5 Reasons Why It’s Never Too Late to Upskill
It’s well accepted that people now have more than just a few careers in their lifetimes; not just jobs. In fact, the chances of you staying on one career path only are practically slim to none. Returning to study is something that most people will consider doing at some point, as the workforce moves more quickly and new career paths come to light.
Here are 5 reasons why it’s never too late to upskill for your career, no matter what stage you’re at, or how entrenched you feel in your current situation.
#1: You now know more about who you are, and what your true goals are
The more time we spend in the workforce, the more we come to realise what we excel at, and what challenges us. Even the basics of interaction such as whether we like managing people, whether we work best on our own, or how much organisational time we find optimal, can give us clues as to what career pathways and job roles might best suit us.
Whether you’ve spent 5 years in the professional workforce or 30 years, you’re bound to have gained a better, more rounded understanding of what drives you; and this can be a great launching pad to discover what your next career pathway should be. You might even want to create a “Skills Audit” to determine your perfect career.
#2: Learning has never been so flexible
Today’s modes of learning are not like what they used to be 25, 15 or even five years ago. Online learning has spread across the globe as one of the fastest growing industries in education. In Australia for example, the online education industry has truly excelled over the past five years, according to Ibis World statistics.
“Technological advancements and faster internet have made the online education model an increasingly viable option for learning. With more individuals and businesses recognising the benefits of online education, student demand for online learning has soared.” According to Training Zone, more than 80% of learners now realise that they are responsible for managing their own self-development.
#3: Study is not what it used to be – it’s more exciting
Gone are the days where students are locked into a set classroom format and course modules. Today you are less likely to be doing a basic course in Business or Information Technology and more likely to be specialising in a particular area, such as Project Management, Technology Sustainability or Software Development.
Students today come from all walks of life and can use their past career experience as Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL), to gain entry to certain courses and credit for particular subjects. For example, if you’ve worked for some time in a formal management role with experience in risk analysis, this might count towards a course you do that has a risk management component. Find out more about RPL here.
#4: You need to future-proof your career to remain relevant
“Roles disappear, while new ones are created,” says Michelle Gibbings; a change leadership and career expert from organisational management company, Change Meridian. “Of course, your career is more than just a product to be commoditised, and you certainly don’t want to become obsolete.”
You need to constantly think about adding new skills to your skillset to remain competitive in the current workplace. This might involve learning on the job, formal study or training, or finding a career mentor. Gibbings suggests that if you are interested in progressing and moving into different roles – make sure the relevant people in your company know, and demonstrate your passion to them.
#5: You can choose anything – the world is your oyster
The career “sea change” is becoming more and more popular, with thousands of people leaving job roles to pursue something completely different – whether this is leaving a corporate job to follow a creative passion or gaining formal technology skills to supplement a growing small business. Online education experts such as Upskilled now offer niche courses where you can gain the skills you want, in a self-paced format; meaning you can structure your learning around other career and personal responsibilities you might already have.
If you haven’t followed your career passions in the past for whatever reason, there is always time to return to study, find a new career and live out your personal and professional dreams. The only mistake you can make, is ignoring your goals for another day.
Yvette McKenzie is Content Strategist at Australian education organisation, Upskilled. She has a passion for online education, digital marketing and new media technologies.