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Upskilling for a post-coronavirus job market

By Emilly Parris | 01 July 2020

If you’re one of the many thousands of Australians who have lost their job or are concerned about your job security due to the coronavirus crisis, you may be wondering whether it’s time to re-evaluate your skills to adapt to the new job economy.

Should you look for a new role? Make a move into an entirely different industry?

Fortunately, Australia’s economy has fared better than most countries and there are a number of approaches we can take to ensure we come out stronger on the other side of this crisis. Upskilling could be an option for you if you want greater job security and more options to progress in your career. 

According to some experts, the opportunities for upskilling are actually better in the current recession. Even those who are employed can use this time to invest in their education and find employment in a thriving industry.

How To Upskill Yourself.

young bearded man studying online

Since the beginning of the lockdown, many of us have found that we have more time on our hands than ever before. This creates the perfect opportunity to start improving our skills or gaining some new ones.

Perhaps you’ve noticed some areas where you could improve, or you’re considering expanding on your expertise in an effort to enter a new specialty. Upskilling can provide you with more options by opening doors that were previously inaccessible to you.

It is also worth pointing out that even despite the coronavirus pandemic, there are many factors affecting the workers of tomorrow. Automation, technology, knowledge gaps and an aging population are just a few examples.

A recent report by McKinsey states that 25–46% of current work in Australia could be automated by 2030. The report also acknowledges that as automation technologies become more integrated in the workplace, a combination of new skills will be required. For example, workers will spend over 60% more time using technological skills, therefore those skills will need to be strengthened and nurtured.

If you’re in an industry that has been affected by the pandemic, developing your skills can help you not only find a new job but keep you employable for many years to come. Even if you are not directly impacted, upskilling is among one of the best and quickest ways to fill knowledge gaps, gain credentials and prepare yourself for any role that emerges both now and in the future.

Popular Online Courses During COVID-19.

If you’re interested in upskilling, one of the most proactive steps is to complete an online course or certification. Roles that are technology-based and that can be performed remotely are among the most popular right now, and there are plenty of opportunities in areas such as information technology, digital media, marketing and management.

Below are some courses that have attracted the most interest since COVID-19:
  1. ICT30118 - Certificate III in Information, Digital Media and Technology 
  2. ICT40418 - Certificate IV in Information Technology Networking 
  3. ICT30118 - Certificate III in Information, Digital Media and Technology - Interactive Gaming and Programming Specialisation
  4. ICT40518 - Certificate IV in Programming

Given the importance of health—particularly mental health, the CHC43315 - Certificate IV in Mental Health is a great option for those who want to transition into a career helping others improve their mental wellbeing. As telehealth services become more widely available, we’ll be seeing more roles being filled in the health care sector.

Upskilling and Work in the Future.

candidates waiting for job interview

There’s no denying that the job market has changed and will continue to change as we emerge from the aftermath of this crisis.

According to data from the ABS, 594,300 Australians lost their jobs in April. Workers in the hospitality industry have been hit the hardest, with many restaurants shut down in an effort to adhere to social distancing rules.

A recent article in the Guardian claims that many industries such as retail, transport, manufacturing and others will find it difficult, if not impossible to operate profitably again. 

And workers who are employed by those businesses with no capacity to work from home “will not possess skills or experience to be employed in the post-pandemic economy.”

Although many are speculating about the possibility of working remotely in the future, research conducted by economist Jim Stanford’s Centre For Future Work showed that only about 30% of Australia’s workers are able to perform their jobs from home. 

This could very well change as we re-adjust systems and processes, but it will take time. As with any economic shift, preparation is key. We may not be able to control the situation, but we can still equip ourselves with knowledge for a future that could look very different.

Develop your skillset in a changing work economy

Taking proactive steps to improve your skills can give you more options that will help you not only survive a recession—but thrive in a role that you’re passionate about. If you’re committed to progressing in your career, now is the time to invest in yourself, boost your credentials and get yourself qualified to work in your dream role. If you’re interested in learning more, chat with one of Upskilled's education consultants on 1300 009 924 and enquire about an online course today.

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