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Four paths to upskilling for the new working world

By Ana Isabel Alonsagay

No industry stays the same forever – particularly in an era of rapidly-growing technologies. This is where upskilling comes in: a chance for the workers today to keep pace with the jobs for tomorrow.

Training in emerging, sought-after skills areas can help keep you competitive, relevant, and in-demand as a professional of your industry. Plenty of upskilling pathways (such as online course programs) also culminate in recognised certifications or micro-credentials, further sharpening your competitive edge in the job market.

Below, we discuss the importance of training for an increasingly digital future, the best areas to start honing your skills, and how Upskilled’s courses can help.

Why is upskilling important in today’s world? 

Automation is set to disrupt the Australian workforce, boding the concerning displacement of varying jobs. At the same time, such developments may also lead to new doors of career opportunity. 

Upskilling amidst today’s landscape can help one stay ahead of the curve by training for both emerging and existing skills areas that remain “untouched” by these developments. Such sectors popularly include areas of tech itself, or human-centric professions that require a personable touch or leadership. 

There are also other varying benefits to additional skills training, such as providing increased productivity, better quality output, and improved peer relations in the workplace.

Additionally, most training programs offer students the opportunity to practically apply their skills to real-world contexts, helping them not only build the knowledge, but also the experience required to stand out among employers. 

How does upskilling differ from training? 

Upskilling typically involves employee learning an additional set of skills to better perform in their job role, or to further advance their career. This can be done through professional training under internships, apprenticeships, or course programs. To upskill is to thus to train for the specific skills you’re after. 

However, there is a difference between upskilling and reskilling: while the former is done to improve one’s skills in a specific industry, the latter involves learning an entirely new skillset altogether – often to help one shift from one sector to another. 

Some may choose to completely reskill for Australia’s future workforce, but it’s also possible to simply upskill in your current role, “future-proofing” it in an age of automation. 

What are some of the best ways for workers to upskill?

Get ahead in areas of tech

IT sectors are among the most recommended areas for those looking to upskill, offering pathways for those looking to leverage (rather than succumb their careers) to emerging technologies. It is also considered one of the most resilient fields in the face of economic disruptions, such as the changes brought about by COVID-19. With the world reliant on technology – particularly the online space – it’s an industry that’s bound to stay in demand for many years to come. 

According to findings by Deloitte, the technology sector has experienced very strong growth in the previous year; garnering 64,700 more workers between 2020 and 2021 and reaching a total record high of 870,300. Still, field expects even an even greater rise in employment over the next five years, with an estimated 1.2 million Australian tech workers by 2027.

Career opportunities thus run plenty in this sector, now and into the future; with Hays citing cyber security, cloud computing, software development, and data analytics among the topmost fields in-demand. Those with the right skills and experience can also enjoy generous salaries in these sectors, with cyber security professionals earning an average of $96K AUD a year, cloud computing experts earning $138K AUD, software developers earning $71K AUD, and data analysts earning $72K AUD.

Advance your business skills

Behind every business is a capable, experienced leader – a skillset involving exceptional communication, interpersonal, and motivational abilities. As such, the human touch is crucial, making business aptitude yet another skills area unlikely to face impending automation. 

Plenty of business courses, such as those offered by Upskilled, offer professionals the chance of building technical, transferable skills in areas of leadership and management; operations; human resources; work health and safety; and more. These programs are also designed to arm you with “work-ready” skills, helping you put your knowledge to practice in simulated work environments.

This allows students to build on their practical industry experience, helping them better navigate and land business-related roles in the job market.

According to SEEK statistics, the average business manager earns about $105K AUD in Australia per year, with a 9.2% employment growth expected over the next half decade. 

Master the art of project management

Going hand-in-hand with business skills, it may be worth further specialising in the area of project management. As with general business leadership, project managers require that human-centric communication and critical thinking to guide their teams to success; a field yet to be perfected by automation and AI technology. 

The field has also experienced a surge in demand, particularly as businesses roll out their big project plans post-COVID-19. SEEK also predicts a 9.2% rise in job growth over the next five years, with an average salary of $130K AUD per year. There’s thus never been a better time to get into project management, and with the sector grappling with a growing skills gap – professionals are bound to find plenty of high-paying opportunities now and in the years to come. 

To top that off, there are plenty of project management training programs available (such as the wide variety currently offered by Upskilled). Plenty of these may also focus on project management methodologies specifically used in IT professions, such as Lean Six Sigma or Agile Scrum. 

Hone your marketing abilities

Just as people will always be needed to lead businesses, there will always be the skills needed to successfully promote them. Technologies have already emerged in the field, automating traditional tasks such as customer support and data collection – but the ability to creatively strategize an effective marketing campaign will remain in the hands of current or aspiring industry experts.

Marketing has also seen increasing demand in recent years, as it’s yet another field attempting to bridge an expanding skills gap. While 2022 saw a “historic high” of 4,412 employed workers in Australian media agencies, the job vacancy rate had also doubled to 12% from the normal rate of 6%. Analytics roles, in particular, are the most sought after by employers: those with the skills to gather and translate data into meaningful insights. 

As with project management, there are also plenty of marketing roles that overlap with areas of tech – including SEO strategists, social media managers, growth marketers, and pay-per-click specialists. According to SEEK, the digital marketing field is set to experience a growth of 11.4% in the next five years, with an average salary of $75K AUD.

Looking to build your skills for the future?

Upskilled offers a wide variety of training courses in these in-demand fields and more – from intensive short courses and bootcamps to comprehensive degree programs. Build the practical industry skills and experience to start advancing your careers, verified through nationally-recognised certifications.

Best of all, each of these courses are delivered online, helping you train at a time, place, and pace that suits you best. “Future-proof” your career path today, and enquire with us on a course. 

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