Can Upskilling Be an Alternative to a Career Change?

Written by Calvin Bowers
Last updated October 13, 2020

Due to the fast pace at which our workplaces are changing every day, upskilling is quickly becoming an essential activity. If you are feeling a bit fed up with your current role, and want to try something new but don’t want to change careers altogether, upskilling could be just the thing for you.

What is Upskilling?

Upskilling is essentially learning additional skills to expand your capabilities in response to the rapidly changing environment we all find ourselves in today.

For employers, upskilling is a way to fill the ever-growing skills gaps they see within their businesses. For employees, it is a chance to learn something new, expand their skill set and take advantage of the new opportunities that doing so could offer.

Upskilling can relate to both technical and soft skills. This may revolve around specific skills required within your industry, or skills like leadership, management, creativity and innovation.

The demand for upskilling has increased due to advancements in technology alongside an ageing workforce. With the constant development of new processes, systems and technologies like AI and robotics, there is a requirement for more knowledge and skills to operate them. Furthermore, as the baby boom generation is beginning to retire, there may be knowledge and skills that get lost in the process of refilling the now vacant positions.

What are the Benefits of Upskilling?


First and foremost, upskilling provides the opportunity for promotions. Having additional skills and knowledge can open doors to new positions and responsibilities within your current company. This means you may not have to change careers to work within a new role.

New Interests

When learning new skills, you may come across a topic you have a particular interest in. For example, suppose you are upskilling your marketing knowledge. In that case, you may take a liking to SEO, or if you are taking a general management course, you may be interested in pursuing opportunities related to HR.

Boosting Job Satisfaction

Learning something new and working on a project you are interested in will no doubt increase your level of job satisfaction. Furthermore, if your employer provides you with training and upskilling opportunities themselves, you will most definitely feel like a valued member of the company.

What Opportunities Are Out There?

These days, employers will usually have many processes and schemes in place to aid with upskilling in the workplace. These may include things such as:

  • Learning and development programmes
  • Job rotation, enlargement or enrichment
  • Coaching or mentoring programmes
  • External training courses

If you have an interest in upskilling, talk to your employer and see what they can provide. If they don’t currently have anything to offer, you could consider taking steps independently.

You could reach out to someone in a more senior position and ask them how they got where they are today. Perhaps also consider asking if they would be interested in mentoring you. Alongside this, you could enrol in online courses and workshops relevant to your job role. There are so many free, high-quality sessions that can help to expand your knowledge and skill set.

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Last Updated: Friday May 5 2023
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