Up-skilling & Learning: Significance, Approach & Platforms

Significance:

Life-long and continuous learning is essential for staying relevant and sustaining in the constantly evolving business environment. Up-skilling is essential for freshers as well as experienced professionals; although the necessity & urgency largely depends on one’s ambitions & perspectives. 

Everyone understands the importance of up-skilling but then what distinguishes the leaders & followers, the successful & not so successful ones? The seriousness, dedication and approach are the crucial factors to ensure tangible outcomes from your up-skilling & learning. Learning something without focus and just for the sake of it will never be helpful in the long run.

Unlearning & having an open mindset are also essential dimensions that you surely should consider before, during & after your up-skilling. Learning is essentially a ‘sense making process’ and not a ‘fact gathering process’, Unlearning is changing and adapting the way you ‘make sense’. Unlearning doesn’t imply that you forget whatever you have previously learned and experienced, Unlearning is about choosing an alternative mental model and stepping out of your current mental model. Unlearning is about liberating yourself from the conditioning and setting yourself free from the known. This is crucial for up-skilling as it inherently demands that you are open to accept new possibilities, challenge the status quo and get out of your comfort zone, dive into the unknown.   

This would ensure maximum impact of your up-skilling & learning.

Approach:

  1. Understanding supply and demand dynamics of the job market

Before starting with a particular course, exploring vacancies and demand in your targeted job market is essential. This research would enable you to understand your sector from a recruitment perspective and this can be utilized to figure out concrete requirements your sector demands, accordingly up-skill yourself. 

Various job platforms, news & happenings in your sector & target country, official government insights like reports from Bundesagentur für Arbeit can be used to understand the supply & demand dynamics of the job market. Based on your research here, you should broaden or narrow your job search horizon to ensure successful outcomes in the near future. For job platforms, check out this blog.

  1. Researching about the upcoming trends in your sector

Researching about the latest happenings and trends in your sector will help you to identify key areas in which you need to up-skill yourself. Analyzing the trends would give you a direction in which the market is moving & has potential vacancies. This also ensures that you have essential skills to sustain in challenging times & ensure sustainable growth. For insights into how to research, check out this blog.

  1. Introspecting, reflecting and going out of your comfort zone

Introspection & reflection based on your practical experiences & exposures, education journey would enable you to enjoy & achieve your up-skilling goals smoothly. Finding the right balance between the job market demands and your personal inclinations could be challenging, if you need to go out of your way to up-skill. Up-skilling requires unlearning and relearning, you should be ready to go out of your comfort zones and be ready to dive into uncertainty with curiosity to explore, understand. Growth and evolution happens only if you challenge yourself and enjoy being out of your comfort zone.

  1. Deciding the right platform & course for you

Once the outward research & inward introspection is done, deciding the right course and platform is necessary, given the amount of data & choices available at our disposal. Thoroughly analyzing the course modules, offerings and purpose & aligning it with your up-skilling requirements would ensure tangible results from up-skilling. The course prerequisites, difficulty level and duration should also be factored in before finalizing your up-skilling journey.

  1. Generating concrete outcomes from your up-skilling 

Apart from dedication & seriousness needed while learning, employ below aspects to generate concrete outcomes:

  • Structured way of documenting your learnings
  • Articulation of your understanding and summarized overview of each section/module/key aspect of your course
  • Applying your learnings with a real life project during the course or after the course to get practical understanding of concepts that you have learnt during the course

Platforms:

Coursera, edX, Udemy, Udacity, Futurelearn, LinkedIn Learning, Skillshare, Pluralsight, Forage are few top platforms for upskilling. Check out these blogs for detailed analysis of different platforms: Online learning platforms by learnworlds, Online Courses sites by crowder, Classpert for comparing courses from various platforms.

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