The thought of upskilling for the future of work can be overwhelming. So here's our 5 step plan to get learning the digital skills for your future in work:
It's important to know that there are two categories of digital skills; basic and advanced. Like everything else, you can't go to the most advanced and complex skills without nailing the basic stuff first.
In the most simple of terms; you can't build a house by it's roof first!
🤔 A quick summary of where you are and understanding digital skills you need:
Ok, the best place to start is by knowing what basic digital skills are needed for the workplace and to focus on the ones you need to improve. Using digital devices like computers, smartphones, and tablets is the very basic digital skill, and you're probably pretty good at that.
Next then is to think about how good you are at using apps and platforms across these devices; like recording, posting to social media, creating media and editing, emailing, filing and storing to cloud, creating presentations, spreadsheets, word docs, and other online tools etc. These are the basic digital skills everyone should have because you'll need them in all kinds of jobs, as well as at school, college and uni.
Now think about the next level! The more 'advanced digital skills', this involves specialising and getting more complex, like; programming, web development, data analysis, app development, AI, machine learning, hacking and security etc. Not everyone needs all these skills, it's important that you focus on the ones personal to you and your choice of career, but don't worry, we've made it quite clear over on our other blog , to make it easier for you.
🎯 Identify how you can upskill:
Next up is to start choosing the resources, the 'how' you'll learn these digital skills. Remember to always focus your efforts on the 'beginner' levels so that you don't get overwhelmed, and work up from there. Some tutorials for basic digital skills can just be a few minutes long; improving your ability in Excel, Google drive, Microsoft Teams, sending emails or using Bing AI search etc. These can be quick wins, a good way to get your confidence building by maybe just watching a YouTube tutorial. Another of our blogs can help here too.
More advanced digital skills though, will need more detailed resources, like this specific YouTube playlist, playing beginner coding Games, or online/ in-person bootcamps which are great for getting more specific skillsets. Tip: Make sure you're following our social channels to get access to the best bootcamps and academies, hit the icons in the footer and don't miss out.
📅 Set a timeline and your goal:
We know you all have different levels of commitment, some of you are in school or college full time, others have jobs, some of you have family commitments too. So it's impossible for us to say give yourself x amount of days to improve this skill, this is where you take ownership of your time. The best way to do that is to set a timeline for yourself to complete some goals you want to set.
For example, your goal could be to get good at spreadsheets, and you want to do that by the end of the summer holidays, spending just 4 hours a week doing it. Or you could be at a stage where you want to learn Python programming in 3 months, spending 4 full days a week on it and building a project to show potential employers. That's some clear goal and timeline's.
Now, that's the 'what' covered, it's time to make a plan.
🗺️ Make a plan and action it:
Develop a 'study' plan based on the timeline you have set, doing so will help you avoid dibbing in and out without any consistency. Whether you give yourself 6 weeks or 6 months, plan it around your other commitments in a way that works for you. Be your own boss and commit to study for a certain amount of hours each day or week, or go hard every day for a 2 week block, what ever works for you. This is your own map to getting to the end goal of learning that skill.
🚀 Put the plan into action:
Let's go!!!! Like lets be honest here, absolutely none of this matters if you don't actually do the work! Once you have your study plan, put it into action. Stick to the timeline you set so that you can successfully continue learning, moving on to the next, and the next, and the next upskilling opportunity. Keep adapting your plan after each goal is met and get smashing your next goals.
But why Improve your Digital Skills?
Let's quickly cover the 'why'... the single biggest benefits of having strong digital skills is that they can help you be more efficient and productive, which makes you more employable.
The advantage of this pretty basic plan is to put yourself on the leading edge, very few of your peers or classmates will do this, but if actually do the suggestions above or a variation of it, you will put yourself at a huge advantage.
So, start today by creating a solid foundation of basic digital skills and then start developing some advanced digital skills too. In just a little time form now, you'll be so happy you did!
You've got this! 😎✌️
Gem Hallett, miFuture Founder.
www.miFuture.co.uk | @miFutureSkills