Posted 12 months ago by She Stacey

Top areas to upskill in whilst looking for work

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With the job-market so up in the air right now, the questions dominating our calls are unsurprisingly: 

“What can I do to stand out?”
“What should I be learning?” 
 “What can I do to enhance my CV?” 

With a fraction of the jobs available and thousands looking for work, it is only natural that you want to give yourself the competitive edge; which is why upskilling could differentiate you between another candidate and make you the more appealing choice. 

I want to help by highlighting some important skills, technologies and attitudes you can take/make to be successful after COVID-19.

 Firstly, what do they want? 

Employers want creativitydisruptorsthinkersand passionate people! 

It's all about upskilling, staying relevant and useful to employers. Making it your mission to use the downtime as learning opportunities shows resilience, tech savviness, initiative, passion and dedication. Employers want to know that whoever they bring on board can be dynamic, independent, but most importantly excited about building the best teams, products and services possible.

Cross functional upskilling

-      “Everybody should learn to program a computer, because it teaches you how to think” - Steve Jobs

Within business’, more and more teams are becoming increasingly cross functionaland digitally advanced. To put it simply, there is an increased use of computers everywhere, which automatically gives rise to the need of people who can actually code and make programs on it. There is also a greater need for employees to bridge gaps between technical and non-technical teams and become more agile. 

The knowledge of coding is really a big strength, it will always prove to be an advantage over others who don't know about it and opens up a lot of opportunities. Plus, it's not rocket science, so why not?

Coding is vital for emerging technologies and is not just for analysts and engineers, programming is a great upskill for content Marketers, UX designers, Interaction designers, Marketing & sales Analysts, Tech writers and the list goes on..

 Data literacy 

We are in the golden era of data! 

Being data literate is the ability to read, write and communicate data in context, whilst understanding the data sources and constructs and analytical methods applied and to then be able to describe the resulting. Not only can your team make decisions based on facts but users are able to experiment with the data to uncover new insights and opportunities. 

The key here is putting data to use, not just collecting it which may not be a part of your role officially but will make you a lot better at it, help impact the business and aid your wider understanding. 

Data visualization 

“The greatest value of a picture is when it forces us to notice what we never expected to see” - John Tukey 

The idea of using pictures to understand has been around for centuries when you start thinking about the things we see all the time such as maps and charts. Data visualisation is a blend of science and art in order to present complex data sets in simpler ways.

By using visual features like charts, graphs and maps, data visualisation tools provide an accessible way to see and understand trends, outliers and patterns in data at all levels. It is useful for senior leaders to gain valuable insights from data without messy spreadsheets and hard to read tables. 

Tools such as Tableauand Power BIare used commonly to analyse and visualize data. 

How can you pick up these skills?
  1. Sign up for courses - There are various companies offering both free and paid online courses, do some research and find something that works for you!

  2. Work on personal projects or tryconnectingwith people from both your personal and professional network to ask questions, team up and gain first-hand experience.

 Showcase your skills and interests

A common mistake to make, is to assume that portfolio and website links are just for creatives - WRONG. A link to some of your work samples, a blog, GitHub profile or an engaging bio/testimonial can work great!

-       Shows your audience that you’re a reliable, skilled, and committed team member

-       An engaging “About Me” section will make people think, “I want to work with this person!” or “I want to meet them!

-       Links to your other public profiles make you look more credible but also just makes life a lot easier for hiring managers and recruiters.... We are going to look anyway!

-      A way for you to communicate your ideas to a wider community

Embrace Gig Work 

Contractors and freelancers are going to be popular as the job market starts to open back up. Embrace temporary work, don't think of it as unstable/short lived. Contracting is a great way to gain varied experience, contribute to multiple teams and gain valuable knowledge of different systems, cultures and technologies. 

 Finally, you cannot go wrong by staying on top of the latest trends in tech. Here are just a couple of the top trends that are making waves across the industry; knowledge is key.


Stay on top of Tech Trends: 

 Gaming and sports are one of the more well-known VR uses but its potential doesn’t stop there. Retail, healthcare and gaming are industries where we are seeing more and more of this technology emerging and taking over! Advances in VR, AR and mixed reality are quite important to the technology industry because, at its core, it represents a major revolution in the way we interact with computers and create experiences. 

 Robotic process automation

-      The software doesn’t learn on its own or seek to tweak out new efficiencies or new insights. Instead, RPA works like a digital assistant for employees by clearing the onerous, simple tasks that eat up part of every office worker’s day. You will see an influx in use of this kind of technology, improving business operations, efficiency and making time for more critical tasks. 

AI and ML 

-      AI and ML is all about interaction with technology, examples of this can be seen everywhere! from consumertoys listening and responding,healthcarewhere technology is mimicking the thought process of brains or automating CT scan analysis to predicting manufacturingfaults in vehicles. The list goes on and on, the bottom line is AI and ML is a revolution that you just can't get away from so it’s best to get on board! 

Data science 

-      In 2020 there is more data than we could ever analyze, let alone understand. Data science is about taming unstructured information and gathering insight, making predictions and analysing multiple datasets at a time no matter what the industry.

Finally, don’t lose hope. The job market is not a reflection of you, rather the current economic climate we are living in and the competition will be fierce. Get started on upskilling today – good luck! 

By Shae Stacey

Shae is a recruiter at Career Moves and could be the person who helps you find your dream job in tech