Upskilling

Unexpected, Unplanned, Impromptu …

These are words that come to mind when I look back at the past year!

If we flip back a few pages from the book of our life and think of the year 2018, we will realize our challenges and goals both in personal and professional life were very different.  Post pandemic our professional life demands some repair. But how?

One question, continues to haunt every working class. Will my job help me survive in this pandemic or will I survive in this job in this dismal scenario?

Image taken from rasmussen.edu

One of the many things that this period taught us is the importance of being professionally updated. It is no wonder that the social platforms are full of various certification ads.

A decade or more ago, our idea of education was investing your hard earned money into a professional degree. The return on investment (ROI) would be a well-paying 9-5 job, which would secure the financial needs of the family for the next 30-40 years.

The current scenario of education and work has changed drastically and continues to do so. The constant need to up-skill oneself is a necessity more than a requirement. From my personal experience, I can recall studying Java Computer language in my engineering coursework. When I joined as a lecturer some five years later I realized python was also a part of the curriculum and I had to put in efforts to learn it to be able to teach the young aspiring engineering students.

Many a times individuals shy away from changing fields or upgrading their skillset. The reasons vary from rigidity in attitude to blind reliance on knowledge amassed by working on a technology for years. Working professionals shy away from up skilling by putting their experience as an asset.

Upskilling needs to be seen in positive light. Today the technology is changing at a rapid pace. There is Big data, machine learning, virtual, augmented and mixed reality and more to know and learn about.

The point is are we willing?

Image taken from the report presented by Express Employment Professionals

A few weeks ago I came across a sensuous dancing video of Jahanvi Kapoor, the newbie starlet from the Kapoor clan. I started to compare how in the past years, actors were expected to just act well. Cut to the present setup, apart from the acting skills, there is a rise in demand of many other acquired traits. It is no surprise when actors hit the gym religiously for that toned body and those six pack abs. Survival of the fittest quite literally!

I am putting down a few skill sets here that can help software engineers enhance their existing skill sets:-

–           If you are the geeky and Musky (Elon Musk) kinds, you can look up some artificial intelligence courses, diplomas or even internships.

–           If you are interested in Machine Learning, look up some short term courses that provide learning of supervised and unsupervised ML models, predictive analytics and statistics etc.

–           For people that can speak to numbers, I’d suggest the area of Data Sciences covering data wrangling, data visualization and communication, data intuition etc.

–           There is so much on internet right now to learn about networking options on Google Cloud Platform (GCP). Explore these learnings about interconnection among networks and load balancing.

The pandemic gave us a lot of time. Let us devote some time in learning new skills that can help better our resume. While you are at it, focus a bit also on polishing your transferable skills. These could be team building tactics, the verbal and communication skills, leadership qualities and numeracy skills to name a few. As an employer one focuses on recruiting potential resources.

Finally, assess those skill gaps in yourself. Work on your professional and developmental goals by using virtual classrooms to enhance your skillset.

As they say, learn while you earn!

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