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4 essential skills for your next upskilling/reskilling milestone



Summary


In this post, we elaborate on 4 valuable skills that will help boost your career and resume. We also introduce various types of resources and online platforms, where courses and learning materials can be found to improve these skills. Check out the post to set your next upskilling and/or reskilling goal.




By 2025, 85 millions jobs could be displaced due to a shift from human labour to the wide application of machines. In the meantime, more jobs will be created, driven by technological advances. Even for essential careers that are irreplaceable by technologies, the core skills required for these positions are likely tol change significantly. For individuals, this emphasizes the importance of identifying and mastering new skills that align with the needs of specific workforces either for current positions (upskilling) or different positions in the future (reskilling). This blog post will discuss four essential skills for common workforces and avenues to gain or improve these skills.



1. Project management


Project management is a broad category that can be divided into various hard and soft skills. Hard project management skills, also called technical skills, are the must-have skills for project managers to successfully and effectively perform their daily tasks. Technical project management skills include knowledge of project management methodologies, proficiency with project management softwares, team & time management, project budgeting, risk management, cost management, and task management. On the other hand, soft skills often complement hard skills by enhancing the efficiency of project management. Soft skills that are important for project managers include leadership,communication,negotiation, organization, problem-solving, and interpersonal skills.


Even though it may seem impossible at first to master all of the skills mentioned above, the good news is that you have likely already practiced some of these in your current position and daily life. Another way to improve your project management capabilities is by attending local industry events and workshops. Most major universities also offer degree or certificate programs in project management.. If you have a limited budget, there are also several free onlinecourses offered through Udemy and Coursera.



2. Softwares



Microsoft 365 and Adobe Creative Cloud are among the most commonly used software collections in all types of workforces. The four most widely used Microsoft products are Microsoft Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and Outlook. Although these four softwares are used on a daily basis, most people are only familiar with their basic functions. In fact, these Microsoft products contain much more intricate capabilities that are designed to complete complex and professional tasks. One great way to learn about the more in-depth functions of Microsoft Word, Powerpoint, and Excel is through LinkedIn Learning. LinkedIn Learning provides Microsoft courses from basic levels to more advanced expert levels. After you complete these courses, you can also list them under Licenses & Certifications on your LinkedIn profile to show potential future employers that you have acquired proficient Microsoft Suite skills. Other useful but “less popular” Microsoft products are Microsoft Access, Publisher, OneNote, and Project, which you can learn more about here.


In contrast to Microsoft 365, Adobe Creative Cloud is more focused on design and graphics. Learning a new Adobe software will enhance the “skills” section of your resume as you learn to create stunning images, posters and videos. Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator are the most used softwares for design. Adobe Premiere Pro, After Effects, and Adobe Animate are used for editing videos and creating animations. More Adobe softwares and their applications can be found on the Official Adobe website. Compared to Microsoft applications, Adobe tools have more complicated interfaces and take more time to learn. However, most of the learning can be achieved online. The three best platforms to take online Adobe courses are Skillshare, Udemy, and CreativeLive. Here is an article that discusses the features of each course offered on these platforms. Another platform providing lots of free Adobe tutorials and workshops is YouTube. Although the content on Youtube can be scattered and variable, it is a great place to get started on some shorter beginner videos.


3. Coding



If you have searched for Data Management, Data Scientist or Research Scientist positions even remotely related to big data analysis, I’m sure you have noticed that coding has become one of the most high demand skills. Even for positions where coding is not necessarily required, being able to show some coding capabilities and knowledge will make you stand out among other applicants.



Before diving into coding, first you need to decide which programming language best meets your needs and long-term goals. Here is a great article that describes the top 14 programming languages to learn in 2022. Luckily, for each of these programming languages, there are countless free online courses that teach everything from basic HTML to complex algorithms. Several popular free course providers are Coursera, Udemy, Free CodeCamp, Envato Tuts+, Skillshare, General Assembly, Udacity, Codeacademy, Mijingo, and EDX. Books and ebooks are also available on various topics of beginner programming languages. You can find a list of books in this article. With a larger budget, you can also partake in coding bootcamps, professional certificate programs or subscription-based online resources such as Pluralsight, Shaw Academy, and Treehouse.


4. Writing

No matter how technologies evolve, writing is still a valuable and necessary skill to facilitate communication and dissemination of information. Besides, great writing skills can lead to various career paths and opportunities from freelancing to being employed as professional writers in different types of companies and fields.

An important perspective of being a good writer is knowing your audience, which is integral to the job as a writer and takes practice. Just like other skills mentioned above, there are many writing courses online. However, unlike other skills, writing can be practiced anywhere at any time. You can simply start a blog or read other people’s blogs online before starting to write your own. There are also volunteer and internship opportunities focused on writing. If you are not confident with your own writing skills yet, it is also a good idea to have friends, colleagues or family members proofread your work before sharing it online. Once you have enough writing samples, don’t forget to make a portfolio of your work. You can include a link to your portfolio on your resume or LinkedIn profile while applying for jobs.


Conclusion

These 5 skills are only a portion of the valued skill sets that will make you a great asset for your future employer. You can also find out more about other popular skills from the online educational resources mentioned above. Make a plan today to learn any of these skills in your free time and share with us what other skills you find useful during job applications or within your personal growth.


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