You can gain skills and change your career with the help of structured courses, nagging your boss or enrolling in online classes. But there are some key considerations ...

How to Gain New Skills and Change Your Career

If you’re sick of your current job and lacking motivation in your professional life, it may be time to upskill and get on a new path to a more exciting career. The only person who can do that is you, but you can get help by understanding the best ways to gain new skills and change career – and what to consider first.

What Skills Are in Demand Today

The types of skills in demand today have not even been invested a few years ago. Similarly, the skills that we do acquire may not be as relevant in a decade from now. The world is changing faster than ever due to technologies, and it is these technologies that drive a changing demand for skills and lead to skill shortages.

For example, blockchain development is one of the most sought-after skills today, but it was not even considered a few years ago. Other skill shortages can be found by visiting JobRapido, one of the best job sites with technology-related vacancies. Simply browsing these jobs will not only tell you what roles are available, but it will indicate where the future of the workplace is heading.

There is another trend we need to consider when considering the best skills to have today. More businesses are choosing to offer remote working. This is great for families trying to juggle their professional and personal lives, but it does mean new talents are needed. You may need to savvy up on using conferencing software or handling team management portals like Trello. On top of that, your soft skills may require development to build a rapport without as much face-to-face interaction.

Here are just some of the skills that today’s employers may seek out the most:

  • Blockchain development
  • Coding
  • Data analysis
  • Website development
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI)
  • Virtual and augmented reality
  • Communication and leadership
  • Team management skills

The Best Ways to Gain New Skills

Before you commit to acquiring a new skill, you need to make sure that it is going to be valuable for your end goal. Is this a skill or qualification that will lead to the promotion you want or change of career? If not, maybe it is better to aim for other skills that will prove more beneficial to you and your career.

There are lots of ways to gain a new skill. Sometimes we don’t even realise we are developing skills because we enjoy what we do so much that the process of learning goes unnoticed. Soft skills are another set of skills we develop without realising. They are often developed through experienced in everyday life and work, rather than through structured training (like hard skills are). However, it is better to self-reflect on the use of these skills to progress.

If you want to develop hard skills, you have lots of options. You could attend an educational institute like a college or a university. Or you could ask your seniors at work to enrol you into staff training. If you go down the latter route, it is best to evidence why the training would benefit the company as well as yourself. Will it make you more productive? If so, be specific and don’t give your boss a reason to say no. Requesting staff training may impress, show your commitment to a company and even line you up for a promotion.

Online Courses for Career Redirection

Another option is to use an online course. There are thousands of online courses available from many providers helping you to become better at anything using Python to scraping sites for data. They offer online accreditation that is often recognised by regulatory bodies, and most importantly, future employers. They are especially attractive to people wanting to change their career in later life. These people may not have the time or finances to cease their current employment to retrain when they also have a mortgage or family to support. Online courses overcome this issue by enabling self-directed study in the learner's own time. It can take longer to get the qualification which will recalculate the GPS on your career, but it is a convenient option.

Considerations When Switching Career with Online Courses

If you do decide to switch careers using an online course and to gain a certificate. The crucial step is to ensure the qualification you are receiving is recognised. Some of the best online courses are not cheap, and spending all your effort only to realise that employers do not accept it will be devastating.

The Key Takeaways

Here are the key takeaways when trying to gain new skills or change careers:

  • Consider what skills are worth having in the future
  • Read the news and look at job sites to identify them
  • Assess what skills you need to make a change. Not every talent will be valuable!
  • Consider skills that may become more appealing in a remote working world
  • Gain skills through experience, structured learning and online courses
  • Ensure any online courses are recognised before signing up