If you’re thinking about changing careers, you’re likely to have come across the idea of retraining or reskilling. “Reskilling” seems to be the buzzword on everyone’s lips, from policymakers trying to steer their countries through the post-pandemic landscape to individuals trying to take stock of the changes and uncertainties wrought by the pandemic.

However, “reskilling” isn’t merely a buzzword. It is what many governments and individual learners have put their faith in to navigate the foreseeable challenges in the workplace over the next decade. The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and McKinsey estimate that 90% of British workers will need to reskill over the next decade. By 2030, 26 million workers will need to upskill while 5 million will require retraining as they go through more fundamental career changes.

  • Upskilling: Development of skills through continuous training in order to keep up with new business and technological developments. 
  • Reskilling: Learning of new skills or a new vocation so as to take on new responsibilities, do a new role or go into a new career.

It seems pretty clear then–if you are contemplating changing your career, then you should definitely think about reskilling. This is backed up by results from findcourses.co.uk’s career change survey that shows 83% of respondents recognise they need to learn something new in order to change careers.

Nevertheless, the survey also shows that a substantial proportion of respondents (35%) are not sure how much training they will need. If you consider yourself to be part of this group of respondents – you know you need to retrain but you’re not sure what training or how much training you need – here are 3 top tips to help you on your learning journey.

Tip #1: Future-proof your career by identifying jobs of the future

Typing laptopIf you’re undecided about which career you want to pursue next, it is a good idea to see whether that occupation is likely to be in demand in the future. According to the CBI and McKinsey report, automation and technology are going to be key drivers of change in the UK job market over the next 10 years.

Research conducted by the McKinsey Global Institute suggests that jobs in these 8 occupations are not expected to be displaced by automation and could even grow:

  • Healthcare providers
  • Teachers
  • Creatives e.g. artists and entertainers
  • Technology / IT professionals
  • Executives and managers
  • Professionals e.g. analysts, engineers, scientists and accountants
  • Service and manual jobs in unpredictable environments e.g. gardeners and home health aides
  • Builders and related professions

Meanwhile, jobs in the following occupations are likely to decline due to automation:

  • Some customer interaction roles e.g. cashiers, food service workers, and hotel and travel workers
  • Wide range of jobs in predictable environments e.g. assembly line workers, food preparation workers, dishwashers, drivers, and agricultural and other equipment operators
  • Office support or back-office occupations e.g. record clerks, finance and accounting, and office assistants

You should note however that in jobs where some tasks are automated, employment may not fall if workers can move on to perform new tasks. Additionally, if the demand for that occupation increases enough to overwhelm automation rates, employment in that occupation may also rise.

Tip #2: Identify and bridge your skills gap

toolsOnce you’ve identified the career that you would like to reskill into, you can do a skills audit to see what skills and/or qualifications you need to get a job in your chosen career. You can then start planning what training you’ll need to undertake to bridge the skills gap, these could be leadership or communication skills training since these are some of the most requested skills nowadays

While doing the skills audit, it is important to bear in mind that people who can easily move from one role to another are not only those with skills adjacencies, that is, skills that are similar to other skills.

For instance, a LinkedIn analysis found that half of those who moved into data science and artificial intelligence professions were from unrelated occupations. This figure is higher for engineering (67%), content (72%) and sales roles (75%).

What this tells you is that people are capable of learning entirely new skills by taking education such as engineering or sales training. Given the rate of change in the world of work, learning will be absolutely key to renewing your capabilities so that your skills remain relevant and sought-after.

Tip #3: Check out available funding

calculator moneyIn the wake of the pandemic, many governments are funding learning to try and combat the woes of increased unemployment. In the UK for instance, the government has announced a wide-ranging lifetime skills guarantee that offers over 400 free qualifications to eligible adults. This is to help people grow their careers as well as to help the country rebuild after the pandemic.

The first thing you should do to secure funding for your training is to see if you are eligible for any available funding that may be provided by the state. Once you’ve determined your eligibility, browse the funded courses that are on offer. Next, you should search for the training providers that provide these courses and contact them. Remember that many training providers now offer courses online, which can be a convenient option.

Final thoughts

Changing careers can be both exciting and scary. By preparing as much as you can before you take the leap, you’ll be able to join many other successful career changers and achieve your goals – both professional and personal – for switching careers.

About Carol Pang, guest contributor

Carol Pang headshotCarol Pang is a Digital Content Editor for findcourses.co.uk. Prior to this, she has 12 years of experience in the corporate and financial sectors. She believes that people are fundamental to an organisation’s success, and that effective training can create a motivated and engaged workforce.

About Joseph Liu

Joseph Liu helps aspiring professionals relaunch their careers to do work that matters. As a keynote speaker, career & personal branding consultant, and host of the Career Relaunch podcast, his passion is helping people gain the clarity, confidence, and courage to pursue truly meaningful careers. Having gone through three major career changes himself, he now shares insights from building & relaunching global consumer brands to empower professionals and business owners to build & relaunch their personal brands.

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