The words “reskilling” and “upskilling” are commonly used in tech discourse. What exactly is the difference between reskilling and upskilling? Can they be pursued interchangeably? We explain in this edition of tech talk terminology!
In a fast-paced world propelled by rapid digitalization, we are struggling to keep up. There are not enough tech professionals (Frontend and Full-Stack Developers, Cybersecurity Specialists, Data Scientists and Data Analysts) to fully tap into the power of advanced technology.
Technology and HR experts, including the World Economic Forum, suggest that “upskilling” and “reskilling” are the solutions to this ongoing crisis. So, what exactly do upskilling and reskilling entail?
From Zero to Tech Hero: Reskilling
The term “reskilling” is defined as training someone to “acquire new or improved skills.”
Reskilling involves a person transitioning into an entirely new profession, without having any relevant previous experience, requiring her to learn the knowledge, skills, and tools required for the new role. For example, let’s say a retail cashier is tired of her job and wants to change careers and realize her artistic ambitions. Through a reskilling program, she can quickly learn design principles, how to build excellent wireframes, and the methods to become a successful UI/UX Designer in the tech sector.
The need for reskilling remains imminent. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) expects 14% of existing jobs to disappear due to automation in the next 15-20 years. The OECD also predicts another 32% of jobs are likely to change drastically, requiring even more sophisticated skill sets. Even the WEF emphasizes the importance of reskilling, claiming by the end of this year, 54% of employees will need some form of reskilling.
Leveling Up: Upskilling
Upskilling is different from reskilling, and involves “improving the aptitude for work through additional training.” Rather than acquiring a new profession and skills from scratch, upskilling involves leveraging past experience and knowledge and upgrading a person’s technical skill set. Such upskilling is still required to learn new technologies, skills, and tools that are required by the industry to be effective in a role.
As technology advances, it takes effort to stay relevant in the workforce. This creates a need for lifelong learning and upskilling.
An example could be someone working as a SOC Analyst, handling the cybersecurity of an enterprise. After spending a few years in this position, he wants to advance in his career and tackle more complex cybersecurity issues, which he used to refer to other experts. He can take a quick upskilling cyber course, and upgrade his skills to take on roles in Digital Forensics, Malware Analysis, and other higher-order cyber specialties.
Reskilling and Upskilling are Needed to Boost the Global Economy
Upskilling and reskilling are lauded as top solutions because they do not require multiple years of education in university. Through a well-structured tech training program, candidates are upskilling and reskilling in a matter of months, and immediately become ready to answer an organizations’ current tech needs.
Research confirmed the impacts that upskilling and reskilling can have on the economy. The World Economic Forum reveals that wide scale investment in upskilling has potential to boost the global GDP by US$6.5 trillion by 2030. Additionally, upskilling could lead to the net creation of 5.3 million new global jobs by 2030.
Insights also revealed that by 2024, around 40% of workers will require reskilling. 94% of business leaders also have expectations for employees to quickly pick up new skills.
Bridging the Gap with Wawiwa Tech
Wawiwa Tech made it its business to take upskilling and reskilling at scale to countries around the world. Working with partners around the world to upskill and reskill using methodologies developed in Israel, the Startup Nation, Wawiwa plays a role in bridging the tech skills gap and decreasing the tech skills shortage.
Candidates going through a Wawiwa reskilling or upskilling program anywhere in the world can quickly acquire the knowledge and skills required to completely transform their career, or upgrade it significantly, in a short period of time and with a lasting impact on their lives.