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What’s upskilling? The higher option to advance your profession

The change in life is constant and the work landscape is no exception. After a year of major changes and pivots for jobs around the world, it is becoming increasingly clear that not only industry needs to be adaptable, but its people too. Wondering how to advance your career and bring your team to the workplace of the future? It's time to learn about continuing education.

Read on to find out exactly what qualification is, why it's important, and what benefits it can offer (hello, increased earning potential). Follow our six-step guide to educate yourself and your team. More of a visual learner? Proceed to the infographic to learn more.

Define upskilling

Qualification is the process of using additional training courses to build on your current skills and develop them further. It is something you can do for yourself and it can be made available to others as well.

Some examples of continuing education are attending a coding workshop to build on your programming skills, or attending a virtual conference to learn about new industry trends. It's good to know that continuing education is different from retraining when you are learning new skills to do a different job.

Why is upskilling important?

Technology is rapidly advancing and advancing the industry. This can create a gap between the skills of the existing workforce and the skills now required to perform their duties effectively. A report by the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation found that 74 percent of hiring managers recognize that there is currently a skill gap in the workforce, and this lack of adequate skills is one of the biggest barriers to hiring.

The qualification offers an important solution to this work problem. Large companies like Amazon and PwC have already invested in training programs for their employees. The qualification gap can be closed by further developing the skills of current and future specialists. In addition, both employees and employers benefit from lower sales, expanded growth opportunities and higher work productivity and satisfaction. In summary, it can be said that through further training, working people can take their own professional mobility into their own hands and employers also receive top talent.

Benefits of qualification

Qualification is important in all industries, but what does it mean for you? Let's discuss the benefits this can have for you, your career, and your wallet.

Get a raise

Upskilling can empower you by giving you the leverage you need to apply for a raise. If you can bring new skills to the table and demonstrate that those new skills will benefit your business or organization, you may have a solid argument to increase your salary or wage. If you take on additional responsibilities based on your upgraded skills, it is only fair that your compensation should reflect that increase in responsibilities.

Make a career change

Another benefit of continuing education is the ability to make a career change. Perhaps the skills you have learned will help you get a promotion or a similar job with a new company. Remember that when you change careers, you should think about what's most financially for you. It's important to carefully consider new opportunities and, if possible, find a new job before quitting your old one.

Enhance your working life

Have you ever felt tired or bored doing the same movements at work? Learning a new skill can give you the opportunity to switch between them. Applying new skills can benefit your work life by making you feel more productive and satisfied at work, and by building your motivation and morale. As you expand your role based on your skills, new responsibilities are added to break down the monotony of working life.

Improve yourself

Ultimately, upskilling will help you improve. Much like keeping your body active is important, keeping your mind active is also beneficial. Mentally stimulating activities can help keep your memory and thinking sharp, and can even slow the onset of dementia and Alzheimer's disease. In addition, learning has the ability to give meaning to our lives and to help us find personal and professional fulfillment.

Benefits of continuing education

Areas in which to improve your skills and earning potential

The skills gap encompasses a lack of skills in a variety of areas. These areas range from more technical STEM knowledge to soft skills. Learn about some of the most important areas to improve your skills and how they can increase your earning potential too.

Digital upskilling

Digital training is more necessary than ever as the workplaces continue to be operated remotely and via digital channels. Workers with digital skills make an average of $ 20 more an hour than those who don't. However, the National Skills Coalition found that roughly one in three US workers had limited or no digital skills. Grow your career and your earning potential by learning new digital skills.

Digital skills:

Digital competence
Web development
Software development
Information technology support
UX / UI design
Data visualization
Digital product management
Digital marketing
Social media


Statisticians, information security analysts, data scientists, and research analysts are projected to be among the top 20 fastest growing professions over the next decade. Not only are they some of the fastest growing, but the median salary of any profession has been at least $ 84,000 or more. Future-proof your career and salary by learning more about analytics.

Analytical skills:

Data science and analytics
Digital business analysis
Critical thinking
Mathematical modeling
solve problems
Inductive and deductive thinking

Soft skills

While technical STEM skills are in great demand, employment and wage growth is particularly strong for candidates who have a good balance between hard and soft skills. Soft skills are skills that you use in dealing with others and in managing your own work.

A Harvard researcher found that jobs requiring high levels of people skills increased by 12 percent while fewer social job opportunities dwindled. This finding shows how industries are using automation to replace roles that require less social interaction. Prove that you are more valuable than any robot or algorithm by improving your soft skills.

