What is Upskilling and why you need to pay more attention to it than ever?

Reading Time: 3 minutes

As per the latest NASSCOM report, up to 40 percent of the estimated 4 million workforce in India would undergo re-skilling over the next 5 years. 

You must have come across articles blaring data points like the one above in the past few months and would’ve brushed them aside conveniently, but if you are planning to make 2018 a milestone year in terms of Career Growth it’s time you took the latest corporate buzzword seriously. ‘Upskilling’ has arrived and it is here to stay.

In light of the layoffs witnessed by the IT industry last year Reskilling/Upskilling has become the new mantra to success, and for the all the right reasons. But before we get into why it is super important to upskill yourself more than ever now let’s understand what upskilling really entails.

What is Upskilling?

Upskilling refers to improving the skillset of professionals, usually through training to enable them to perform better in their jobs and help them progress through the company into various job roles and opportunities. Upskilling opportunities can be provided using a number of formats, ranging from short courses to getting higher qualifications or gaining certifications through part-time or full-time programs.

Read Also: Steps to get your employer to sponsor your upskilling

Here are the top reasons Why Upskilling is important for you now more than ever:

  1. It helps you keep up with latest Industry Demand & trends– Learning new skills or improving existing skillsets ensures that you are up to pace with the shift in trends your domain is witnessing. As an example take The Union Budget 2018 and its clear focus on AI, Big Data and Robotics and their application in the Digital Economy. We can clearly see career opportunities are set to rise exponentially in these domains within the next 2-3 years. So if you were to acquire a new skill or develop expertise in a new domain, Analytics, Big Data, Artificial Intelligence or IOT could be a great option.
  2. You can increase your pay-check in no-time- According to a staffing solutions company, TeamLease Services, India will face a demand-supply gap of 2 lakh data analytics professionals by 2020. This lag between demand and supply exists not only in India but is a global phenomenon. As per the estimates of McKinsey, the gap between supply and requisite demand for analytics skills in the US will reach 50-60% by 2018. With the industry all set to witness such a huge demand gap you can utilize the opportunity to get a lucrative pay package in the respective domain. A sure shot way to develop a new competency in it would be to take up an industry-oriented program focusing on a new-age skill. You might have to invest a year or 6 months with such a course but the gains in terms of better employment opportunities and rise in pay scale will all be worth it.
  3. You can future-proof your career– More technological advancements sometimes translate to more and more people being replaced at their jobs. A recent threat to millions of jobs is posed by Automation and Artifical Intelligence, although the number of jobs that will be automated due to AI is debatable it is always better to future-proof your career by developing new competencies. It is hence beneficial to become an irreplaceable asset to your organization by constantly proving that you have the grit and enthusiasm to learn new things and stay updated.
  4. Enable a successful career transition– In case you are planning to transition into a new role or enter a new domain altogether, Upskilling will help you facilitate the shift with much more ease. A program or course that enables you to build a body of work through industry-based projects will surely be helpful in tackling interviews with prospective employers with confidence and will display domain knowledge. Look for a program which has a good mix of industry participation which will allow you to network with industry experts and thought leaders and give you opportunities for referrals and endorsements.

The bottom line

With newer employment avenues opening up in the IT industry, the emphasis is slowly shifting from Scale to Skill. Technical competencies aligned with the Digital Economy are therefore in high demand. The time to explore new waters and ride the new wave is now. Re-skill or perish is the only way forward.