Is it Time to Upgrade?
The short answer, especially in Singapore, is: Yes.
Upskilling and learning new things are no longer optional, they are necessary to remain relevant in the career landscape no matter what field you are in.
As Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat said, it is not possible to “bubble wrap” (Singapore's) workers from foreign competition and still expect to succeed.
"Employers can easily seek out the best skilled workers from all parts of the world… This means foreigners do not have to be in Singapore to compete with us," said Mr Heng. "It would be increasingly difficult, if not impractical, to confine opportunities by geography."
Hence, we need to remain competitive on our own merits, and those include being at the forefront of what we can offer as employees.
However, before you plunge into the course listings here, consider some practicalities of upskilling:
- Is now a good time?
I know we just said you should be upskilling, but it’s not necessary to do it immediately. Depending on your field, you might wish to wait for a certain course to be available, or you might feel you can get greater gains from work experience.
You also will have to juggle your new course or degree with your existing commitments, to time management is of the essence. Make sure you work out your schedule before putting down your sign-up form!
- Do you have the resources?
Simply put: do you have the money or space to add one more thing to your plate? Education can cost a great deal, especially in the case of degrees of postgrad studies. And as specialised courses rise in popularity, their prices have grown in proportion as well.
Do your sums and calculations to find out if you want to be signing up for a paid course, or perhaps you would be better off building up experience a different way? If finances are a concern, you could try free workshops first, or volunteer for organisations.
- Have you communicated with relevant parties?
You know you want to take up that part-time MBA, but does your boss know? Does your spouse know? They ought to!
Communication is key – make sure all the important people know your plans so that they can work with you to realise them. Many companies offer incentives for their employees to upskill, so if you are planning on further learning it’s a good idea to get in touch with HR and explore your options. Also, make sure your boss and colleagues know what to expect in terms of hours, workload and other commitments.
- What sort of upskilling do you wish to do?
We’ve covered some of how to choose here and here, but the most important thing is really to ask yourself what your motivations and requirements are. After that comes research, shortlisting, and then seeing how the courses you’ve picked out fit into your lifestyle and future plans.
Now that you know you need to upgrade, it’s time to check some courses out! Click here!