Upskilling vs reskilling—what's the difference?

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  1. What is upskilling?
  2. What is reskilling?
  3. The benefits of reskilling or upskilling for employees
  4. Best ways to upskill or reskill in 2023
  5. Upskill for free with Multiverse without quitting your job

Upskilling vs reskilling—what's the difference?

83% of UK businesses(opens new window) say technology advancements have increased the need for new skills in the workforce. If you want to keep up with the pace of change, reskilling and upskilling should be top of mind. But the benefits of learning durable and next-generation skills go beyond simply keeping up. You can also command higher pay and experience career advancements as an employee with in-demand skills.

To help you get started, we'll cover:

  1. What is upskilling?
  2. What is reskilling?
  3. The benefits of reskilling or upskilling for employees
  4. Best ways to upskill or reskill in 2023
  5. Upskill for free with Multiverse without quitting your job

What is upskilling?

Upskilling is when a professional improves the skills or abilities related to their existing career path. Upskillers come from all ages and industries. They usually want to progress in their current field rather than switch careers.

Upskilling in action: You've been a generalist Software Engineer for three years. You enjoy the work, but you'd like to specialise in cyber security as that skill set is in demand. You upskill and progress from Software Engineer to Cyber Security Engineer.

What is reskilling?

Reskilling is when a professional learns new skills and abilities outside their existing skill set. Like upskillers, reskillers come from all ages, specialisms and industries. Also, like upskillers, career progression may be top of mind. But rather than progress in their field, they aim to switch careers.

Reskilling in action: You've worked in marketing for five years, and the tasks you enjoy involve fundamental data analysis. You recently learned that the average data analyst salary is higher than your current pay. So, you retrain through a data fellowship programme and switch from a digital marketer to a junior data analyst.

The benefits of reskilling or upskilling for employees

Workforce training benefits more than just HR Managers and business owners. Here are six ways reskilling or upskilling can also help you as an employee.

1. Increased salary and responsibilities

Data shows that upskilling or reskilling can lead to new job responsibilities, career advancement, and potentially higher earnings. In fact, 69% of apprentices who completed one of our upskilling programs have gained new job responsibilities, while 75% of employees who participated in upskilling have experienced career advancement. Additionally, over 5% of those who upskilled have seen an increase in average earnings compared to those who didn't.

While you're looking to progress in your current role or start a new career path, upskilling or reskilling is a solid business case for achieving your goals. You can learn the abilities needed for new and potentially more complex tasks in your existing role by upskilling. On the other hand, reskilling can provide you with the skills needed to start a new career with more responsibilities and higher earning potential.

2. Greater job security in 2023 and beyond

OpenAI released a demo of ChatGPT(opens new window) in late 2022. By early 2023, demand for new professions, like Prompt Engineers, had emerged. Even as we head into 2024, 69% of business leaders predict AI will create more demand for professionals with this specialism.

AI has shown us how quickly tech advances can change the way we work. Now is the time to learn the skills of the future and bring innovative approaches to your role. Doing so will increase your job security in the present, and it will also give you the new skills you need to adapt to future tech changes in the workplace.

3. Fewer education gaps

You don't need a degree-level qualification for some careers. For many, it helps. But there are other factors to consider. Going to university is expensive and a significant time commitment. There's also no guarantee of a job after graduation. Upskilling and reskilling, on the other hand, are university alternatives that offer a pathway into jobs that previously required a degree.

You can earn a degree qualification through upskilling and reskilling programmes. But unlike the traditional university route, you can learn for free alongside a new or existing role that pays. You'll also earn a nationally recognised certification while working on real projects, meaning no career breaks or learning endless theory.

4. Enhanced productivity and problem-solving

More and more businesses see the value of employees investing time into their skills. One study showed that 93% of CEOs(opens new window) introducing advanced upskilling programmes see increased workforce productivity and fewer skills gaps or mismatches. A further 94% see greater innovation and accelerated digital transformation. Additionally, 95% see better employee engagement. But when your employer upskills or reskills the workforce, what does that mean for you as an employee?

Whether you're at the start of or mid-way through your career, evolving your skills will help you solve advanced problems. Plus, when your employer invests in you, you feel more valued and engaged. Being empowered to solve problems and feeling more engaged at work makes you more productive. You'll also be less likely to switch jobs(opens new window), which is an indicator of greater job satisfaction.

5. Better work-life balance

Regardless of your position on the work-from-home debate(opens new window), fully remote or hybrid working opportunities may bring better work-life balance. Still, that all depends on your preferences or commitments.

Some professionals prefer a clear separation of work and home, in which case an in-office role might be best. Others may prefer the option to eliminate the office commute so they can spend that time with their families.

In either case, learning in-demand tech skills lets you choose your preferred workplace setup. That's especially true of remote work, as many tech professionals can do their work from anywhere.

6. Increased confidence in the workplace

The Future of Jobs Report 2023(opens new window) predicts machines will do 43% of work tasks by 2027. Experts also predict that 85% of all job roles(opens new window) in 2030 have yet to be invented. Even as we speak, 90% of workers(opens new window) see the need to update their skills annually at a minimum. So, if you want to thrive, rather than survive, in the future of work, now is the time to learn transformational skills.

With your new skills, you'll gain confidence in your abilities. That confidence will put you in the driver's seat of your career and help you meet current and future workforce demands. You'll also have the knowledge to effectively lobby for new tools, processes, and workflows that bring actual business results.

Best ways to upskill or reskill in 2023

Now you know why you should upskill or reskill, here are three ways to get started.

Take courses with platforms like Coursera

Platforms like Coursera offer flexibility and the ability to use any professional development budget you have through work. Still, you might have to pay for them if your employer doesn't offer professional development. You may also have to dedicate time outside work to learning the course content. There could also be no support from industry experts or any actionable job-ready skills.

Take a full-time or part-time boot camp

Full-time and part-time boot camps give you the chance to upskill and reskill. If your employer offers a professional development budget, you could use this to pay for the boot camp. But even if your employer funds it, you still have to invest time—aka, use your own time outside of work to study. If you go full-time, you'll have to put your career on pause for course outcomes that might not suit your goals.

Pursue an on-the-job apprenticeship

Like online courses and boot camps, on-the-job apprenticeships allow you to upskill or reskill in the areas needed to advance your career. But unlike online classes and boot camps, you don't need to quit your job, self-fund the programme, or spend personal time completing the course through on-the-job apprenticeship programmes, like Multiverse.

Upskill for free with Multiverse without quitting your job

With a Multiverse apprenticeship programme, you can upskill or reskill on the job for free. There's also a focus on applied learning so you won't be stuck in a classroom reading endless theories. You'll get paid to learn and use your new abilities in your day-to-day role.

We also tailor our programmes to give you durable and future skills, setting you up for success beyond the present. Plus, you'll learn from experienced professionals who have been where you are.

Get started today(opens new window). Our team can then double-check your eligibility and discuss apprenticeship options with you—including how to upskill with your current employer.

Team Multiverse

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