Home Articles Reskill, retrain, and renew hope: The importance of upskilling during COVID-19

Reskill, retrain, and renew hope: The importance of upskilling during COVID-19

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There is a lot of uncertainty about the next 3-6 months and this will continue to have an impact on everyone across the globe as we learn to navigate the COVID-19 climate. People everywhere have had to adjust their personal and working lives to deal with the aftermath of drastic changes to industry, business processes and job prospects.

Many professionals across industry sectors working in full time positions, contract roles, or as casual employees have been made redundant, had their hours cut and are experiencing a sudden reduction in income.

So, with so much uncertainty at the moment, how can you stay relevant and increase your chances of employability? 

Appealing to employers during the pandemic

The best way to stay relevant during this time is to adapt to meet new business needs. Employers will be seeking to hire professionals that are equipped with the top job-ready skills required to effectively work from home and deliver results on time.

To be a valuable hire in 2020 and moving forward, you will need to demonstrate your willingness to keep your skills up to date and prove to employers that you have the drive and self-discipline to progress your career through this uncertainty.

Here’s 3 things you could do to demonstrate your potential to employers during COVID-19:

1. Upskill via remote learning

Remote learning will provide you with the opportunity to upskill and re-train from the safety of your home. There is a growing skills shortage in data science, data security, data analytics, machine learning and AI.

Becoming trained in in-demand industry tools and techniques via remote learning will be a career-driven approach during these times of change and will set you up for success because you will be ready to work remotely in areas where industry needs skilled professionals.

However, it is important to choose the right education program to help achieve your career goals so be sure to choose a course that matches your learning style, prepares you with practical skills training, provides you with individualised career support and is taught by industry experts with experience in the field.

Upskilling and becoming trained in these areas is a smart career move given the influx of businesses that have moved much of their previous face to face work to online platforms.

2. Use LinkedIn

A powerful and versatile tool to be making the most of at this time is your LinkedIn Profile. This is also covered for candidates of the Institute of Data courses during our industry-driven Job Outcomes workshops!

It is worthwhile to use Linkedin regularly as it is an ongoing opportunity to build your network, interact with like-minded professionals and company pages to uncover hidden job prospects and keep up with industry news and trends.

It is also crucial to receive individualised career support during this time. The Institute of Data practical training programs prepare you with job-ready skills and we work with each professional to accelerate the process of landing their next role through our job outcomes program and continued career support.

3. Build your portfolio

Showcasing your portfolio projects is the fastest way to convince employers that you are ready to work. It is important to have projects in your portfolio that demonstrate your skillset but also share your interests and passion for the industry or company you want to work for.

You could even write a blog post about your favourite project! This exercise will give you a link you can share with potential employers and also will help you to effectively communicate the details of your project and background during interviews and over Zoom/Skype or phone conversations.

Here is an example of a Capstone project created by one of our certified data science and AI professionals. Once he graduated from the data science and AI program, Beau shared his Capstone project experience in an independent blog on his Linkedin!

When will the data science and cyber security job markets get back to normal?

This is a question that many professionals are asking right now.

Unfortunately, we don’t have a crystal ball to tell us the exact answer, but what we do know is that industry is adapting quickly to the remote-working environment and businesses across data science, data analytics, machine learning, AI and data security are re-evaluating their existing teams, processes and future hiring needs.

The data science and cyber security areas and IT industries in general are now more than ever the way of the future. Employers are also realising that a physical office space is not necessary all of the time and they are finding out that a lot of project work, even if it involves a team, can be completed remotely and still be effective.

This awareness will open up new remote-working job opportunities across the data industry and although we don’t know when things will get back to normal, we do know there will be a “new normal” when employers interview candidates for roles in data and cyber and job-seekers will need to showcase their adaptability if they want to get hired.

Employers are also facing significant logistical challenges at the moment and transferring everything online and optimising daily business processes will take some time. There will be a surge of jobs once new roles are defined and existing roles are re-defined based on evolving business requirements in this new era.

These roles will start to show up more and more in the global job market over the next 3-6 months as businesses re-design the way they operate. So if you are an aspiring data or cyber professional – the time to prepare for these roles is now and the first step to securing a future job opportunity is gaining job-focused skills training.

I was looking for work at the time of COVID-19. How do I find a job now?

Now is an excellent time for you to adapt to these new business needs and become a professional that has the technical and interpersonal skillset to work remotely or on-location. If you can demonstrate this to employers, they will want you on their team.

Apply for online roles across industry sectors including data science and analytics, data security, customer and virtual assistant services, business operations and more!

Through the advancement of technology and increased global connectivity, the contractor economy and remote work opportunities are growing. There are many online job hubs where you could find a remote role that matches your technical and interpersonal skillset, suits your lifestyle or something that simply gives you the opportunity to quickly increase your household income. Take some time to explore the jobs on these sites:

Tip – search using keywords related to your technical skillset / your soft skills / the types of tasks you want to complete on the job / industries that interest you or you’d like to move into:

Earning additional income

Now is also a good time to look into alternative income pathways to help tide you over while you are upskilling or while you are looking for your ideal full time or contractor role in your field. Some industries are experiencing increasing demands and rolling out new recruitment initiatives.

If you’ve been thinking about learning something new and want a career change, or if you’re wondering what you should do next to keep your career on track during this period of uncertainty, consider re-training or upskilling to data science or cyber security.

There is a high-demand for motivated and practically trained data and cyber professionals and our team of industry experts are ready to train you up and help you land your next opportunity through individualised career support and our job outcomes program.

Andrew Campbell is the Executive Director at The Institute of Data.

Andrew Campbell is the Executive Director at The Institute of Data.
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