The world today is changing at an unprecedented rate, and the job market is no exception. The reason for this change? Digital transformation. With countless new technologies and ideas flooding into the job market, companies can’t stand idly by – and neither can you. But how can you keep up? By upskilling.

What does it mean to upskill?

Upskilling is a process of learning or building upon your knowledge and skills. Individuals usually embark upon upskilling to advance their career and keep up with a dynamic job market.

Whether it takes the form of on-the-job training, personal study, or by enrolling in a course, upskilling can be a valuable tool.

Why is upskilling so important?

To keep up with changes in the market, updates in technology and alterations in processes, upskilling is vital. But there are so many other reasons to upskill, and it depends on what you want to gain.

Do you want to change your career? Gone are the days when people looked for a job for life. Nowadays, most careers don’t follow a linear path. Individuals steer their jobs in numerous exciting directions and readily enter into new fields of work. Though this isn’t always the easiest of tasks, upskilling facilitates this change brilliantly. New skills build upon old, and a multi-talented individual emerges, ready to take on any occupational challenge.

If you’ve got your eyes on a big promotion, then upskilling could be what you need to succeed. With so many companies unable to offer extensive in-house training programs, they often have to recruit externally to fill new positions. By choosing to upskill, you can climb up the career ladder and move into new, exciting job roles.

Another great reason to upskill is the myriad of opportunities it will present to you. Perhaps you’ll discover a passion you didn’t know you had, or discover a renewed love for your current profession. You’ll meet new people, gain advanced knowledge and future proof your career.

What is the best way to upskill?

Traditionally, university was seen as the best way to gain the skills and knowledge needed to enter the world of work – but that has changed. Many university courses have been slow to adapt to changing workplaces, and other forms of education are gaining popularity as a result. Of course, universities still offer exceptional education, but they do not always produce graduates who are workplace ready.

There are a variety of ways to upskill (for example, home learning, online courses and on-the-job training), but for real job prospects, you may want to consider Vocational Educational Training. With the mantra ‘Learn To Earn’, VET courses are designed to prepare you to work in the modern workplace.

Free online courses can be beneficial, but be aware that these are less reliable and have low completion rates. Furthermore, the lack of a structured curriculum in these courses can affect a student’s motivation and engagement.

What is VET and what are the benefits?

Vocational Educational Training provides students with up-to-date knowledge and skills that are industry-focussed. Lessons may take place in the classroom, workshop, or work setting.

Courses are delivered by Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) and produced through consultation with industry professionals. They are also regulated by the Australian Government to ensure their quality. You can find a full list of RTOs on the Australian Government’s website.

RTOs provide a variety of course levels: certificates I, II, III and IV, Diplomas, Advanced Diplomas, Graduate Certificates and Graduate Diplomas. Many of these are nationally recognised and approved by the Australian Skills Quality Authority or ASQA.

Once you have completed a course, you can start applying for jobs or you can continue your education and begin the next level of qualification. VET courses are recognised throughout Australia and are an excellent way to move into the career you want. As workforce requirements change, so do the courses. Therefore, you can feel confident that the content you study is always relevant.

A unique component of VET courses is their inclusion of generic workplace topics such as health and safety. Though perhaps not as exciting as core topics, they are crucial pieces of workplace knowledge. Having an understanding of these practices could be vital in helping you to progress at work.

Can you earn more money through VET?

Graduates of VET courses generally stand to make more money than university graduates. With their sought-after skills and practical experience, those with VET qualifications can enter the workplace with a salary that is $2000 higher than a university graduate. And with shorter courses and lower course fees, holders of VET qualifications can enter the workplace faster with drastically lower debts.

What about the qualifications and experience you already have before studying a VET?

If you already have several qualifications and years of experience – great! Each course takes into account your work and education history so that you can learn most effectively. Your existing knowledge could mean that you study at a higher level than previously expected. No matter where you are in your professional life, upskilling could supercharge your career and reignite your passion for work.

If you’d like to learn more about VET courses at CAC, click here.