With the advent of AI, automation and constant technological advancements, workers are finding themselves under-qualified and under skilled faster than ever before. By 2030, it’s predicted that 375million workers may need an entirely new skillset.
Amidst this concern, the words ‘reskill’ and ‘upskill’ are being thrown about, but what do they actually mean and why do you need to know about them?
The fundamental difference between upskilling and reskilling is that reskilling refers to an entirely new sphere of knowledge. For example, a graphic designer might go and learn some basic code, in order to help with the web design element of their job. This would be considered ‘upskilling’. However, if a graphic designer went and trained in hairdressing, that would be considered ‘reskilling.’ The two terms refer to the expanding of knowledge, but they differ when it comes to the purpose behind it.
So, what’s the problem?
When it comes to asking an employer or coach for support, the key distinction between upskilling and reskilling really comes into play. If you ask your boss for the opportunity to reskill, you may well find yourself in a new department when you were actually hoping for a promotion. When staff are made redundant, they may be offered the opportunity to reskill, allowing them to change career path. As so many of our systems become automated, the number of people requiring a ‘reskill’ will undoubtably rise. For those in sectors which are expanding, upskilling might allow them to progress faster. Make sure you know which one you’re looking for before you start asking around.
Should I upskill or reskill?
If you work in digital, your job role has probably already changed to incorporate and utilise various new types of technology. What’s concerning for those in the digital sphere is that they themselves may one day be replaced, unless they’re in a job that can grow alongside technology.
This is where upskilling becomes very important. In order to prevent yourself from hitting the ‘needs to reskill’ list, you have to keep ahead of technology. Project managers control where and how technology is used, coders design and develop technology’s capabilities and UX designers inform where our tech should go next. By looking into the crystal ball and predicting where your job role is headed could help you to pick your next avenue.
I want to reskill entirely, where do I start?
If you’re looking at a career in tech, digital marketing or project management, this might just be the perfect time to jump in. As different industries and fields begin to adopt technology, workers from those fields are required to help engineer the integration. AI is now handling so much of our day to day life, but that data needs to come from somewhere. Digital marketing is getting better and better at selecting the right audience, but new products and fields emerge all the time. The fact is, there’s plenty of room and investment for newcomers on the scene.
Whether you’re looking to upskill or reskill, a willingness to learn new skills and adopt a growth mindset is incredibly desirable. Upskilling can help you to remain relevant, stay indispensable and progress in your current field. Reskilling becomes important if your current job role is no longer relevant, or you’d like to migrate into a new field. Whichever direction you choose, be sure to look at accredited and trusted training providers to ensure that your future career is watertight and your skillset is ready to pack a punch.