A tech upskilling program gives workers the technical know-how they need to advance in their existing positions. Tech upskilling programs may cut down on hiring expenses, speed up delivery times, and boost company-wide productivity, creativity, and employee happiness.
What criteria should be used to determine which technological competencies should be included in an upskilling initiative?
To get the most out of your company’s tech upskilling program, you need first identify the specific tech skills that your teams need to succeed.
Some businesses operate on a reactive basis. They make it a point to stay abreast of technological developments, but there is sometimes a time lag between when their technicians learn something and when they can put it to use. However, there are also proactive businesses out there. They try to predict what kinds of technological expertise they will need in the future, but their bets aren’t always winners.
Companies that are truly innovative in their approach to skills combine the two. Collaboration across teams and talent pools reveals how organizational objectives and individual motivations overlap. “Collaboration will allow you to see not only what is beneficial, but also what is likely to be coming up in the future,” Chris stated.
Hear out what they have to say. You may receive requests for a topic you haven’t explored or an area your teams haven’t dealt with. Such inquiries may indicate a need for training in technological skills.
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Teams need to acquire the know-how to catch up and surpass opponents if they are doing something quicker or better. You should certainly include new technological skill sets that provide other companies an advantage into your own tech upskilling program if you want to stay competitive.
Organizational objectives and personal requirements
Program choices for technological upskilling can also be influenced by organizational priorities and individual requirements for education. When there is a true connection as to why those colleagues desire to study that issue, you get the most out of them and their upskilling lands best, ” stated Mads.
As an illustration, she said, “We don’t only want our engineers to be more skilled in producing in whatever language they’re working in. In addition, we’d like to see them produce more secure code. As a result, we’re trying to figure out how to motivate those teams to acquire new skills that will help the company. Understanding what our colleagues want to learn so that we may address their requirements is incredibly crucial.”
Data gathered from various sources
A company’s requirement for technical talent is often determined by a synthesis of data from a variety of sources. At Cisco, for instance, “we’ve had a very large push to do more software development, more automation work, and more network and infrastructure automation projects,” as Nick put it.
“We know we need to start marching in this way to deliver on this sort of specialized job, and then the individual tools and procedures we select to implement are going to be based more on the demand projection.
As an example, “by combining a mix of observational and subjective measurements about what the industry is doing with the more specific objective measurements within our business, we usually end up with a pretty good result of the certain skills we need.”
Where should you put your money to improve your workforce’s skills?
Only 32% of IT managers claim that their companies give hands-on chances, despite the fact that 59% of technologists indicate that using hands-on laboratories and sandboxes alone or in combination with video content is the most effective at preparing them to apply new learning on the job. Using these guidelines, you may zero in on the most useful training materials for your tech upskilling initiative.
On a deep blue background is a printout of the 2023 State of Upskilling report. Contrasting with the dark blue backdrop is white writing that reads, “Skill up. Be noticeable. On a bright pink button, written in white, is the instruction: “Read the report.”
Think about using a variety of study tools
Learning styles are accommodated by a wide range of materials, including movies on demand, hands-on laboratories, and interactive sandboxes. Nick remarked, “[Students] need input from a wide variety of sources.” “And I’m not talking about a variety of stores when I say sources. I’m referring to watching videos, doing experiments, reading and listening to audiobooks, etc.All that information working together might help ideas stick in your head. Therefore, we cannot focus on a single factor when discussing training resources.
Join forces with someone to help with your tech training program.
Beyond the course material, you should seek out a collaborator who can assist you in meeting your upskilling program’s and overall company objectives. “Having that partnership where [the vendors are able to] help you get the most out of the platform, look at the different options, whether it’s labs, video content, or sandboxes, and then point [you] in the right direction,” said Mads.
Ensure that personnel are properly licensed.
“There is nothing worse than having licenses that aren’t being utilized because you don’t know how to get the most out of the platform,” Mads remarked. Make courses, whether they’re self-paced or taught by an instructor, that lead technicians to make use of the available information.
“After you’ve lobbied hard to get money to train people, and then people aren’t able to attend the training, or they don’t use their licenses…that’s a difficult thing to explain to management,” Nick said. That’s why it’s crucial that we make room in people’s schedules for study.
Is there a way to ensure that our company’s technological expertise will remain relevant in the years to come?
If technologists had time to learn throughout the work week, just 26% stated they’d prioritize AI/ML. ChatGPT’s popularity, however, might lead to an increase in this figure for both individual engineers and businesses.
As a result of ChatGPT, “we’re probably going to see an accelerated shift of organizations wanting to build [AI/ML] talent internally,” Mads said. More and more businesses want to advance their offerings by leveraging AI and ML.
This means that artificial intelligence and machine learning could soon become table stakes for keeping your tech staff competitive and relevant. Like with cybersecurity, Mads believes that “people would do very well to start learning the basics and upskilling themselves in AI/ML.”
Emphasis on evergreen technologies
Future-proofing one’s technical skills requires both keeping up with new developments and expanding one’s foundational understanding. Both are necessary for businesses to have a solid basis and stay competitive.
Nick stated, “I think a lot of it boils down to distinguishing between modern and enduring technologies.” For instance, my background in technology is in network administration, and many of the fundamental ideas behind effective network architecture remain the same.
“But what does change are some of the new overlay technologies, like the new products that leverage those technologies, the new ways we can distribute routing information and policies across the network, and the manner in which we interface with those products.”
Concentrate on the reliable technology that underpin these cutting-edge items, he suggested. When your teams have a firm grasp of the fundamental technologies and concepts, they can put their efforts into expanding upon what they already know, rather of spending time and energy repeatedly learning something new.