According to recent reports, two-thirds (70%) of workers are more likely to consider working in different industries due to the coronavirus crisis. Some of the reasons include a desire to learn new skills or challenge themselves (51%), a need for a better work-life balance (43%) or a wish for greater job security (32%).
While it is always possible to start over professionally, given the job search really boils down to a match between two parties — a company hiring to solve a need and a job candidate applying to fill that need. This means that, if you can identify what the needs are and position yourself to meet those needs by leveraging your existing skills (or acquiring new ones!), you can land a job.
However, statistics from Totaljobs suggest that of the 7% of people who have been forced to change industry after being displaced by Covid-19, 33% believe the skills they already had are of little use outside their current role.
If you haven’t been in the workplace for a while, you have to show that your skills aren’t rusty. Ask yourself “Did I take advantage of my time unemployed or on furlough to build upon my skills?” For those in work but looking to move into a new sector, ask yourself “What efforts have I made to make myself a more attractive candidate?”. These reflections are important because hiring managers will wonder how much effort you put into finding work and making yourself valuable to your next employer.
This is where micro-credentials come in handy.
If you have a skills gap for your target position or want to fill a gap in your CV timeline, consider micro-credentialing, a learning experience to develop the qualifications you need for a new opportunity. Micro-credentials are mini qualifications that demonstrate skills, knowledge, or experience in a given subject area or capability. Also known as nano-degrees, micro-credentials tend to be narrower in range than formal qualifications like diplomas or degrees. However, they can also be broad in focus rather than specific.
Thousands of people have earned micro-credentials to develop job-specific skills found through a wide variety of online learning universities or company-specific training offers. Here is a brief description of some of the more popular ones available at present.
The Open University is best known for pioneering distance learning by bringing undergraduate and post-graduate degrees to you, wherever you are. The Open University also offers over 1000 free courses, interactives and videos. Ranging from just a few hours for an introductory course to 40 hours for an advanced course. Upon completion, you’ll receive a free statement of participation to add to your CV. Learn more here: https://www.open.edu/openlearn/
Technical support is a dynamic field projected to grow 10% between 2018 and 2028—faster than the average of all other occupations. The Google IT Support Professional Certificate introduces you to troubleshooting, customer service, networking, operating systems, system administration, and security. While Google’s IT Automation with Python Professional Certificate teaches you in-demand skills like programming in Python, Git, advanced troubleshooting, and automation techniques. Learn more here: https://grow.google/programs/it-support/
LinkedIn’s excellent educational platform, which features more than 16,000 courses in seven different languages, all taught by industry experts to help users advance in their chosen fields. Upon completion, you’ll receive a badge to add your profile page—fee £29.95 per month.
Learn more here: www.linkedin.com
Coursera is a world-wide online learning platform that works with top US universities such as Duke, Harvard, and Stanford to offer online courses, specialisations, and degrees. Subjects include engineering, data science, mathematics, machine learning, business, computer science, etc.
Learn more here: https://www.coursera.org/
Udemy is the leading global marketplace for teaching and learning, connecting millions of students to the skills they need to succeed. With over 150,000 courses, there is an endless choice with a wide range of price points. Learn more here: https://www.udemy.com
Remember, once you enrol and complete a micro-credential, be sure to showcase these milestones in your CV, cover letter and social media updates to demonstrate that you have kept up-to-date or acquired new skills relevant to a prospective employer’s business needs. Happy Learning!