Professionals upskilling to stay relevant

Professionals upskilling to stay relevant

< Back to Articles | Topics: Trends

This is a guest post from Agilus Work Solutions™
(Member since 2016)


Gillian Osborne
Director, Atlantic & Operational Excellence

Being laid off or working reduced hours due to COVID-19 can feel pretty challenging and demotivating.

Whether you are looking for a new job or pausing your professional life, you probably have more time on your hands now. Hence, it could be a good time to consider “upskilling”.

During this quarantine, many people are actively upskilling to make themselves more marketable or investing in skills to make them more relevant to their existing job and role.

"By 2030, 375 million workers globally will have to master fresh skills as their current jobs evolve.” –McKinsey Global Institute

About Upskilling

It can be regarded as developing a new skill or learning new technologies that can help improve your efficiency in your current or future roles.

If you are wondering whether it makes sense to spend your time and energy in pursuing a career skill or learning a new technology, I believe that ‘now’ is the best time. Here’s why:

• Pursuing a new course or certification shows that you are proactive.

• You can pursue the changing job market with relevant skills and technologies.

• You can look for a new or second career depending on your certification.

• You can expect a higher role with more job functions in your current organization with your newly acquired skills.

• You become more employable than before – as organizations across the world are looking to fill skill gaps and employ people with advanced technological and soft skill capabilities.

Where to Upskill?

Upskilling no longer means investing a lot of money in expensive certifications and courses. Many training companies and universities are offering free courses during the pandemic.

Here are some top resources that you can use:


MIT openCourseware

Open Yale Courses

John Hopkins Open Courses

HubSpot Academy

LinkedIn Learning

Shaw Academy

In addition to the resources above, many business associations are also offering low-cost programs for individuals to upskill. It may be the perfect time for you to take advantage of these courses during the pandemic.

You can also check out your local public library, which often has free access to learning tools, eBooks and audiobooks.

"Globally, four out of five CEOs have identified employees’ lack of essential skills as a threat to growth." –LinkedIn Talent Update 2019 from PwC’s 22nd CEO Survey

How to decide what certification/course to take?

It can be difficult to choose which certification is the best for your profile. Thankfully, there are a few ways you can figure that out:

• Use Google to search for your “field” and “what certification should I get?”

• Speak with senior business leaders to get recommendations.

• Try to anticipate job demands in the future and select a course that can help you stay relevant.

• You can consider taking up a general skill course that is in demand. For instance, currently, certifications in business fields like data science and risk management are in great demand.

Upskilling is not just relevant if you have lost a job; it can also be beneficial if you are eyeing potential career growth post-COVID. It can also help you build new networks and new opportunities to socialize.

Challenging your mind and learning a new skill promotes a growth mindset, demonstrates self-motivation and continuous learning––all valuable traits employers are looking for.

And if I haven’t convinced you yet, upskilling is also a great way to stay mentally healthy and stimulate your brain during these unusual times.

< Back to Articles | Topics: Trends

Stay Connected

Subscribe to our weekly e-newsletter and receive important updates on Halifax Chamber events, Member benefits and advocacy news.

Ready to export?