As the American economy continues to improve, it seems employers across the country are faced with a new and unprecedented problem: a struggle to find suitable talent to fill new roles in the workplace. In fact, 75 percent of HR professionals and recruiters view a country-wide skills shortage as a top concern when hiring new talent, forcing them to prioritize foreign talent during the recruitment process.
For Americans aspiring to reach to the top of their field – or to simply outgrow their low-wage jobs – upskilling seems to be the answer. But too few employees are aware of the benefits of workplace upskilling, and their employers overlook the value of workplace training, too. The benefits of upskilling a workforce are vast: better employee retention, succession planning and attracting new millennial talent are among some of the key benefits for companies, with 87 percent of millennials admitting to prioritizing job offers within companies that offer career growth and development opportunities. For employees it’s the prospect of a higher salary, the discovery of potential new talents and the opportunity to evolve beyond one’s current role that are all too tempting, leading career-savvy employees to seek out roles in companies that offer workplace growth. But if professional career development isn’t something supported by a prospective company – stress not. There are other ways to upskill without the help of your company, and these are some of them.
Find a suitable online further education provider
There are a huge number of providers that offer professional corporate training online, including Edureka to name one. From professional development courses in cloud computing, data science, and DevOps to cybersecurity and digital marketing, this is one provider that is geared toward those already working in the IT industry – or seeking to expand their digital skills in order to complement other professional qualifications.
Seek permission from your employer to attend classes in-person
Believe me, your workplace will love the fact that you are requesting flexibility in work hours if it is to gain further skills and qualifications, enabling their company to run more effectively, with more driven staff, as well as see a reduction in workplace errors. Check out your local classifieds on do a Google search to check out which higher education institutions near you offer suitable part-time courses in professional development.
Ask permission to participate in specific projects at work
There is nothing more effective than first-hand, on-the-job training for furthering your skills and capabilities. Next time you hear of a project that would offer you the opportunity to learn from those in more senior positions, or to ‘test out’ your new skills, simply ask your boss if you can form part of the project team. They will probably be thrilled to hear you are willing to participate, as it means more staff and less investment for them for that project.
Read, read, read
The power of self-managed learning through reading can never be overestimated. Hit up your local library or bookstore this weekend and you will no doubt find a plethora of useful textbooks that will help you develop new and relevant skills.
Find a mentor
An obvious one, but a goodie. Is there someone more senior than you at work, for example, a lead coder, who you could sit with for 30 minutes a day and learn firsthand from them? Most people learn best by seeing, and you could probably pick up new digital skills, for example, from someone more experienced than you in a fraction of the time it would take you to learn those same skills from a textbook.