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How to Keep Your Skills Sharp for the Future of Work

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The future of work is changing faster than ever. New skills and careers are emerging every day and being a part of the workforce in 2021 can make you feel behind the times. It’s important to keep your skills up to date for a number of reasons, but the biggest reason is becoming more obvious each day.

Technology is a disruptive force that is affecting every industry. Formerly considered strong careers are now giving way to tech-based jobs, and many traditional jobs are disappearing completely. The best way to overcome this disruption is to develop skills that will be most useful in the future of work. They will help you stand out from the other employees in your industry as a powerful and versatile worker who is capable of entering different fields as they emerge. There are a few ways you can keep your skills sharp, all of which can be done while retaining your current job.

Attend a Trade School

One of the best ways to modernize your skills for the future of work is by attending a trade school near you. Unlike more traditional forms of higher education, trade schools are far cheaper and offer numerous online options. Additionally, trade schools feature specialized courses that can prepare students for a specific career in as little as a year’s time.

The online options mean these schools can be attended in conjunction with whatever job you have now. Consider attending a trade school, such as Flatiron School, that offers courses in fields ranging from data science to cybersecurity. Trade schools are the way of the future, and recent reports indicate that attendance is rivaling that of colleges and universities.

In fact, 27 percent of trade school graduates are estimated to make even more money than their university graduate counterparts. Take advantage of these educational institutions and upgrade your skills for the future of work today. The first step is enrolling in a popular program and determining which career you want to enter.

Find a Coding Bootcamp Near You

Similar to trade schools, bootcamps feature specialized courses that equip students with a specific skill. Unlike trade schools, however, bootcamps can often be completed in a number of months and still provide students with a comprehensive education. Should you feel that you don’t have time to attend a year-long program, consider attending a bootcamp.

By far, the most well-known among these institutions are coding bootcamps. These courses teach a variety of coding languages in a matter of months. Due to the ease of learning, attending one of these bootcamps may be your best choice for keeping your skills up to date.

Many bootcamps are open to anyone. The number of bootcamps you can choose from has been rising in recent years, as a number of fields, such as data science, have begun hosting more courses. It has never been easier to find a valuable source of education, and doing so should be your first priority.

Consider a Graduate Program

If you have the time and financial means, attending a graduate program is one of the best choices for enhancing your education and skills. They are well respected by employers and, if your new degree relates to your current company, some employers may even sponsor part of your learning experience.

Even if you don’t know what career you want, do some research and narrow down what potential future careers or skills interest you. From there, you can find a graduate program that resonates with you and see how you can apply the education to your current field or a field you would like to enter.

Conclusion

Keeping your skills sharp in 2021 is a difficult task when it seems like the world is changing in the blink of an eye. By the time you update your skills, some have probably already become outdated. Watch the students of today and see which skills they choose to develop and which fields they choose to enter. This can give you valuable insight into which industries will become the most applicable to the future of work. Never assume that your skills are already current, as today’s disruptive era will guarantee that they never quite will be. Recognizing this is the first step to always keeping your skills sharp.

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Artur Meyster

Artur Meyster is the CTO of Career Karma (YC W19), an online marketplace that matches career switchers with coding bootcamps. He is also the host of t... Read more...

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