Updated: Sep 7, 2020
Using your spare time to upskill is time well spent. Taking advantage of opportunities, be it a MOOC (massive online open course), going on a virtual internship, or specifically learning a skill, such as a coding language is valuable to your skill set, as you are investing in yourself.
There are many jobs that often require certain skills and experience. Both verbal and coding languages are skills you can’t gain instantly and therefore are the ones that I suggest people start on. Having knowledge about a language or knowing how to code will push you just that one step closer to your dream job and make you more desirable than other candidates.
Taking the time out to explore different learning opportunities in your spare time will also highlight to employers and even admission tutors that you are actively wanting to learn more and develop your skills. It shows that you are driven and ambitious and that you don’t waste opportunities to level up and upskill in your career.
There is a skills gap that businesses are facing and this explains why several leading companies are investing heavily in upskilling. Amazon, for example announced a commitment of over $700M to its Upskilling 2025 program, an internal training initiative to promote customer satisfaction and worker advancement. Upskilling has become a corporate priority essential to hiring, developing, and retaining the best talent to continue to constantly improve on behalf of customers.
I recommend using sites such as FutureLearn or Coursera to enrol on a MOOC or learn how to code on Codecademy or learn a language on a platform like Duolingo. I myself have used these platforms to further my understanding on a topic or to learn an additional skill because you never know when these skills might be useful in the future or even required for a job you want to do.
In a time where we have the ability and opportunity to learn skills and gain experience through a digital platform, where they are almost always for free, and that allows people from disadvantaged backgrounds to access the same information to help them learn too, we should always go ahead and take advantage of these opportunities and take the time to do so.
Always continue to push yourself further and further. You can never be ‘too skilled’ or ‘too experienced’, so go on and start learning a skill today!