Over the last few years, advancements in massive shifts in technology, processes, and the workplace itself have changed the professional landscape.

As employees look to stay afloat and remain competitive in a sea of change, they have found that retooling their skillsets has become more critical than ever. Whether it be through professional development courses, additional certifications, or training in new areas, upskilling, reskilling, and continuous learning have all become paramount for career advancement.

Why Upskill and Reskill?

Per a TalentGuard report, the creation of 97 million new roles may lead to a shift in the division of labor between humans and machines. By 2025, this could displace up to 85 million jobs. With this impending shift, upskilling and reskilling will represent important tools for applicants and the workforce to remain relevant in a world driven by technology.

Recruiters and employers are seeking a set of specialized abilities from candidates. What will it take for someone to get ahead? Building on one's skillset by upskilling or reskilling can help workers stand out. Upskilling refers to the process of learning new skills to close a talent gap, whereas reskilling is the process of learning new skills to take on a different job. However, upskilling and reskilling are not a one-time "upgrade."

Why is continuous learning important?

As technology and work processes evolve, employees may find themselves updating their knowledge every few years, or perhaps even every few months. This represents a career-long process, otherwise known as continuous learning. Where to begin? Like any venture, continuous learning involves a bit of planning, and doesn't always follow a linear route.

  • Set goals: Setting clear and measurable goals will lay out the journey ahead. Identify and define any steps required along the way.
  • Conduct research: Upskilling and reskilling opportunities will vary based on a person's current skillset, and how they seek to improve upon their capabilities. An online course, certification tests, or even continuing education classes can help achieve most requirements.
  • Create a plan of action, and work towards completion: Enroll, study, and/or complete the certification in accordance to the timeline laid out during the goal-setting period.
  • Evaluate: Upon achieving a goal, consider how it has impacted daily processes. Is more work needed, or can a team share the knowledge?

The term "life-long learner" might spring to mind. Expanding knowledge by tracking industry trends and obtaining relevant certifications can allow a person to stand out in a crowded job market and get ahead in even the most niche of markets

Continuous learning in the workplace

Closing the skills gap isn't always an independent venture. Organizations are looking to bolster their employees' strengths to set their staff up for future success. Investing in employees can have a great impact on the bottom line.

Now is the time to prepare for the future of work. Companies that fail to invest in their employees risk leaving staff stagnant in their careers, ultimately missing out on advancement opportunities and feeling disengaged. Creating a culture of learning and development is much more fruitful than a culture of constant turnover.

What's next?

Change is the only constant, and can be hard to predict. In today's rapidly changing job market, continuous learning is absolutely critical for staying competitive and relevant. In an unpredictable economy, upskilling and reskilling represent competitive advantages for applicants, employees, and the workforce at large.

Who wouldn't want to be at the top of their game? Staying on top of the latest technologies, systems, processes, and certifications helps workers meet their employers' expectations, and prepare for a changing future.