Man at whiteboard talking to people about skill development

Professional skill development: 5 reasons upskilling is important

You want a fulfilling – and sustainable – career. How can you achieve that? The answer is ongoing professional skill development and lifelong learning. In a word, upskilling.

Upskilling refers to learning new skills to improve your performance – and possibilities – in your current career. Continual skill development is a necessity in our changing world of work. But there’s also a lot in it for you personally.

Here are five reasons why upskilling is important and why you’ll want to get started on developing your skills.

1. Skill development = job security

You want ongoing job security. And yet we know that almost every job is being – and will continue to be – reinvented as technology evolves. So that means to secure your future, you’ll need to take an ‘always learning’ approach to technology.

First tip? Upskill with courses that apply tech advancements to your profession.

Here’s an example. Let’s say you work in marketing. Upskilling in digital marketing with Charles Sturt’s Graduate Certificate in Applied Digital Marketing would be a great move to provide job security into the future.

Second tip? Upskilling your soft skills is always going to be a smart investment in your future.

In an increasingly automated workforce, there are some things robots just can’t do. Like come up with original ideas, think critically or have social interactions. And if the more repetitive tasks in your job are automated, you’ll be able to focus more on the interesting work that uses your soft skills – like collaborating on and coordinating projects.

2. Position yourself for promotion

Organisations are becoming more aware of the skills they’ll need into the future. They’re also finding it more challenging than ever to recruit top talent to fill those gaps. Upskilling can help you plug your organisation’s skills gap.

By upskilling in identified skills shortages your current employer faces, you can lessen their need to look outside of the organisation. This will help both secure your employment and progress your career.

Here’s a gap we all know about – cyber security. Well, if you’re an IT professional you could start your skill development in cyber security by enrolling in one of these subjects from Charles Sturt over the summer: Network Security and Cryptography, Information Security or Pen Testing.

Enrol in two subjects and you’ll be halfway to gaining your Graduate Certificate in Cyber Security (four subjects)! You may even be eligible for credit for some subjects due to your work existing experience or qualifications. Meaning you could graduate with a new qualification in just six months!   

Upskilling shows that you’re capable of recognising the skill set required to meet tomorrow’s challenges. And that you’re actively developing your skills to maximise your contribution to the organisation. That’s going to help you when it’s time for moving up.

3. Transition into new opportunities

Upskilling will also make you competitive in the job market when you decide it’s time to take your skills elsewhere. If you know the hard skills and certifications a new employer will be looking for, upskilling to add them to your résumé just makes sense.  

And developing your soft skills (think communication, leadership and problem-solving) will help you transition smoothly from one workplace – or industry – to another.

At Charles Sturt, we’re so sure of the importance of soft skills to the jobs of the future that we have embedded them into all our courses. So whatever you study with us, you’ll be building your soft skills at the same time.

4. Boost your salary

Whether you advance your career with your existing employer or seek new opportunities, upskilling will help ‘show you the money’. The law of supply and demand dictates that if you’ve got in-demand skills in an economy with skills shortages, you’re in the driving seat.

So what are the most valuable skills in the future job market? Upskilling in digital skills and human-centric soft skills will provide a good return on your investment. If you’re looking to develop specific soft skills, our Graduate Certificate in Community Leadership and Resilience has plenty of micro-subjects to choose from.

5. Increase your job satisfaction

At the end of the day… you’ve spent a lot of it at work. So you want to get a sense of satisfaction out of what you do.

Upskilling will help you grow both professionally and personally. And boosting your performance at work through improving your skills will help you stay motivated. Here’s to increased job satisfaction and a fulfilling, rewarding, sustainable career!

Get started with a graduate certificate

Upskilling doesn’t have to mean a large investment of time or money. In just 26 weeks, you could secure a graduate certificate. Then there’ll be no holding you back!