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Upskilling through learning, training and volunteering
Discover the many benefits of taking an online learning course or signing up for a volunteering position through My World of Work.
What you will learn
- The benefits to upskilling
- Why upskilling can help you no matter what situation you’re in
- What options are available when looking to upskill
No matter what stage you’re at in your career or education journey, learning new skills will always be beneficial to you in the long term. Whether it’s just for fun or a skill you want to gain to progress onto your next line of work it is important to identify your options. This allows you to make decisions about your next steps, set goals and kick start your plan of action.
Time spent upskilling is never wasted, especially when there are so many ways of learning new skills.
What are my options?
Not everyone will have the same course of action when looking for opportunities to help them on their career path. It is perfectly normal to choose your own path during your career and education journey. However, it is important to consider your options and the benefits of upskilling yourself, whether you’re happy in your line of work, looking for a new career, struggling to find the free time or discovering your passions. Below we look at each of these scenarios and how upskilling yourself can help.
I want to progress in the same line of work
For many people staying in the same line of work is the easiest and most realistic way forward when looking for opportunities to progress within your career. When looking for a promotion or a change within your workplace, it is important to find out what skills you need to gain in order to progress within your career.
Your starting point should be to consider your current skills and experience, setting yourself goals on what you want to achieve. Think about what you need to do to meet your goals. There may be opportunity to enrol in a further education or training course to develop your skills and widen your options. We can help you find free online courses to gain qualifications and certifications that could help you obtain that promotion. These courses can be completed alongside your day-to-day work, developing knowledge that can be applied to your career. They are also free so you can learn something new and advance your career prospects without breaking the bank.
You may be happy with your CV and academic history but lack confidence and experience. Volunteering is a great way to help you and other people. There is always enormous demand for volunteers and many organisations provide valuable training that can help you in your work life. You can broaden your network by meeting different kinds of people and make new friends. You never know, you might find some hidden talents along the way. Similar to the My World of Work online course search, we can help you find a volunteering opportunity near you.
I want to find a new career
Finding a new career through choice or necessity, can lead to a positive and fulfilling outcome. Sometimes it can be difficult to decide what type of role you would like to go into. Consider your options, what field of work would you like to go into? Will you need to gain experience? Will you need to retrain? These are questions you can ask yourself to help you create an action plan.
Taking some time to consider what you’re interested in can be the first step in finding a course or volunteering position to help you achieve the skills required to move into a new career. You can use the My World of Work course and volunteering searches to look for your specific interests. This can help you to narrow down your options and find a key area you’re interested in learning more about.
The National Transition Training Fund is also available to help you prepare for a new career. Run by Skills Development Scotland, the scheme offers short sharp training opportunities. If you’re over 25 and facing redundancy or have already been made redundant, this is a great chance to gain a qualification.
I do not have a lot of free time but want to expand my skillset
Flexible working and learning are increasingly in demand - many organisations are realising this. With the current COVID-19 pandemic, workplaces and the education sector are starting to adapt. This opens doors for those who would like to learn and volunteer outside regular hours or work around family responsibilities.
Taking online learning courses is a great way to expand your knowledge. It can help develop a skill you always wanted to learn – creative or academic – or just something you would like to brush up on. Participating in online courses can be a flexible option for you. Check out our Learn and Train page, where you can find out more details about training opportunities such as FutureLearn.
Getting the most out of your online course
Make sure you have the materials you need
Check if there’s an online community or a tutor you can contact to ask for help, support or even just to get to know other learners
Have a routine
Flexibility is one of the main benefits of online learning but you should still carve out some dedicated time away from distractions. If you have others in your household make sure they know when you’re studying
Check if you get certified
If you’re looking for a qualification or certificate, remember to check these are included. Some providers charge for this even if the course is free
I am unsure what I want to do
Many people are unsure what they want to do in life, either in education or work. This is where taking an online course or signing up for a volunteering position can help. When you are placed in a situation where you open yourself up to new skills and knowledge, you might find something that you love. Opening yourself up to new challenges and opportunities may just be the thing that ignites a new passion inside that you would not otherwise know existed. In these circumstances, upskilling is professionally beneficial, but it can also help to improve your personal wellbeing too.
Being open to expanding your knowledge and skills is always a fantastic way to make yourself more employable, secure in your job and connected with like-minded people. There are so many options out there and My World of Work is here for you.
Some other articles you may find useful
Discover the benefits to keeping up to date with the changes in your industry and how this will help you in the workplace.
Use our search to find college and uni courses and other types of learning and training.
From shadowing to volunteering, find out how working in the job you want can be very useful.