Check out examples of soft skills as well as a list of the top skills companies want:

Top soft skills desired by companies:

Emotional intelligence

Other soft skills:

Social competence
Listening skills
Social skills


Leadership is a skill that is valued in leadership positions and is required in both times of success and crisis. Employers often look for leadership skills related to work experience or extracurricular activities when evaluating applicants. If you are looking to achieve a leadership position and the high median salary that comes with it ($ 105,000 and up), leadership skills are important on your resume. Develop the leadership skills needed to grow your earning potential today.

Leadership skills:

decision making
Ability to provide constructive feedback
Willingness to take risks


Budget friendly upskilling resources

Search some of the following online resources for free, budget-friendly ways to learn new analytical, leadership, digital, and soft skills.

Improve yourself and your employees in 6 steps

After you have an idea of ​​the areas that you can study in, get started with these six steps today. Each step focuses on tips for your own career advantage and also includes tips on how you can help your team.

Step 1. Identify your goals

The first step in continuing education is to identify your ultimate goal. First, ask yourself what you want to achieve in your career. Perhaps you are in an entry-level position and would like to be promoted to a senior position, or perhaps you have an impossible goal of working your way up to CEO? Whatever your goal, it is important to keep it at the top of your plan in order to achieve it.

Tip for qualifying your team: Ask each team member about their immediate and future career goals. By focusing on these, you can plan a long-term course of action.

Step 2. Find your knowledge gaps

With your end goal in mind, it's time to identify your knowledge gaps. To do this, you can search for your desired position in the job descriptions and find out which skills you currently do not have. Alternatively, you can use your network and ask a mentor what skills he is looking for in a suitable candidate for your desired position. Once you've found your knowledge gaps, it's time to start planning what to learn.

Tip for qualifying your team: When it comes to further training, every employee has to fill different gaps. Do a skill gap analysis to identify what each member can improve and link that to their career goals as you plan the next step.

Step 3: formulate a plan

Once you know your gaps, start planning how to fill them with education and training. Remember to evaluate many different learning pathways based on your budget. You may not have to pay the cash for an expensive bootcamp when you can learn from free online videos or buy an affordable book to teach yourself.

After researching how to learn or acquire your skills, create an S.M.A.R.T. Plan or a plan that consists of specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound goals. Adapt your plan to what you can realistically achieve in your everyday life. A good plan consists of several S.M.A.R.T. Goals that will help you achieve your goal. Below is an example:


Good upskilling destination:

I will spend X hours a day / week (learning method) for X weeks / months learning (skills).


I will be watching instructional videos for two hours a day for two weeks to learn HTML.


I'll be spending five hours a week practicing my HTML for four months to get some practical knowledge of HTML.

Tip for qualifying your team: If you plan on training your team, use the resources your company already has or help create some resources. If you don't have many in-house resources, consider creating a corporate or individual career development budget so that employees can learn on their own.

Step 4: learn new skills

Once you have an educational strategy in place, it's time to get to work. Learning takes time, commitment and constant application of your knowledge. Try to have fun on the go, and don't be afraid to seek help. Remind yourself of your end goal throughout the process to keep yourself motivated to achieve it.

Tip for qualifying your team: Equip your team with the tools and resources they need to get the learning done. If necessary, offer help from mentors or colleagues. In addition, offering financial support or incentives can help motivate them and generate a positive return on investment.

Step 5: act on your new skills

It's time to use your new skills. Start with low risk methods to test them out first. Try bringing some of your newfound knowledge to a meeting or helping a team member who is using your skills but currently has a lot on their plate. If you use your skills well, you can impress your team and open up greater opportunities for you in the future.

After testing your skills, you may feel confident enough to perform larger movements. Remember to ask your manager for more autonomy on a project or even expand your work tasks. When you successfully demonstrate the value of your precious new skills over time, you can work on negotiating a promotion or a raise.

Tip for qualifying your team: When an employee is educated, you offer them numerous opportunities for flexibility and career growth. Consider offering the opportunity to change positions and transfer their new skills, or open a discussion about expanding roles.

Step 6: staying adaptable

Upskilling is not a mentality. You never know what new knowledge gaps will emerge in your skills, or how your career goals may change over time. Staying adaptable through constant learning is the key to growing with ever-evolving technologies and industries.

Tip for qualifying your team: Build a learning culture by offering year-round training and development opportunities.

In an ever-changing world, it is important to remain adaptable and find ways to future-proof your livelihood. Take control of your career by educating yourself and taking advantage of the many benefits it has for you, your career, and your finances.

Are you thinking of investing in an online course or bootcamp for further education? Download the Mint app and create a new education budget category to budget your investment in yourself today.


Sources: Labor Statistics Office | O * Net Online | US Chamber of Commerce Foundation | LinkedIn | Businesswire |

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