Invest in Yourself with Online Learning and Upskilling Opportunities for Career Change

Read on for actionable insights on how online courses, certifications, and upskilling can give you an edge in your current job and open doors to entirely new career paths. If you're wondering how to make that career leap, stick around; we've got some essential tips for you.

Key Takeaways

Read on for actionable insights on how online courses, certifications, and upskilling can give you an edge in your current job and open doors to entirely new career paths. If you're wondering how to make that career leap, stick around; we've got some essential tips for you.

Why Career Change is Increasingly Common

The days of working a single job for an entire career are becoming a relic of the past. Once considered an unusual move, career change is now increasingly common for various reasons.

Let's delve into the key factors that contribute to this trend.

Impact of Automation and Technology

Advancements in technology have led to automation in many sectors, from manufacturing to data analysis.

While this change has increased efficiency, it has also led to phasing out specific roles. To stay relevant, workers must adapt by learning new skills.

The need to constantly upskill in a career drives many toward a career change.

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“It is becoming less common to choose one career path right after college and stay with it for the entirety of your career...This is due in part to a rapidly changing business landscape." (1)

Industry Shifts and Labor Market Changes

Globalization and changing consumer habits are transforming industries at an unprecedented rate.

For instance, the rise of remote work has made geographical location less crucial for many jobs while simultaneously creating new roles.

According to Forbes Advisor,

"As of 2023... 12.7% of full-time employees work from home, illustrating the rapid normalization of remote work environments. Simultaneously, a significant 28.2% of employees have adapted to a hybrid work model."

These industry shifts compel career changers to align with emerging opportunities with better benefits or more pay.

Quest for Personal Fulfillment

Work isn't just about earning a paycheck anymore; it's increasingly about finding meaning and fulfillment.

"Nearly one-third of respondents to a survey... say they have seriously considered a career change, while 29 percent have completely changed career fields since graduating college. The major drivers behind these career shifts include

  • Salary (cited by 39 percent of respondents)
  • Interest in other fields (cited by 21 percent of respondents)." (1)

As workers become more attuned to their well-being and work-life balance, they are more willing to switch careers to find a role that aligns with their passions and lifestyle.

A man working on a laptop in an office.
Photo by Bench Accounting on Unsplash

Upskilling vs. Reskilling: What's the Difference?

While both upskilling and reskilling aim to enhance your abilities and qualifications, they serve different purposes and come into play in varying contexts.

Here's a breakdown of what each entails:


Upskilling refers to learning new skills or enhancing existing ones within your current role or industry. It's about improving your skill set to become more proficient and versatile.

For example, you're upskilling if you're in marketing and learn how to analyze data. You're not necessarily changing your career; you're just improving by adopting complementary skills.


Reskilling, however, involves learning entirely new skills to prepare you for a different role or industry. It's a more significant pivot, usually triggered by factors like industry decline, job redundancy, or a personal desire for a career shift.

"Say AI will eliminate receptionist jobs in the next few years. HR departments could identify employees in receptionist positions and offer to prepare them for various customer service specialist roles. The training these workers receive equips them with the skills they require to transition. Reskilling doesn’t simply build on existing abilities but may augment transferable ones." (1)

For instance, a retail salesperson taking software development courses intending to change fields is reskilling.

In summary, upskilling amplifies your current capabilities and makes you more competitive in a similar role, while reskilling is the pathway to transitioning into a different career or industry altogether.

Both are vital strategies for career growth, but it is more common to need upskilling when changing careers.

A group of people in a meeting room with sticky notes on the wall.
Photo by Jason Goodman on Unsplash

The Importance of Upskilling in Today’s Job Market

In today's dynamic employment landscape, upskilling is no longer optional; it's imperative for career growth. The term may sound like corporate jargon, but it boils down to a fundamental idea: consistently adding new skills or enhancing existing ones to stay relevant.

Let's dive into why upskilling is crucial, illustrated by some common career shifts that require it.

Learn New Skills to Stay Competitive

In a rapidly evolving work environment, merely sticking to your existing skill set could render you obsolete.

For instance, a graphic designer who only knows how to design graphics will find it hard to stay competitive.

However, with a few online courses, they are suddenly ready for a more innovative career, combining their older design skills with new abilities. With one course from Unmudl learning Deep Dive UX/UI Design, they can now find a job designing websites using skills from color theory to organizational concepts.

By upskilling and learning to navigate newer fields, they can easily land their dream job with the newly acquired skills. A little online education for professional development can go a long way!

