This is a guest post from Artur Meyster over at careerkarma.com
How to Stay Relevant in an Evolving Workforce
It’s no secret that the workforce changes faster than anyone can react. Technology and Covid-19 are two disruptive forces that are changing the way business is conducted today. On top of that, these forces are changing the skills required by employees. To stay relevant in this changing workforce will require honesty with yourself about what you can’t do now, yet also what you are capable of learning.
To that end, preparing your skills for the future of work will involve both education and development. Technology, while a disruptive force, is also the greatest asset for any employee looking to gain new skills. Besides having many skills that can be learned, technology has recently made these skills far more accessible for anyone around the world to learn. Therefore, staying relevant in the workforce is about being aware of which skills will become important and acquiring them.
Take Coding Classes
Coding is a skill that only emerged in recent years but has taken the world by storm. As the number of computers increases around the world, so too will the importance of this skill. There are numerous coding languages used for different aspects of business, but learning just a single one of these can make you far more valuable as an employee than someone who has not.
There are many free ways to learn to code and doing so will give you a skill that will last long into the future. In fact, coding has become so prevalent that entire fields, such as software development, were created around it. Kids today are being taught the basics of code in school, which goes to show the long-term survivability of this skill.
As far as the specific languages you should consider learning to stay relevant in the future of work, studies show that Python is one of the most useful languages for business and can be applied to a number of future jobs. To that end, studying Python and learning how to code in this language is one of the best ways to remain relevant as an employee.
Enroll in a Vocational School
Traditionally, vocational schools have not been as highly regarded as a four-year institution such as a college or university. In recent years, however, enrollment in this form of education has increased as technology has evolved. Vocational schools, trade schools heavily based in different technological fields, feature specialized courses that prepare students for a tech career.
These courses often last under a year and are far cheaper than most graduate schools, which makes it a smart option for current employees. On top of that, many vocational schools offer deferred tuition which means you won’t have to pay until you are able to. Younger generations still regard vocational schools as less beneficial than a four-year path, so the major demographic of these institutions is older and experienced employees.
Updating your skillset to match the future technological workforce by attending a vocational school is one of the smartest paths you can take today. If attendance continues to rise at its current rate, it may even become a more popular option than college or university, which goes to show how beneficial this path is.
Develop a Standalone Skill
As more and more people begin to develop coding skills and other prominent tech skills, the market will become too saturated with similar workers. Your goal should be to stand out from the crowd with a skillset that is difficult to find in any other candidate.
To do this, first look to see if you have any of the common analytical skills that stand out to recruiters on resumes. When it comes to technology, data specifically, employees who have above average analytical skills will become far more important. If you have a knack for some of the common soft skills used by modern tech professionals, focus on developing one or two that can be added to your overall skillset.
Staying relevant in the future workforce will not be an easy task for current employees. Unless you are naturally skilled with technology, it will almost certainly be an uphill battle trying to refine your skillset. Despite this, you must persevere or you will be left by the wayside as skilled employees knowledgeable about all things tech take your place. Traditional jobs are being displaced faster than ever before in favor of tech jobs, which is all the more reason to start refining your skills today.