As times change, so do job markets and job descriptions. As companies grow and change, employees need to be able to do the same in order to stay relevant and move up in their field. That’s where upskilling comes in. It’s a cost-effective way to add to your resume and personal skills toolkit, helping to enable you to take the next steps in your career. Read more to learn what upskilling is, why it’s important, and how Ashworth can help you do it.
What is upskilling?
Upskilling is increasing your skill set in a particular field to help advance your career. If you have some work experience under your belt, or if you’ve already gone to school to earn a degree or certificate, upskilling is a great way to move up in your career or refresh your skills. You can choose areas in your current field in which to specialize, or you can refresh your skills to keep up with advances in whatever area in which you work and stand out among other workers. Either way, it pretty much entails additional education or training to build upon what you already know.
Upskilling is an increasingly popular word in the working world. You might assume you have to spend a lot of money and time on earning a new degree to level up your skills. Don’t worry; while upskilling can help you get where you want to be in your career, it doesn’t have to break the bank or take up years of time.
How to upskill yourself
If you’re thinking of going back to school as an adult but aren’t sure it’s the right step for you, upskilling can be a great place to start. It requires less of a time commitment than starting a program in a completely different or new field while helping you build upon the success you’ve already achieved.
The best way to upskill yourself is to learn the missing or specialized information and get credit for doing so. But you’ll want to ask yourself a few questions before you get started.
How much time do I need? Does upskilling involve online-only courses, or will you need to carve out extra time for commuting. Self-paced courses are often very helpful when you’re upskilling, because you can fit your studies in wherever they are most convenient to you. This also means you can finish them as quickly or slowly as you need. Many certificate and diploma programs can be completed in under a year, depending on your study schedule.
How much interaction do I want?
Sometimes students get nervous at the idea of taking on a course that’s not in person. Make sure the course you’re taking to upskill has plenty of resources available if you do need help
Can I afford this? Cost is often the determining factor when deciding to go back to school. Look for tuition that includes everything you’ll need, like materials. You may also be able to find flexible monthly payment plans, so you can decide how much you’re able to commit to spending each month.
Read more: Your Guide to Balancing College and Parenting
Where to grow your skills
If you’re ready to start your upskilling journey, it’s important to figure out what you’re looking to achieve. A great first step in determining which program is right for you is to make a career plan. Do you want to build on what you already know with an end goal of specializing in a certain area? Think about your current position, what you’re good at and what interests you, and what job options there are for that. Another option to consider is what you’re not necessarily good at. Is there a specific skill or area where you feel like you’re lacking, resulting in you being held back? Consider focusing on improving in that area to make yourself more well-rounded. Some examples of upskilling for specific careers or refreshing for your current job include:
Upskilling examples for business careers
Small Business Management Career Diploma.
If you’re working in an administrative role in an office such as a secretary, but want to advance to an office manager, successful completion of this program can show you have the knowledge in areas like business marketing, talent acquisition, proposals, and profits.
Bookkeeping Career Diploma.
Are you good with numbers? Do you want to play a more centralized role in your office? Specializing in bookkeeping can help you land a spot in the accounting department by showing your employer that you understand the fundamentals of revenue and expenses, payroll, and financial reports. Plus, you’ll have the option to sit for the National Association of Certified Public Bookkeeper (NACPB) Bookkeeper Certification Exam, which would give you an additional industry-desired credential.
Administrative Assistant Career Diploma.
Perhaps you’ve been working in an office for some time but feel like you’ve peaked. Going over the basics again can help you sharpen old skills and update your resume with new ones.
Learn more: What Can I Do with a Small Business Management Diploma? and How Do You Become a Certified Bookkeeper?
Upskilling examples for healthcare careers
Social Services Assistant: Substance Abuse Career Diploma.
If you’re looking to advance your career in social services, or are just starting out, specializations can really help you move up the career ladder more quickly. In particular, social service agencies have faced staffing shortages, and with a growing rate of substance use since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, it’s more important than ever to have qualified workers available. While a career diploma won’t qualify you to become a counselor, it will allow you to meaningfully contribute to where help is needed in your job, and can help provide you with the foundational education needed if you decided to pursue further career advancement as a social worker or counselor.
Physical Therapy Aide Career Diploma.
Are you working in the medical field but have a particular interest in working more directly with patients? Specializing as a physical therapy aide can help you help patients more closely. You can aid therapists in preparing patients for sessions, learn more about the human body and how it works, as well as offer comfort and reassurance to patients by accurately explaining the physical therapy processes.
Medical Terminology Career Certificate.
In the medical field, you’re dealing with specific, unique terminology all day. While you may be accustomed to this, it never hurts to revisit this information to make sure you’re up to date and well versed, especially when it comes to words or phrases that aren’t as commonly used.
HIPAA Compliance Career Certificate.
Another area where a refresh could be useful is with HIPAA laws. HIPAA, or the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, is a national law that protects the privacy and information of a patient. All healthcare workers are required to have a degree of training in HIPAA laws, but a career certificate can help to further expand your knowledge of the law, and help to give you an invaluable skill, whether you work in a hospital, doctor’s office, or clinic.
Read more: Which Healthcare Job Is Right for You?
Upskilling examples for legal careers
Civil Litigation Career Certificate.
If you are already working as a paralegal or legal assistant, maybe you’d like to work within a specific type of law, like civil litigation
. A career certificate in civil litigation can help prepare you to handle some of the most common types of cases like medical malpractice, personal injury, and divorce, helping to ensure job security.
Private Investigation Career Diploma.
Often, law firms will hire private investigators to assist with the initial stages of cases to gain background information, find out more about an individual or company, or to do more complicated research. Working in a law office already, you may have even done some basic investigative work. Earning your career diploma can help you specialize your legal skills to go beyond your current daily tasks or earn a boost in your pay. Plus, it’s a good credential to have if you ever want to earn some additional money through a side job.
Paralegal Studies Career Diploma.
Looking to move up the food chain in a law office? Consider earning a career diploma in paralegal studies. While many law offices don’t require any formal education to become a paralegal, having this credential could speed up the promotion process or even help you earn a raise. It can also help open doors to working in other jobs, too. Many companies have legal departments where they employ paralegals, as do some government agencies.
Learn more: How to Prepare for a Career in Legal Studies
These are just some of the fields and ways to upskill and push your career forward. Ashworth has career certificates and career diplomas to fit a variety of jobs. Learn more about Ashworth’s Online Classes, or check out the full program list here.
Benefits of upskilling
While you know that upskilling can help you improve your prospects for a raise or promotion, the benefits don’t end there. Upskilling may also:
Help you earn a promotion or raise
Feel more fulfilled in your career
Improve the quality of your life
The career or position changes that can come with upskilling can help you feel more fulfilled in your career. If you’ve ever felt bored or dissatisfied at work, this is a great opportunity to engage your mind, find more meaningful work, and be more productive, making your work more than just a job. Upskilling can also improve your quality of life beyond the professional. Studies have shown that education may help prevent diseases such as dementia.
Improve your skills and your future with Ashworth
Ready to take the next steps towards improving your skills and prospects? Call an Admissions Advisor at 1-800-957-5412 to learn more about our self-paced programs and affordable tuition, or enroll today.