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Three Ways to Keep Your Skills Up-to-Date in 2020

The future of work: are your skills up to date?

woman studying material on her laptop

This is a guest post written by my friends at Career Karma discussing some options to consider in developing IT skills or keeping them up to speed in our current world.

The recent pandemic has shown that the workforce is extremely prone to disruption. In addition, the onset of remote work has pushed the job market to a tipping point where millions of jobs have been cut from payrolls and millions of workers are now out of work. The jobs, and employees, who have survived this shift are those involved with tech-based jobs.

To that note, keeping your skills up to date in 2020 and the coming years will require obtaining tech knowledge and skills. Going back and getting another degree from a traditional institution can be a time-consuming task while also working full time. Fortunately, technology has changed education and created new ways to pick up vital knowledge that can help you keep your skills up-to-date.

Look Into Trade Schools

Trade schools are an educational option that has been rising in popularity for a number of years now. Unlike colleges or universities, these educational institutions offer specialized courses that last around a year for most cases. These courses are meant to prepare you for a very specific career path, rather than a broad major.

Reports from trade school enrollment statistics show that more people are attending trade schools now than ever before. The reason this form of education is so helpful in preparing you for the future of work is that most courses offered are structured for tech careers.

To put it in perspective, General Assembly is a popular option that offers courses ranging from UX design to full stack development. While taking these courses, students receive industry mentorship and one-on-one training that can prepare them for what they would experience in their chosen field. Combining this with the short length of the education, and ability to be online, and it’s clear why trade schools are a popular choice for those looking to update their skills.

Consider Attending a Bootcamp

Similar to trade schools, bootcamps have risen in popularity over the last few years. By far, coding bootcamps are the most well known and have been around for a number of years now. Wired discusses the way in which these bootcamps have risen in popularity, as well as how numerous companies now partner with these camps to hire fresh talent.

However, coding bootcamps are just the beginning. Due to their popularity, new bootcamps in different tech fields have started to emerge, such as data science bootcamps, that teach students in a matter of months everything they need to know about that tech field.

As with trade schools, this intense, quick, but efficient education is a great way for current employees to update their skillset. Another thing that makes these bootcamps so convenient is how many have emerged across the country. For perspective, there are coding bootcamps from San Francisco all the way to Florida. Technology has enabled education to become readily available to anyone with an Internet connection and the will to learn.

Online Degree Programs

While they do take longer and are not as easy for current full-time employees to take on, online degrees from accredited colleges or universities still hold tremendous value and are widely respected by employers across the country. Enrolling in one of these longer programs may be beneficial in the long run by providing you with a wide number of companies who partner with whatever college or university you choose.

Additionally, the longer length of education may result in a more extensive education than other alternatives. Keeping your skills up-to-date is not something that can be done overnight, regardless of how you choose to update your skills. Look at every possible source of education to determine what is right for you and your interests.


As the future of work draws nearer and nearer, it is becoming clear that technology will be a driving force for change across numerous industries. Adapting your skills now in anticipation of this change is one of the best ways to set yourself apart from future competition. Identifying educational sources that you can enroll in while also retaining your full-time job can go a long way in helping you keep your skills up-to-date for the future of work.