COVID 19: A Time to Reskill or Upskill with a 12 Step Self-learning Plan
As a major portion of the IT workforce transitions to remote work, owing to the coronavirus pandemic, this could be the best time for professionals to upskill or expand their knowledge and expertise. COVID-19 is a blessing in disguise for professionals who have had very little or no time at all to plan their career path.
Presently, we all have that extra time on our hands to spend on personal care; so while working from home, online learning is one of the important activities that you can focus on, for upskilling yourself.
As we are in an agile world, where new technology gets introduced frequently, existing technology is constantly updated, platforms get stronger, and collaborations become the core functionality of these emerging technologies - the major question that arises is, how can one keep track of this constantly evolving industry?
Well, the answer is very simple. It all starts with the right set of planning. We need to set a clear end goal to pick a learning path, which most closely resembles to what we do on a day-to-day basis. Learning and validating it through certifications would be the ideal way to exhibit your knowledge. This could be within any area of your work, including Technology, Management, Soft Skills, etc.
Most of the current employers want to hire or retain people with the right skills, experience, and certifications within the various areas of expertise. One of the most important reasons to get certified is that it helps you stay ahead of the competition. Also, if you truly want to succeed in your career, you need to stay updated in all the technologies and regulations that impact your line of work. So, keep learning and you’ll have a knowledge base that will make you an asset to your employer, far into the future.
There are multiple options and choices for people who have decided to begin their learning journey. I want to share a few suggestions that will help you succeed in the present scenario and the times to come. They are:
Start by choosing the learning path that would give you an edge in your current line of work
Choose the technology that has relevance in the market, while at the same time is within your area of interest. Don’t opt for something just because it is well-paid or because that is what the masses are aiming for.
You also need to ask yourself if the technology will complement your current knowledge base. While it is good to think about this, it is not mandatory.
Identify the best learning medium, which could be from the product portal, self-learning portal, or an on-demand learning portal.
Choose the apt level for yourself - Beginner/Intermediate/Expert.
Set a clear timeline and block your calendar for dedicated hours every week. Track your progress regularly.
Many online learning portals provide prebuilt lab sessions; try it till you get a complete hold of the concept.
Read the exam guide carefully to understand the topics for certification. Concentrate on the length and breadth of the topics.
Prepare relevant notes with key points for your reference. This could be very useful during the days before the exam.
Look for learning experience blogs and community questions to get familiar with certification topics.
It is always a good practice to try some mock tests and evaluate your readiness for the exam.
Connect with professionals within your organization or on social media platforms to discuss topics. Subscribe to webinars and/or boot camps, whenever possible.
I would also suggest getting in touch with your Learning Management System (LMS) team to understand if your learning path is in the list of the organization’s priority of topics to be reskilled. Do ensure you nominate yourself for such learning modules, in case they exist. If there are any upcoming programmes, try to proactively participate and become a part.
Most organizations have sponsor programs that provide access to preferred self-learning portals. For instance, at Intelliswift, we have planned multiple up-skill programs in-line with our core Digital Product Engineering and Data Management & Analytics offerings. Our partnership with leading technology and product companies are giving us an edge by providing certification programs on emerging technologies across Data Analytics, RPA and Cloud technologies. For each service line, Intelliswift is offering various enablement methodologies for our internal workforce, which includes self-learning, dedicated boot camps, webinars etc.
It is extremely beneficial to form an internal learning group within the organization to periodically share resources, experiences, or even conduct recurring knowledge sharing sessions among the nominees. Always document your experience and success paths, so that these could be used by others in the organization.
Today, technology is emerging so rapidly that there is an increasing demand for certifications and self-learning platforms. Technology firms are spending ample amounts of time, money, and effort for enabling free access to learning resources; a few of them even have their learning academy to build a stronger community of professionals. Also, there are many online learning portals. Some of the popular ones are - Coursera, Udemy, Pluralsight, Udacity, Codecademy, Dataquest, Linux Academy, Cloudguru, & Lynda (LinkedIn Learning).
We just have to dedicate a few extra hours and set a timeline to achieve our learning goals.
So, be safe and keep learning!