Filling Skills Gaps with Online Courses

A traditional education might provide a foundational skill set, but real-world job roles often demand more. With online technical skills training to upskill, your dream career is a click away!

“Today’s pace of business is changing rapidly with the evolution of technology... Positions that didn’t exist a decade ago have become specialist roles that require additional training — data scientists, for example." (1)

Example: Administrative Assistant to Office Manager or Marketing Coordinator

Consider an administrative assistant who is excellent at managing schedules and tasks but lacks basic digital marketing knowledge. With the office pressuring for an increase in marketing skills, the assistant can opt for online training at their own pace.

The assistant can become more versatile by upskilling in areas like SEO or social media management, opening doors to roles requiring a broader skill set, such as an office manager or marketing coordinator.

One way to get there: online courses from our Unmudl network:

Enhancing Job Security

The modern job market values adaptability. A prime example is the healthcare sector, where nurses are increasingly required to familiarize themselves with telehealth technologies.

As remote consultations become more prevalent, nurses who upskill to become proficient in this technology make themselves more valuable to their current employer and prepare for future shifts in healthcare delivery.

Invest in your current role and future career trajectory by taking proactive steps to upskill.

Two women working at a desk in an office
Photo by LinkedIn Sales Solutions on Unsplash

How Can Online Learning Help with Career Change?

Online learning has democratized education, offering accessible and flexible avenues for skill enhancement.

If you're wondering how it can serve your career growth, consider these real-life examples linked to specific online courses aimed at upskilling.

Jasmine: Flexibility and Convenience

Meet Jasmine, a working mother juggling family and a full-time job as a receptionist for a real estate company. Traditional classroom settings were hard to fit into her schedule.

Thanks to online learning, she completed several courses, including Real Estate Principles and Practice, Real Estate Law, and Real Estate Broker Basics during evenings and weekends, better positioning for a real estate sales position, and later, as a broker in her company.

Years later, with an empty nest, she upskilled again, starting her own business. That journey began with courses to level up in Applied Business Foundations and then with Creating Your Personal Brand. She learned how to start her business and market her image more effectively, owning her life's direction.

Darius and Steve: Affordability

Darius was a marketing coordinator who wanted to advance his career into a more senior role. However, he couldn't afford another degree.

Instead, with online courses in Deep Dive Digital Media, Marketing Management, and a Salesforce Administrator Career Certificate, he could pivot into a higher-paying role without breaking the bank.

Another marketing professional, Steve, found his interests leaning toward coding. He wanted to be on the design end of his team's marketing platforms. So he sought out additional education online at Unmudl with Deep Dive Fullstack

In just months, Steve had found many potential entry-level positions to choose from in his job search. His newfound knowledge had upgraded his skills and his paycheck!

Anna: Skill-Specific Learning

Anna, a journalist, found that she could enhance her career prospects by adding data analysis to her skill set. While she didn't need a degree in data science, she needed to understand more about digging deep into data sets.

So Anna took an Excel Intermediate for Data Analysts course online, enabling her to delve deeper into data-driven stories.

Emma: Rapid Technological Advancements

Emma, a traditional writer, found her skill set becoming increasingly obsolete as her industry began to prioritize digital platforms.

To adapt, she enrolled in Effective Communication & Professional Writing. Then, she achieved her Technical Writing Certificate, which helped her transition into a role more focused on online content and technical documentation.

Sam: Entering Niche Fields

Sam was an IT professional with a strong foundation but aimed to move into the cybersecurity job market.

Online certification courses like EC Council-Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) and EC Council-Hacking Forensics Investigator provided him with the specialization he needed to move into his desired career as a cybersecurity professional.

David: Adding Complementary Skills

David was a software developer who wanted to broaden his career options because of the recent layoffs in his field. So he started with online classes in Introduction to Python, Web App Design with React, and Deep Dive IoT Coding and Hardware Design.

These courses made him a more versatile developer, capable of contributing to different aspects of a project. However, after a few years, David felt he needed a challenge.

He began to amp up his career development opportunities by learning social soft skills at conferences and networking with acquaintances in managerial roles. His critical thinking skills had always been top-shelf, but he only recently had developed the soft skills needed to manage other software developers.

David then aligned his career with leadership courses designed for online managerial job seekers:

In this midlife career change, David became a software engineering manager, securing a solid position in a rapidly changing workplace.

Chen: Career Transition

Chen worked in operations but had always been interested in database management.

