The short answer: It depends!
Are you satisfied with your career trajectory and looking to grow?
Are you looking to branch into an entirely new career path in the future?
Ok, here is the longer answer:
Do you know what Kodak, Blackberry, and MySpace all have in common?
We don’t have to fill in the gaps for you: they failed to adapt and suffered the consequences.
And while the examples listed above are macro level business outcomes, failure to adapt can trickle down to the micro level and meet similar repercussions.
Needless to say, upskilling and reskilling are vital to fighting against career stagnation.
A report from TalentMLS found that over 40% of employees have either upskilled or reskilled after the coronavirus outbreak.
Those surveyors also found that 65% of employees realigned their efforts to learn new technologies in the same time period.
With competitors undergoing continuous digital and workplace transformation, businesses must strive to keep up to speed with their most valuable players, employees, at the helm.
The employees are the gears of the business, they’re the stakeholders that manage the upkeep and day to day operations.
And now the question lies here: Is upskilling or reskilling the better approach to take for an employee to achieve a better chance of promotion?
Both modes of learning are essential in empowering and instilling confidence in high performing employees. Not only that, but this initiative also sharpens soft and technical skills that shape them to be leaders down the line.
What Is The Difference Between Upskilling And Reskilling?
Before diving straight into things, it’s best to understand the differences between these two concepts.
Reskilling refers to teaching new initiatives to employees to broaden their skillset. Usually, it is for them to take up a new role within the business or to work with new software technology.
Upskilling refers to improving upon an employee’s existing skill set to increase their knowledge and range of contributions in that role.
While both upskilling and reskilling focus on improving an existing employee’s skill set, the improved skill is tackled differently based on the employee’s role.
Reskilling focuses on advancing existing skills, while upskilling focuses on the formation of new, high potential skills.
Let’s flesh out real world examples.
A certified public accountant who chooses to study social media management training courses in Monarch in her free time would be reskilling.
A content writer integrating SEO, optimization software to better rank their articles, which is an advancement of their skill while remaining relevant to their field, would be upskilling.
Fortunately for businesses, most employees are excited about opportunities to pad up their skill set. With TalentMLS’s report saying that 80% of employees found upskilling or reskilling training as confidence boosters, workforce enthusiasm can prop employees up to be even better assets to the team.
I’m An Employee. Should I Care About Upskilling and Reskilling Important In The Workplace?
You absolutely should.
An agile, flexible player is essential not just for your company but for your career pathing as well.
Here are some of the benefits that come with an established career pathing system:
Future Proofing Your Skills.
Identify Hidden Skills.
Crafting A Culture With Flexibility.
Diminish Micromanagement Issues.
If you want to stay ahead of the curve, you should acquire new skills and examine new technology always.
Why Aren’t All Businesses Upskilling And Reskilling Employees?
Despite all the benefits that come with upskilling and reskilling, as well as all the promoting of employers about continuous improvement, not all companies actually prioritize furthering their employee’s skills.
A 2019 report by Wiley Education Services and Future Workplace indicated that 68% of employers promote skills training, but less than half invest more than $500 a year to train employees.
Needless to say, training and development programs do encounter financial strains.
But more often than not, the cost of hiring a new employee is often pricier than just honing the skills of existing employees.
So Should I Upskill Or Reskill?
Upskill if you want to grow in your current career path, and reskill if you’re looking to jump into other opportunities in the future.
There’s no right or wrong answer, it’s your life!
And keep in mind: you shouldn’t limit yourself to upskilling or reskilling solely based on your company’s quarterly training programs.
There are plenty of resources available online, for instance.
One way to skills train is through studying courses like Monarch to hone your skills and grow in your craft.