Upskill and Reskill: How the IT Workforce Must Evolve to Stay Relevant
What Does It Mean to “Upskill” and “Reskill?
As the world is swept by a wave of digital transformation, it has left IT workers bobbing in the roiled surf, hoping to remain relevant in the bold new era. In fact, within the next 12 years, nearly 400 million members of the tech workforce will need to acquire new skills in order to keep apace, according to a recent McKinsey Global Institute study.
For those who are hoping to swim with the tide rather than fight against it, two options exist – reskilling, which is the notion of learning new skills to find a new job; and upskilling employees, which allows members of an existing enterprise’s workforce to acquire new skills while remaining with their current firm.
The good news for those under assault by the pounding surf of the business benefits of digital transformation is that there will be no shortage of IT jobs – today or tomorrow. With so many different options from which to choose, it’s comforting to know that IT workers can improve their focus or change their area of interest while still remaining relevant in their industry of choice.
Why Should You Consider Upskilling Employees and Reskilling for The Digital Transformation?
Both upskilling employees and reskilling represent an ideal way for companies to benefit from the “best foot forward” of the IT workforce. For companies who subscribe to either model, they’ll find themselves with a steady workforce well-versed in the newest technologies. Additionally, as companies begin to “digitalize” their business models, they will undoubtedly uncover skill gaps in their workforce that will require the acquisition through an arduous hiring process, or the extensive retraining of current employees.
Of course, the danger to committing to either model using contemporary IT methods is that they may not be future-forward enough. According to a Made Smarter Review article, it would seem that “the existing skills system and the training provided is focused on job requirements for today, not the future. There is a lack of expertise within higher education, further education and schools to support employer needs.”
To combat this, employers and employees alike must unify their efforts to increase the level of technological skills in the existing and future workforces.
A good starting point is acknowledging the changes that are lapping at the shores of businesses large and small. The digital transformation is no longer just a trend -- it is a stark, and evolving, reality. For those industries embracing the changes, they are evolving by launching IoT strategies, creating new digital methods to communicate with their consumers, and shuttering storefronts in favor of eTransactions. For some enterprises, this has had the effect of creating a mismatch between supply and demand for digital skills, with the impact being felt not only in IT, but across entire organizations. This creates a huge demand for digital skillsets that need to be learned. As a result, employment growth in tech jobs has skyrocketed. So, whether you choose to upskill or reskill, it’s clear that there is a huge pool of opportunities currently not being fully tapped.
Tips on How to Upskill and Reskill Yourself for The Digital Transformation
According to a survey by LinkedIn and Capgemini, nearly 30 percent of professionals fear their skills will be redundant by 2020, while 38 percent stated they believed their skills will become stale in the next four to five years.
In order to adapt to this new, ever-changing business environment, acquiring new skills isn’t just a good idea – it’s a must. For IT workers to undertake this, it is important to:
- Plan your actions – set a goal and determine the critical path to get there.
- Reframe your mindset – replace old habits and skills through education, research and refinement.
- Practice self-awareness – spend some time each day journaling about your experiences.
It is critical to keep in mind what employers want, but it is equally important to keep in mind what you want from your upskilling or reskilling journey. Generally speaking, employers are looking for talent that includes execution skills, management of human resources, communication skills, customer service and sales capabilities, and negotiation skills. In general, skills that require critical thinking and management are valuable, and transferrable.
However, in the tech industry, it is important to know what you can do now and build on it. Are you great with spreadsheets? Maybe your next step will be to learn something like SQL. You need to get comfortable with the software you are seeking to learn, communicate and learn to test for bugs.
How do you go about learning all this? There are a lot of options -- from finding an online class from services such as Udacity and Skillshare, to finding a mentor, keeping up with podcasts, webinars and other events, doing any job in your industry of interest (maybe starting in an entry level position), and more.
The Digital Transformation is here to stay, and it is up to organizations and employees to reskill and upskill to keep up with the newest emerging trends in the industry. If you’re interested in learning more about iTexico can help you to lead your IT transformation, please visit the iTexico website.
iTexico is devoted to providing multidisciplinary software development teams as a service for Mobile, Web, and Cloud. We provide end-to-end design, development, testing, devops, and support services by leveraging an innovative Nearshore+ delivery model. With its headquarters in Austin, TX, and wholly-owned delivery centers in Guadalajara and Aguascalientes, Mexico, iTexico has experienced steady growth every year for the last 7 years serving startup, growth, mid-market, and enterprise technology-driven companies, including Carbon Black, ESRI, Microsoft, Integral Ad Science, HomeAway, and others. For more information, please visit http://www.itexico.com.