As businesses shift to a digital setup, many companies encounter the challenge of finding skilled employees for their needs, especially in the technology sector. This problem stems from the widening skill gap between the current skillsets of employees and the skills companies need.
One obvious answer to this problem is upskilling, either through your own initiative or via company-sponsored training.
However, it’s not always that simple. There are many challenges to upskilling that employees and employers face that prevent them from gaining new skills and honing current ones.
These top barriers to upskilling include insufficient money and time for necessary courses and workshops.
Many also wonder why you should bother to upskill yourself when their skills are enough for their current online jobs.
Besides these, here are some other challenges to upskilling – and some ways to overcome them:
Unsurprisingly, a common challenge for many Filipinos is coming up with the money to pay for online courses and workshops.
Given how expensive basic necessities are today, it’s difficult for Filipinos to save enough money to upskill themselves.
And it’s not like online courses and workshops are cheap, either. Most require you to pay a hefty amount of money up front. Unless your employer sponsors you, enrolling in these courses can be extremely difficult.
Insufficient Spare Time.
Besides money, you also need enough time to attend these online classes, not to mention working on any assignments they may entail.
Since you’re working remotely, you’d think finding time for studies will be easier, right? Well, not exactly.
Although online courses offer flexible schedules, it remains difficult for many employees to find time since they also often do housework or take care of kids after work hours.
And what if they also have side hustles alongside their primary job? How will they be able to attend classes on top of these?
The Lack of Access to Relevant Training and Other Resources.
Even when employees want to upskill themselves and have the resources to do so, sometimes, there are no available online courses to teach the skills they want to learn.
Upskilling Isn’t Considered a Priority by Employers and Employees.
Although everyone knows the many benefits of upskilling, many employers still aren’t keen on encouraging their employees to upskill because they have other pressing projects to deal with.
Upskilling can also turn out to be quite expensive for companies. According to a World Economic Forum and the Boston Consulting Group report, companies must spend at least 24,800 USD to help upskill their employees.
On the other hand, many employees also don’t find the need to upskill so urgent. After all, if their current skillset is enough for their present jobs, why spend time and money on lessons that you may not even get to use?
Overcoming Upskilling Challenges
Fortunately for those looking to enhance their skillset, there are ways to overcome the challenges mentioned above. These are:
Check If Your Employers Have Existing Programs That Provide Additional Employee Training.
Having your employer’s support is a great way to solve many of the challenges to upskilling you’ll encounter. With their help, you don’t have to worry about finding money for online training, and they’re likely to help you carve out the time needed to attend these courses.
However, if your company sponsors your training, they may require you to sign a contract requiring you to stay with them for a set period. This bond ensures you won’t resign once the training is over, so the company has time to recoup its investment in supporting your career growth.
Prioritize Learning The Skills That Are In Demand.
The first step in learning how to upskill while working is setting realistic goals.
What do you hope to learn and achieve from attending online courses? Is there a particular skill that you wish to hone or learn? Do you want to upskill to ascend the career ladder or to transition to a different job within the same field you are currently in?
If you’re struggling with this part, consider finding out which skills are highly in-demand in your field and start there. Prioritizing these skills helps boost your current productivity and improves your chances of rising to higher-level positions as well.
Personalize Your Upskilling Journey.
Aside from prioritizing the most in-demand skills in your field, you should also broaden your horizons by learning skills outside your expertise. Nowadays, employers are also looking for employees with soft skills that enable them to be more productive at work.
So don’t be afraid to take online courses you’re interested in, even if they aren’t strictly related to your field. After all, you’re more likely to want to learn something you’re interested in rather than one that feels like a chore.
Find Opportunities to Apply What You’ve Learned at Work.
Another way to motivate yourself to continue upskilling is by demonstrating the skills you’ve learned. Aside from boosting your confidence and making you more efficient at work, it will also show your boss that investing in helping their employees upskill is worth it.
Upskilling Isn’t Easy, but It’s Not Impossible.
Given how demanding and competitive today’s business environment is, you need every edge you can get to stay in your job or get ahead.
However, there are several challenges to upskilling, such as the ones pointed out above. These include a lack of time, money, access to training, and upskilling not being considered a priority by employers and employees.
Fortunately, there are ways to overcome these top barriers to upskilling. Having your employer’s support, prioritizing the skills in-demand in your field (while also leaving room for skills that interest you) are just some ways you can overcome these challenges to upskilling.
And if you’re currently facing a lack of job opportunities, Remote Staff’s here to help. Our jobs list has a wide range of available positions, so you’ll never run out of options. Good luck!