The recent COVID pandemic caused a lot of upheaval to our lives. For those working in serviced based, airline/tourism or retail industries the economic impact was devastating and many in these industries either lost their jobs or had their hours significantly reduced. Whilst there were many people affected, some saw this as an opportunity to undertake digital upskilling to broaden their employment prospect or to move into another industry entirely.
This digital upskilling could adding some additional skills to your current position, adding skills to help pursue turning a hobby or a passion into a business or undertaking further education to help move up the corporate ladder.
We’ve talked about how to turn a hobby or passion into a new career here however in this article we will be going through some tips on how to digitally upskill to a new career.
What is digital upskilling?
When computers first started filling the workplace “digital upskilling” usually involved understanding how to use email or becoming familiar with the Microsoft suite of products. Nowadays digital upskilling means unlocking your skills and education across the digital world usually around online courses or through online education pathways.
The time frames with these digital upskilling courses/training could be anything from a 3 month intensive training course around learning how to code, through to an online degree on something like computer programming or computer engineering.
Examples of digital upskilling could be enrolling in a short course that teaches Microsoft Excel in depth, helping you move into a role where spreadsheet mastery is needed. It could be enrolling in an online training platform such as A Cloud Guru and to become certified for the major cloud providers or it could be enrolling into an online university to learn a whole new career such as becoming a graphic designer. Basically the range of options for digital upskilling is broad.
Digital upskilling is also a great way of future proofing your career as you become a lot more versatile with more strings to your bow. It could enable you to apply for that job that comes with a significant pay rise, it could mean you suddenly find yourself fast tracked to the top of your organisation. One of the best investments you can make is one in yourself and digital upskilling fits this bill!
Tips for digital upskilling
So you’ve realised the benefits of digital upskilling, what else should you be considering before jumping in the deep end? A couple of things you should be thinking about before undertaking any digital upskilling:
1. Ask yourself what do you want to do with your life?
Is your current job or career how you want to spend the rest of your working life? Or is it time to try something else? If you do enjoy your current job or career path then look for courses or additional training that adds more skills to your current role or enrol in something that will enable you to apply for jobs that have more broader job requirements.
If it’s a total career do over look at what hobbies or talents that you have that you can build a career around and take on any education or courses that will fast track this.
2. Try before you enroll
For example you might have an arts background and looking to get into graphic designing however you have limited digital or online experience however you might enrol in a course, spend thousands of dollars and find out you hate graphic design.
Particularly if you are looking to change your career try several things before committing or at least find a education provider that is flexible with refunds should you wish to pull out early.
Most quality online course providers offer fair terms however do your research on the course or education provider before you enrol.
3. What is your budget and timeframe?
If you are looking to bolster your current career prospects (and have sufficient funding or your employer is happy to foot the bill) then it might be better off to undertake an intensive specific course around specific skills you are looking to learning.
This could be something like a Microsoft Excel course or even an cloud computing accreditation course.
If you have more time on your hands or if you have a lower budget then you might be able to enrol in a free or cheaper course of even enrol in a government subsidised facility (such as some TAFE course in Australia) or take on student debt to enrol in a digital orientated degree.
Again figure out what your future plans then your time and budget before enrolling in your chosen path.
4. Participate at your own pace
After you’ve ticked off all the above points (and you know the time you can spend on this training) participate at your own pace. Everyone learns at a different pace so don’t worry if others appear to be ahead of where you are. Sometimes it might takes several goes at a particular module however you will be rewarded if you learn on your own timetable, not that of someone else’s.
Recommended resources for your digital upskilling journey
Depending on what you are looking to achieve with your digital upskilling will determine what path you take. Below is a list of providers who may have something to suit your needs and budget
Free (or provides quality free offerings)
Open Education Database
Paid (some on this list have free options)
Local Universities, Community Colleges, TAFE’s, etc
Open University (UK, Aust)
Code Academy (coding)
Or a particular expert that you may follow via social media or email
These are just a small selection of some of the free and paid online education providers available to digitally upskill yourself.
It’s never been easier or more accessible to digitally upskill to a new career, a job promotion or to just learn a new skill. There’s also no better time than now to invest in yourself and look to get that promotion, the new job or to change your career entirely. There are plenty of quality free online education resources (should your budget dictate this), alternatively there are some highly focused top quality providers that will definitely boost your chances of a significant pay rise or the ability to climb the career ladder quicker.