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Upskilling and reskilling: Top credentials for improving your job prospects

SOURCE: JULIETTE JOCARD/AFP
These are some areas worth upskilling in for a post-COVID-19 world.


By U2B Staff 

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The current pandemic has meant that many businesses have had to change their operations swiftly to stay afloat. Retrenchments, salary cuts, furloughed staff or rescinded job offers are just some examples that show the strain companies are currently under, which necessitates upskilling. 

The global health crisis is also demonstrating the importance for professionals across all industries to enhance their skillset to stay competitive in a workforce. As companies face economic hardship, finding new job opportunities that come with good salaries are becoming increasingly challenging for professionals. 

So, what are some of the skills that might improve your chances of getting hired?

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Brush up on your digital skills

COVID-19 has meant companies that have not shifted online have had to make rapid digital transformations to ensure their businesses aren’t disrupted in light of staff working from home and social distancing rules in place. 

Meanwhile, studies have shown that digital skills are in broad demand across the middle-skill labor market. 

In a similar vein, job seekers will want to brush up on their knowledge of using digital tools or to enhance their digital literacy. This could include developing an understanding of SEO if you are dealing with content to enhancing your understanding of social media and digital marketing to help companies achieve their goals and continue running. 

Some digital skills are more occupational specific while others are useful across the board, so it’s best to do your homework to decide which you need upskilling in. There are many options to develop skills in these areas, from tapping into microcredentials to online courses on platforms such as LinkedIn Learning.

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Analytical reasoning 

LinkedIn Learning notes that analytical reasoning is among the top three in-demand hard skills for 2020.

“Data has become the foundation of every single business. Organisations want talent who can make sense of it and uncover insights that drive the best decisions for the business,” it said.

Similar, companies that cannot analyse their data risk falling behind; job seekers who can understand the data are poised to help companies identify trends and continue to thrive. Professionals can turn to platforms such as EdX, Coursera or even LinkedIn Learning to gain these skills.

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Creativity

Job seekers don’t only need hard skills to stay competitive in the workforce – soft skills can also put you ahead of the pack in the job hunt.

LinkedIn notes that creativity is the most in-demand soft skill for 2020, noting that, “Organisations need people who can creatively approach problems and tasks across all business roles, from software engineering to HR. Focus on honing your ability to bring new ideas to the table in 2020.”

Similarly, sob seekers with strong creative skills can help companies in numerous ways, from finding new ways of making sales to producing new products to navigate unprecedented circumstances, such as how fashion labels are making scrubs and face masks in light of COVID-19.

There are a myriad of ways to enhance your creative skills, be it via online learning or even workshops. 

At the end of the day, it’s clear for job seekers and professionals alike that lifelong learning is essential to continue staying competitive in the workforce. With numerous online and offline programmes available, all that’s left to do is to take the plunge and get started with your upskilling journey.