Up-skilling Yourself: Top 10 Skills to Gain in 2021

Global Employability

Here’s a question you may want to ask yourself: “How do I stand out?”, or, “How do I make myself invaluable in the current job market?”
And this would be the answer: Up-skilling.

A report published by the World Economic Forum in January 2021 indicates that nearly half of all employees in the world will have to up-skill or re-skill themselves by 2025. It is inevitable, for we would have to keep up with the rapid automation and technological advances that are reshaping industries.

So, here is how you can get ahead in the race. Here are the top ten things you can start learning now to be better prepared for the future.

1. AI and Cybersecurity

Artificial Intelligence is becoming omnipresent as we speak. It is the foundation of automation in today’s world and it makes sense to jump on this bandwagon while still in its growth phase. AI is changing the face of education, finance, healthcare, fashion, and agriculture, just to name a few industries. Your background in AI will open up a multitude of options for you in any industry of your choosing.

With most of the world going online, it is natural that the demand for cybersecurity experts are going up. A global survey of 4,200 IT leaders revealed that 83% of them reported an increase in phishing attempts and 62% a rise in malware attacks during the pandemic. As long as remote/ hybrid work continues, cybersecurity experts are going to be in demand.

2 . Blockchain

The crypto-craze has put blockchain on the map. But, it has its applications in food safety, insurance, health care, real estate, and the entertainment industry, to name a few. At its very essence, it is blocks of data that are linked with one another. The data gets distributed, is highly secure, and is publicly available. In a world that is extremely data-driven, careers in blockchain tech are endless.

3. Data Analytics

We live in a world that is driven by data and algorithms modelled on it. You can find yourself at the thick of it all if data analytics is something that interests you. Check out our articles on data science and career options here.

4. Video game/ multimedia design, animation

The growth of VR in gaming and other cloud-based gaming services has caused a significant boom in the video game industry. The pandemic and consequent lockdowns have increased the strength of the gaming communities. As more games turn to Virtual and Augmented Realities for a better experience, design and animation will be more in demand.

5. Digital Literacy

This is not about the coding craze. Coding is an essential skill but not everyone can or needs to pick it up. However, in Industry 4.0, a bare minimum of digital literacy is a survival tool.

It includes – typing skills, keyboard shortcuts, email communication, using basic software such as Zoom, Google Suite, Microsoft Office, or any other software used in your industry. Website design and content management can also take you a long way.

6. Content Creation

There is no way you could have missed the flurry of reels, podcasts, and TikTok videos that is taking over the internet. It has redefined marketing strategies and there is an increasing need for these creators to be in-house. Your content creation skills (and we are talking about actual skills here, not your casual Instagram game) would be a great way to distinguish yourself. Check out software like OpenShot, GarageBand, Quik, or Audacity for your reels and podcasts. Did you also know that the number of online courses offered on digital marketing, video editing, and content creation are on the rise?

7. Foreign Languages

This has been and always will be an up-skilling staple. In a globalised world where the barriers are shrinking, learning a foreign language will help you stand out. Plus, you have the advantage of learning at your convenience, customising your courses, and from the convenience of your home. DuoLingo, Babbel, Pimsleur, and Tandem are just some of the apps available for the polyglot in you.

8. HR and Project Management

Another staple that would never go out of demand is HR and project management skills. Post pandemic, especially when organisations are divided between on-site and remote work, an efficient HR personnel is more in need than ever to ensure COVID regulations are being complied with, boost company morale, and manage everything online.

At the professional level, being certified in project management and team leadership can pave the way for you to enter an industry at the management level.

9. Creativity

You might wonder, “Why is this on the list?” “Who teaches creativity?” The truth is creativity can also be a skill you acquire, provided you are willing to invest some time in it. “Creativity is related to 9 out of the 10 essential skills for 2020 and beyond”  say global executives. It is about keeping your brain active and get the mental juices flowing. Drawing, learning a musical instrument, journaling or just any form of art will allow your brain to expand and perceive new ideas and patterns.

10. Self care

The pandemic has accentuated all discussions involving mental health. Irrespective of the field you are in, it is worth devoting some time to learn techniques best suited for your mind and body––exercise regimens, a proper diet, a healthy sleep cycle, building solid support systems are also equally essential as you gear up to face the professional world and all of its stressors.

There’s an overload of information and options out there. Question is, where do you begin?

  • First, pick a course that best balances your interests and your professional advantage.
  • Do not overload yourself. ‘Me-time’ and rest are extremely essential.
  • Start by researching the free, beginner options available to you on any of the ed-tech platforms. A beginner MOOC will give you a sense of the field and whether you should dig deeper in that area.
  • Try and complete any course that you sign up for.
  • Once you have the fundamentals in place, look for nano-degrees that are accredited or recognised in your field.

Let the learning continue, as you bridge your interests with industry requirements!

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Global Employability


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