How to remain relevant in tomorrow's work force - which qualifications earn promotions

3rd July 2017 Small Business Industry Training Solutions Apprenticeships

Promoting change and seeking promotions - the goal of the of the group and the need of the individual. Big ideas, big hopes, with a lot to deal with in between where you/we are now and the end point.

What are we talking about? Strangely enough, we're talking about workforce relevancy. Follow as we discuss key skills, qualifications, recognition of prior learning, and shortcuts to empowering the workforce. 

The Big Picture

In a world where automation, interconnectivity, code, data and artificial intelligence are quickly dismantling or redefining roles and industries, it is essential for individual professionals and companies to evaluate if they possess the skill sets required to remain relevant.

The Committee for Economic Development of Australia report titled Australia’s Future Workforce tells us that information technology has redefined the skills expected of us. Yes, there will always be skills that no computer (for now) could ever match, but that does not change the fact that reskilling, upskilling and diversification are needed. Former ‘Googler’ and all-around champion for the coding cause, Pamela Fox says, “it’s the belief of many and myself that computing needs to be a part of general literacy, even for those that don’t go on to have “software engineer” in their job title.”

Experts go so far as to highlight the broader impact of learning code, highlighting that it vastly increases analytical thinking, problem-solving, practical creativity, and forward planning. Based on this, coding could be the cornerstone for individual career enhancement and broader workforce evolution.

How important are new digital skills and qualifications?

According to Australia’s Digital Pulse 2016, “The contribution of digital technologies to the Australian economy is forecast to grow from $79 billion in 2014 to $139 billion in 2020. This represents growth of over 75% and an increase in the digital economy from 5% to 7% of Australia’s GDP.”

Paxus, leaders in information technology recruitment, highlights technology as the driving force behind an additional three million jobs in Australia since the year 2000. The continued growth will focus heavily on data specialists, security experts, and online marketing.

Which qualifications will most likely earn you a promotion?

Three of the most in demand skill sets redefining roles today are data (capturing, analysing and repurposing), design (graphic, UX, UI, CX), and general coding. All of these can play into just about any role or industry - accountants need data analytics as much as community services workers, and teachers need coding as much as human resource officers.

The high point of a digitally enabled workforce, according to Computer World, is the need to master:

Data and Analytics – quality data is driving business intelligence and strategy with big data influencing all elements of marketing, planning, budgeting and more. The ability to understand how data can inform business processes and operations is a crucial skill to have, whatever industry you are in or are looking to enter.

Web Development – coding has the power to help you understand how technology is shaping the world. You can gain a marketable skill by learning front and back end development.

Graphic Design – whether you are in administration, marketing or you’re a sole trader, having a basic understanding of modern design software will aid you in diversifying your skill sets and selling your wares to the world.

There are Certificates and Diplomas that touch on all these areas, from design fundamentals and SEM to web development and cyber security. The qualification you study to get a promotion or re-enter the workforce is up to you, your industry and potentially your employer.

What skills are most relevant to reskilling a company's workforce?

In terms of a broader company focus, consider:

Coding - coding impacts your business in terms of your basic online presence, marketing, apps and other forms of digital interaction. By skilling staff in this space, you can more readily apply digital solutions and process evolution to any team without having to bring in more IT staff to fill skills gaps.

Data - data in the current context impacts HR, marketing, finance, production, sales and much more. Skilling your essential staff in capturing, analysing and utilising said data to grow your business will be a serious boon for you in the short and long term.

Social Media - this is a crucial space to marketing, customer service, and recruitment, and is, therefore, more important than ever when it comes to building out the long term viability of your workforce.

Is there a shortcut?

Workforce relevancy is more important than ever, for individual workers and for teams. Whether you want to push forward as a group or on your own, recognition of prior learning (RPL) from the likes of TAFE Queensland can provide a faster and affordable solution.

RPL will allow you to cost-effectively give you or your staff the capacity to exponentially bolster professional potential for years to come.

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