Why Are Reskilling and Upskilling Essential?Upskilling and reskilling have always been important for tech professionals. However, as new technologies continue to pop up, IT professionals should continuously learn to remain valuable to their companies. One of the most significant trends driving the need for upskilling and reskilling is the rise of automation. Since businesses seek to improve efficiency and reduce costs, many organizations increasingly use automation technologies such as robotics, AL, and ML. This shift is transforming the nature of work, and tech professionals who can work with these technologies are in high demand. Another trend driving the need for upskilling and reskilling is the need for digital transformation. As a result, companies in all industries are investing heavily in digital technologies and strategies, including cloud computing, cybersecurity, and data analytics. Speaking of technologies like blockchain, quantum computing, and edge computing, they are still in the early stages of development but are revolutionizing how we live and work. So, tech professionals who can stay up-to-date with these technologies will likely become highly demandable.
A Bit of StatisticsWith all these technologies that reimagine the world, some jobs may no longer exist, whereas others may look different. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) expects that 14% of existing jobs will disappear due to automation in the next 15-20 years, while 32% of jobs will likely change drastically and require more sophisticated skill sets. Fortunately, we have two highly effective talent development tools, upskilling and reskilling, which can prepare companies for current changes.
|An urgent investment in human capital is needed to create a fairer world. — The World Economic Forum.
What is Upskilling?Upskilling refers to acquiring new skills or improving existing ones to enhance job performance and career prospects, keeping up with the changing needs of the job market. It can be achieved through taking classes, training programs, workshops, or mentoring. With technology and automation disrupting numerous industries and opening up new opportunities, upskilling has become increasingly important for IT professionals who want better job prospects and higher salaries. Upskilling is essential if you want to stay competitive and build a good career. Also, note that upskilling can become a “lifetime adventure” since you’ll always need to update your skill set to stay ahead of the curve. Upskilling for a Java developer can involve completing certifications like Oracle or learning new tools like Gradle (which even outperformed Maven). Upskilling is important not just for people but for businesses as well. Companies investing in continuous learning for their workers can make a more skilled and flexible team that can handle changes in technology better.
What is Reskilling?Reskilling is learning new skills or improving old ones to meet the requirements of a new job. Reskilling is essential to prepare individuals for new career paths in response to changes in technology and industry trends. For example, you can transition from a Java developer to a Metaverse developer or a Java architect by acquiring an additional set of skills. And this can be achieved not only through formal education programs but also through vocational tech training, on-the-job training, or self-directed learning. What is the critical difference between upskilling and reskilling? While reskilling focuses on preparing professionals for new jobs, upskilling focuses on developing new skills for the same role. Besides technical skills, soft skills play an essential role in both upskilling and reskilling. Communication, problem-solving, and critical thinking are crucial for success in any career, no matter how techy.
Top Strategies for Upskilling and Reskilling as a Java ProfessionalIf you’re wondering what you can do to climb the career ladder faster and stay in high demand, we have come up with a checklist of what you can do as a Java specialist.
Identify skill gaps. The first step is to identify your current skills and knowledge gaps. Assess your current skill set and determine what new skills you need to acquire to meet your career goals or keep up with industry trends. For example, a Java developer may upskill in a new framework, such as Spring Boot, or AWS, to keep pace with changing requirements or new industry standards.
Set learning goals. Once you have identified your skill gaps, set specific learning goals to address them. Make sure your goals are achievable and measurable.
Choose the right resources. There are many new skills and knowledge options, including online courses, training programs, and certifications. Choose programs that are relevant to your learning goals and offer high-quality content.
Communicate with other professionals in the industry. Join online forums, attend industry events, and connect with other professionals in the Java community. Engage in discussions and share your knowledge and experiences with others.
Practice. Put your new skills and knowledge into practice by working on real-world projects or contributing to open-source projects. It will help you build confidence and improve your abilities.
Stay up-to-date with industry trends. Follow industry news and stay informed about new technologies and trends in the Java community. It will help you anticipate future skill needs and stay ahead of the curve. As one of our students said, “Hang on and keep the learning going. Also, you need always to work hard and expect to go to different sources from time to time”.
Helpful ResourcesFortunately, there are many resources available to Java specialists who want to upskill or reskill. Online courses, books, workshops, and certification programs can all be valuable tools for acquiring new knowledge. Here is the list of books written by professionals who have already “pumped” their skills and now would like to share their experience with others.
- Venkat Subramaniam, a well-known Java expert, has written several books and has given many talks on programming, including upskilling and reskilling. He emphasizes the importance of continuously learning new programming languages, frameworks, and tools to stay competitive.
- Arun Gupta, a Java Champion and author of “Java EE 7 Essentials”, has been an advocate for upskilling in cloud-native technologies, such as Kubernetes and microservices, to keep pace with changing industry trends. He also wrote many useful books that can help you upskill.
- Joshua Bloch, a former Google engineer, and Java expert, transitioned from a development role to an engineering management role by upskilling in leadership, communication, and business strategy. He wrote an excellent book called Effective Java, where he shares his knowledge.