He gained the skills necessary to transition into a database administrator role through the online classes Introduction to JavaScript, Web API Design with Spring Boot, and Relational Databases with MySQL,

The pay increase was worth it all, but knowing he could successfully change careers was a top lifetime achievement!

Alex: Exploring Emerging Technologies

Meet Alex, a financial analyst with a solid background in traditional finance and investment strategies.

However, he recognized that the financial world is rapidly changing, with cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology becoming integral parts of the industry. To stay ahead of the curve, Alex decided to delve into online courses tailored to these emerging technologies.

He started with a Cryptocurrency & Bitcoin Trading course to understand the market dynamics of digital assets. Recognizing the potential, he took an Introduction to Ethereum Development course to understand the mechanics behind smart contracts and decentralized applications (dApps).

Inspired to go beyond just trading and development, Alex also completed a Certified Blockchain Entrepreneur course, equipping him with the knowledge to understand blockchain from a business perspective. Lastly, he rounded out his education becoming a Certified Ethereum Developer, solidifying his foundational expertise in blockchain technologies.

As a result of his online learning journey, Alex became a more versatile financial analyst. He can now offer insights in traditional finance and the burgeoning fields of cryptocurrencies and blockchain. He's even started consulting on blockchain initiatives, adding a new dimension to his career.

By leveraging online courses, Alex successfully upskilled in an area quickly gaining prominence, ensuring his relevance and competitiveness in a rapidly evolving industry.

Neelima: Adapting to Industry Innovations

Meet Neelima, working as a process technician in manufacturing. She was always adept at machinery and maintenance but realized that the industry was moving towards more integrated systems involving both mechanical and electronic components. To adapt to these changes, Neelima decided it was time to upskill.

She began her journey with an online Principles of Control Systems course to understand how electronic controls interact with mechanical systems. This helped her grasp the basics of automation in manufacturing environments.

Neelima then enrolled in an Introduction to Mechatronics course. This broadened her understanding of how mechanical engineering, electronics, computer science, and control engineering intersect. She learned how these integrated systems are becoming the backbone of modern manufacturing and equipment maintenance.

Recognizing the immediate applications in her job, she moved on to Mechatronics for Equipment Maintenance - Level II. This course taught her the specialized skills to maintain and troubleshoot advanced mechatronic systems.

Neelima also recognized the importance of hands-on experience. Thankfully, her course offered a Mechatronics for Equipment Maintenance Level II - Virtual Lab, where she could apply what she'd learned in a simulated environment. This gave her practical skills that she could immediately use in her workplace.

By completing these courses, Neelima transformed herself from a traditional mechanical engineer into a multidisciplinary professional capable of working with complex mechatronic systems. Her proactive approach to upskilling has made her an asset to her current company and broadened her career prospects in an industry that's continually evolving.

Neelima used online learning to adapt to industry innovations, enhancing her skill set and future-proofing her career.

Download Checklist " 10 Simple Steps to Smooth Job Change"

Final Thoughts

The pace of change in today's job market is unrelenting, but that doesn't need to intimidate you—it can inspire you. Upskilling through online learning offers a lifeline in this rapidly evolving landscape. 

Whether you're Jasmine mastering the real estate world, David broadening his programming engineer options, Chen or Anna delving into database analysis, or Neelima embracing the world of mechatronics, you, too, have a chance to shape your career according to your aspirations.

Taking the first step can often be the hardest part, but remember, every expert was once a beginner. Start with one course. Don't underestimate the power of that initial leap; it's the catalyst that can ignite a lifetime of opportunities.

You're not just adding lines to your resume; you're building a skill set that makes you irreplaceable, versatile, and future-proof.

So, go ahead and invest in yourself. Your future awaits, and it's looking brighter with every new skill you acquire. Whether you aim for a small improvement or a seismic shift, now is the time to act. Your future self will thank you.

Find Your Action Plan with Unmudl

Unmudl career change network is more than superficial connections between businesses and community colleges. We offer courses designed by the companies themselves!

We call these innovative collaborative courses our Unmudl Originals. Some of these classes, powered by the business world, even come with guaranteed interviews upon successfully completing a course of study!

And with so many online courses, you can stay close to home and fit your learning in with your job. Most of our courses offer a path to a new or better job! Many bring college credits or continuing education credits you can later apply to a degree program.

Get started upskilling into your new future with Unmudl! Choose from the three options below to get started!

And if you need some help, chat with us at Unmudl, email us at, or call or text a human at +1 512-669-5624.

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