How to Use Upskilling for Your Career Advancement

Your knowledge, skills, and abilities are the most valuable commodity to achieve the next level in your career. Acquiring skills that are not only relevant, but transferable are make upskilling worth the personal or employer investment. Upskilling comes in a variety of formats such as certificates, professional development courses, workshops, conferences, cross-job training, mentoring or coaching.

Benefits of Upskilling

  • Adaptability and agility to new career options
  • Enhance work life to achieve career satisfaction
  • Transferable skills to strengthen future career options
  • Discover new a method, process, or workflow to improve productivity
  • Eligible for pay increase based on new knowledge or expertise
  • Get inspired to seek a new career by improving yourself
Upskilling for Career Advancement

Three Types of Upskilling

1. Digital Skills

Modernization initiatives make digital upskilling a must. Digital skills not only future proof your potential employment options, they provide you with new opportunities for career advancement. The National Skills Coalition gives four (4) levels of foundational digital skills: no, limited, proficient, and advanced. The Coalition found that those with a lower digital skill level often have lower earnings. These levels are described in the table below:
Digital Skill Level Defined
None Digital skills fail to meet one or more baseline criteria such as prior computer use, computer-based assessment, or 4 out of 6 very basic computer skills.
Limited Very simple digital tasks with generic interface and minimal steps. Unable to sort through event information via email.
Proficient Struggle with tasks that require generic and specific technology applications. Inability to use a new type of online form and navigate across multiple pages and applications to complete tasks.
Advanced Can implement inferential reasoning to solve problems with technology. Carry out multiple steps and evaluate relevant sets of items to finish tasks.
Digital Upskilling Examples
Data visualization Digital marketing Social Media
UX/UI design Programming Web Development

2. Analytic

Data-driven solutions continue to make an impact within all industries. With over 2.5 quintillion bytes of data created daily, 20 megabytes of data processed by Google daily, and 44 zetabytes of data in the world, analytic upskilling opens the door to endless spaces for career advancement. As data literacy and competency continue to change the workforce, analytic upskilling is a necessity.
Analytic Upskilling Examples
Data science Critical thinking Mathematical modeling
Research Problem-solving Data analytics
Analytic Upskilling

3. Improving Soft Skills

Soft skills help you maintain interactions and stay productive within a career. Interacting with others is inevitable for career advancement, but honing these skills takes time. Navigating differing personalities and abilities can be challenging, however, upskilling the right soft skills will have you thriving.
Soft Skills Upskilling Example
Collaboration Adaptability Emotional intelligence
Communication Persuasion Active listening

How to Upskill

  1. Identify goals – Whether you already have a designated career path, are seeking a promotion, or want to elevate your skillset, these can become goals to guide your direction.
  2. Formulate a strategy – Formulating a strategy consists of determining what training opportunities are available, how they will fill your knowledge gaps, and next steps once acquired.
  3. Develop an action plan Securing funding for, enrolling, and actively participating and completing in the program are all part of the action plan. This plan should have designated dates for each action to maintain momentum.
  4. Learn new skills or acquire skills – Depending on the program this may take one week, one month, or a year.   
Upskilling is important in career advancement. It doesn’t just enhance your skills, but provides you with invaluable knowledge that sets you apart from the competition. Our certificate programs include Capstone Projects designed to enhance your skills. To learn more about gaining experience for your next job or career, set up a time to speak with a Student Advisor and discover how we help you strengthen your skills.
How to Upskill

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