formal, you should assess your current skill set and identify the areas where professional growth is needed.
Is upskilling expensive?
The cost of upskilling depends on the kind of training you undertake and whether it is self-funded. Many online courses are self-paced and may be free to join. Formal education and certification is where upskilling may get expensive, but your workplace may be willing to fund or part-fund your training. It’s worth asking your line manager or HR if this is possible.
Where can you find upskilling courses?
Courses are widely available through online platforms. Websites like Coursera, Udemy, and LinkedIn Learning offer courses in many different fields ranging from beginner to advanced. Many universities and colleges in Ireland also run short courses, so be sure to check your local institutions.
How can AI help you to upskill?
With a lot of discourse online about AI replacing human jobs, many people are missing a key opportunity for upskilling. Using AI as a tool for professional development can be really beneficial. AI-driven platforms can personalise learning experiences to suit your career goals and learning style. They can analyse your progress, suggest areas for improvement, and restructure training to fill your skill gaps.
A recent study from MIT showed the productivity of workers who used ChatGPT increased by 37%. Using a tailored approach with generative AI means less time and effort wasted on irrelevant or redundant material. Instead, you can focus on skill development that is directly applicable and beneficial to your career path.
Unlock career progression with Recruit Ireland
With the right approach and resources, you can acquire the relevant new skills and adapt to any changes in your industry. Upskilling benefits also opens many doors for new and exciting career opportunities. Recruit Ireland is the perfect place to track changing job requirements and see how your current skill set stacks up against the job market demands.
Whether you’re seeking career advancement in your current field or exploring entirely new career paths, Recruit Ireland has all the information you need to make informed decisions and take proactive steps in your professional development.