What you need to know:
- Remote working has made it possible for people to work from any part of the world.
- The pandemic is not entirely responsible for the need for reskilling, it has been a long time coming.
The pandemic changed the landscape of the job market, accelerated demand for new skills, and an upgrade of the old ones. If one of your 2021 goals include upskilling, here are some pointers.
If you scan the market for skills to hedge your future, do not look just within the borders; open your professional lenses wider and equip yourself with skills needed in the region and the world.
Remote working has made it possible for people to work from any part of the world.
The pandemic is not entirely responsible for the need for reskilling, it has been a long time coming. Owing to the fleeting and seismic technological changes, the shelf-life of skills is short.
In 2017, McKinsey Global Institute analysis estimated that 14 per cent of the global workforce would need to be reskilled entirely by 2030, and 40 per cent will need partial reskilling for them to continue with their current occupations.
This analysis has been validated by LinkedIn— the leading professionals' social media platform. Its 2020 report warns that if skill gaps are not closed in the next three to five years, customer experience and satisfaction will be affected.
Let us start with the basics. Technological skills are essential to each employee — they are a common denominator for today's workers. Basic digital skills, including proficiency in using Microsoft Office Suite, online collaboration and communication platforms, and social media for business — is the vernacular for serving clients, partners, and suppliers.
Going beyond the basics, coders, web developers, and digital marketers are even more critical. People who can keep the digital business running and thriving during economic downturns when in-person interaction is impossible or less efficient will be on the must-hire list.
Demand for cloud systems is surging, and so are professionals to support them. Therefore, mastery of efficient use of cloud services, particularly within cloud-based services such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud, is a much sought-after talent.
Like in all things digital, the ability to access internet-based resources securely remains elusive for most companies. Top cybersecurity talent with the right qualifications and certifications continue to be a market magnet.
If you don’t have savings to pay for courses, you need not worry: Today, you don't require years of study and deep pockets to bridge your skills gap. There is a swath of free and open online courses. You can search for them on platforms such as Coursera.com, edX.com, Udacity.com, FutureLearn.com, and many more.
Learning is not only for digital technology enthusiasts—it's for all. According to the World Economic Forum, in just five years, 35 per cent of the skills deemed essential today will change.
There is only one way to remain relevant: commit to a lifetime of learning. Relevant tech skills can be your calling card to your next job.
Wambugu is an informatician. firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @samwambugu2