Difference Between Upskilling and Reskilling

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upskilling and reskilling

The recent digital revolution has given rise to some new professions requiring skills in technologies like Big Data, AI, and Machine Learning. Due to this, the big companies are falling short of the right talent that is required to carry out these functions and roles at work. As per reports from McKinsey and Company, it has been recently made clear that the current market and jobs are failing to match the ever-increasing advances in the technical fields. In the business world today, words like “upskilling” and “reskilling” are becoming more common. Let’s read the blog below to understand the meaning and the major difference between upskilling and reskilling.

Due to the emergent need for rightly skilled talent, the World Economic Forum has declared the need for upskilling and reskilling of professionals. With the immediate arrival of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, companies have restructured internally incorporating various technologies into use. This has led to the extreme realization by the professionals of their growing need to learn new skills. 

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Navigating the Learning Landscape: Upskilling and Reskilling

In this world, where many jobs are being taken over by AIs, there still exist some tasks that need to be achieved only by highly skilled professionals. For this reason, several companies have started training to “upskill” their staff so that they can cope with the emergent global industrialization needs. In a similar manner, the current workforce should keep on adding to their pre-existing technical skills in order to have a sustained job that is also high-paying. This calls for a need for “upskilling” and “reskilling”. But before moving forward, one must understand what both these terms mean and what is the difference between upskilling and reskilling. This will give an idea of whether one needs to go for upskilling or reskilling and how to approach either one of them. 

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What is Upskilling?

Upskilling refers to advancing the skills of the current workforce in an organization by use of training and development. This trend of continuous learning helps the workforce get acquainted with the most recent trends in their area of expertise and helps in the filling of skill gaps. Upskilling helps professionals learn new skills within their current organization so that they can work on new roles and opportunities.

Source: HR party of One

Why is Upskilling Important?

Read the section ahead if you are wondering why upskilling is important. As the newly emerging technologies keep on impacting how organizations operate, companies and employees need to add new skills so that can keep up with the growing needs of the industrially revolutionizing workplace.  

By training and upskilling their current employees, companies can save a lot of time and money which is used for hiring new employees. Alongside, most employees anticipate health insurance, paid holidays and opportunities for growth more than the salary alone. In this situation, training conducted by the companies to help upskill their current workforce gives a sense of job security and makes the employees feel valued at their workplace. Hence, the importance of upskilling can be summed up below.

  1. Saves a lot of money and time for a company that is used up hiring new employees.
  2. Upskilling helps the current workforce in a company to add valuable skills to their current set of skills. This enables them to optimize their day-to-day tasks using the new skills. 
  3. Upskilling helps the organization in filling the skill gaps in the technical field. This way the employees remain up-to-date with the emerging advancements and the company remains competitive in the market. 
  4. Upskilling gives a sense of job security to the employees in a company. Hence, it may help in employee retention.

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What is Reskilling? 

Reskilling also involves a set of new skills to improve employees’ skill sets within their current organization. Companies conduct training to reskill employees when they are required to perform a different role. This can be useful for employees who fit better for a different role but end up doing an entirely different role. 

Source: World Economic Forum

Why is Reskilling Important?

Reskilling of employees at the workplace is important because of the following reasons:

  1. It enhances the skill sets of the current workforce.
  2. The company can rely on the current experienced employees to take on the new roles upon being reskilled. 
  3. Whenever due to technological advancements, new vacancies are created in a company, companies can opt for reskilling their employees so they can be adjusted to the newer roles rather than hiring a whole new team. This saves a lot of money for the company. 

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Difference Between Upskilling and Reskilling 

While the meaning of upskilling and reskilling may sound similar, there is a fine difference between the two. Thus, you must understand both for future professional growth.  

While both upskilling and reskilling mean adding new skills to the current skill sets of the employees, the difference between them lies in their objectives. The employees add new skills to their skill sets either through the company’s training or by taking measures themselves. But the difference between the both is in the purpose of the skill enhancement activity. 

The term upskilling is referred to when value addition is done to enhance the employees’ day-to-day tasks. This will improve their work and competitively optimize them. While, reskilling refers to the value addition to the tasks. It is done for role-change of the employee, to give them a newer role and opportunity within the organization.    

Also Read: Top Technical Skills to Enhance Your Resume

Source: ManpowerGroup

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Q.1. What does upskilling mean?

Ans: Upskilling means adding new skills to the current set of skills. This will help one improve their performance and be in line with recent trends. Companies often conduct training to teach their employees about the new emerging trends in the market. This also makes the company competitive in the market and helps it attain sustainable growth.

Q.2. What are upskilling and reskilling?

Ans: Upskilling refers to the addition of newer skills for the purpose of enhancing one’s performance. Reskilling refers to the addition of new skills for the purpose of role change of a set of current employees in order to offer them new roles within the organization.  

Q.3. Why is upskilling important?

Ans: Upskilling is important for making a company competitive in the market when technical advancements are taking place on a daily basis. Upskilling helps to boost the technical knowledge of the employees in a company.

This was all about the difference between upskilling and reskilling. For more such informative blogs, visit the career counselling page of Leverage Edu

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