Retraining as an Adult: Top 5 In-Demand Jobs 

Written by Nicola Wylie
Last updated July 25, 2022

A 2020 study by Statistica found that 60% of workers in the UK aged 16 to 54 had applied for a new job online. Workers cited feeling unfulfilled, a lack of career progression, and not enough training or development opportunities as the main motivators for a career change. As an increasing number of workers are looking for a change, retraining as an adult is on the rise.

If you’re looking for more a fulfilling career and better upward mobility, retraining courses are a fantastic way to upskill. Even if you aren’t looking to switch careers completely, taking an adult retraining course can expand your skillset to get a promotion. 

In this article, we look at the 5 most in-demand job roles to retrain for in the UK and how to retrain.

What is Retraining?

Retraining is workers refresh their skills or develop a new skill set through continuous learning, professional courses, or training initiatives.

As the workplace evolves, so do the skillsets needed to adapt to those changes. As such, retraining empowers workers to stay up-to-date with business developments. What’s more, it builds new skills needed for a successful career change. 

Retraining is also common when an employee returns to a job role after a prolonged period of time. For example, after a career break or extended maternity leave.

Retraining isn’t just for adults, however, it’s particularly common amongst workers looking for a career change. While some employers cover retraining costs, most adults pay for retraining independently. Fortunately, there is a selection of financial support options available in the UK, such as adult learning grants or career development loans. Be sure to check out the website for more information on retraining grants.

Want to know more about adult retraining? Check out our comprehensive retraining guide.

Benefits of Retraining as an Adult

There are many benefits of retraining as an adult, both for employers and employees. Here are the top 4 benefits of adult retraining.

  • Better job satisfaction – continuous learning keeps workers engaged and feeling valued, reducing the risk of burnout
  • More career opportunities – retraining builds valuable skills, making you more employable 
  • Enhanced skillset – retraining hones your competencies, giving you the tools to do your job better and more efficiently
  • Social connections – adult retraining develops your interpersonal skills, reducing feelings of isolation and building stronger connections

5 In-Demand Jobs You Can Retrain For

According to the UK’s shortage occupation list, these 5 job roles are in high demand. Thus, retraining as an adult for one of these roles significantly increases your chances of getting hired as a career changer

1. Programmers and Software Developers

The world is currently experiencing huge digital skills gaps, making tech-savvy professionals in high demand. Working in the tech world comes with plenty of perks, including a future-proofed career and a competitive salary. 

If you are considering retraining for a career in programming or software development, you have plenty of options. You can opt for degrees in subjects such as software design, or take professional courses in coding. If you have a limited budget, you will also find an array of free online courses and resources to learn the basics on your own. After this, you can start applying for entry-level jobs.

2. Cyber Security Specialists

Cyber security specialists are in demand in the UK. If you are a tech-savvy career changer who fancies assisting organisations in keeping data safe, this is a great career path for you. There are many different retraining options for a career in cyber security. For instance, studying a degree in cyber security or taking a foundational course. It is particularly easy for IT professionals to transition to a career in cyber security as they already have most of the core skills required.

A foundational retraining course in cyber security will set up you to apply for entry-level roles, including a cybersecurity specialist, incident responder, or IT auditor.

3. Health Services and Residential Care

As the world grapples with a global pandemic, health service job roles are in increasingly high demand. In particular, there are huge shortages in nursing and healthcare manager roles. Retraining as a healthcare professional could be perfect for you if you are considering a career change and want to make a difference. 

There are different ways to retrain for a career in health services. For instance, you could undertake a degree in nursing, health care, or public health. Another route is to study for a degree in occupational therapy or a career in mental health. 

While around 50% of NHS workers have degrees, the other 50% don’t. So, if you don’t fancy going back to study again, there are other career options that don’t require lengthy courses of study. For example, retraining for entry-level roles like healthcare assistant, home aide, or day support worker. You can also consider changing your career to become a paramedic

4. Artisans

The UK has huge skills shortages in the arts industry. From artisans to writers to arts officers, there are plenty of career opportunities if you want to explore your creative side. Plus, most artisans are self-employed, offering a chance to take on an exciting new challenge as a business owner. 

Another huge advantage is that you may not even need to take a retraining course. Many artists and small business owners are self-taught, meaning you can learn by doing. Alternatively, you’ll find a variety of training courses across the UK to pick up artistic skills such as pottery, furniture design, art, and jewellery making. 

Thinking of setting up your own creative business? Browse our complete guide on how to become self-employed UK.

5. Graphic Designers

If you have an eye for design and some tech skills, a career in graphic design could be for you. As the world becomes more and more digital, graphic designers are highly sought after. Graphic designers collaborate with specialists in branding and IT to design logos, banners, website visuals, and more. You have the option to work as an internal employee or as a freelance designer.

In order to retrain as a graphic designer, you will either need to complete an undergraduate degree in graphic design or creative arts. Alternatively, you could explore higher education graphic design courses. Some graphic designers even teach themselves. As with any creative job, you will need to build a professional portfolio to showcase your design work. 

If none of these career options takes your fancy, check out our live job board for alternative jobs near you.

Final Thoughts

If you think it’s time to choose a new career, retraining as an adult could be the best way to break into a new job role. What’s more, specifically retraining for in-demand jobs will greatly boost your chances of landing your dream role. At Refreshing a Career, we firmly believe that it’s never too late for a fresh start. To support you through the process, we have compiled a wealth of valuable resources and retraining tips on our website. You’ll find career change guides, information on how to retrain, and much more.  

For further advice, check out our resources on changing careers or browse our live job board for career change opportunities near you.

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Last Updated: Wednesday March 27 2024
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