Navigating Your Career Path: The Continuous Journey of Reskilling and Upskilling

In today’s constantly evolving global job market, the essentials of upskilling or reskilling are a must for all professionals to stay relevant and competitive. It is an indispensable need as rapid automation, technological advances, and market shifts continue to reshape all industries, and the skills required to thrive are consistently changing.

In this article, we shall explore the concepts of reskilling and upskilling, why one needs to embrace the choice while navigating one’s career, the benefits and challenges, the strategies involved in choosing between the two options, and the future trends in this domain.

  1. Reskilling and upskilling are two different actions that have distinct implications.

While upskilling means enhancing current skills to improve job performance or to stay supreme, reskilling is about honing a completely new skill to perform a new job and meet the demands of the market. For example, a marketing professional might need to enhance his knowledge and skills in digital marketing in order to improve his performance; here, he chooses to upskill himself. On the contrary, if the Marketing professional chooses to do an Automation Course and wishes to move to the domain, his choice is to reskill himself to find a different upgraded job.

  • There is a regular need to change within our jobs or the job market.

Over the years, we have seen that jobs that were once highly in demand and stable don’t exist or have become redundant, primarily seen after the inception of AI or technological advancements. The Future of Jobs Report 2023 from the World Economic Forum recently explores how jobs and skills will evolve over the next five years, from considering the analysis of employer expectations to providing new insights on how socio-economic and technology trends will shape the workplace of the future; this report was an eye opener. The report confirms, ‘The rise of AI and the green transition will transform how we work’.

To remain employable and advance in their careers, individuals must adapt to these changes by acquiring new skills or enhancing existing ones.

  • The benefits and challenges – Upskilling or reskilling

There are numerous benefits to these actions. By enhancing your current skills, you will eventually:

a) Enhance your employability skills and be open to new career opportunities.

b) Increase your earning potential.

c) Staying up to date will help your job security and job satisfaction.

d) Your adaptability to change will help you future-proof your career.

However, there are also challenges involved, such as the time and effort required to learn new skills and the cost of training programs.

  • When faced with the choice between reskilling and upskilling?

One needs to strategies the reskilling or upskilling options, many factors need to be considered including one’s career goals, the demands of their industry, and the availability of training opportunities and options. For individuals looking to make a career change or transition into a new field, reskilling is a better option; while upskilling may be more appropriate for those who wants to advance in their current role or industry.

  • Looking ahead at the future trends

The future is likely to be shaped by advancements in the below areas particularly and the relevant skilling required:

  1. Automation and AI: This may lead to the displacement of some roles but will also create new opportunities alongside these technologies, opening reskilling options.
  2. Remote Work or Hybrid Work: The pandemic has accelerated the flexible approach to work by adopting remote work and hybrid work, and this trend is expected to continue in the coming years with the need to enhance relevant skills.
  3. Digital Transformation: It will be a key driver of job trends in 2024; one must consider learnings in areas such as data analysis, cybersecurity, digital marketing, etc.
  4. Green Jobs: The focus on sustainability and environmental conservation will lead to the creation of more green jobs in sectors such as renewable energy, waste management, and sustainable construction. These jobs will require specialized skills to address environmental challenges.
  5. Gig Economy: This is another trend that will be offering opportunities for freelancers and independent contractors; this will require individuals to adapt to a more flexible work environment and acquire entrepreneurial skills.
  6. Soft Skills: There is an increasing demand for honing soft skills such as communication, problem-solving, emotional intelligence, etc. These skills will be essential for navigating complex work environments and collaborating effectively.

In conclusion, reskilling and upskilling are essential components of navigating a successful career path in today’s fast-paced world. By embracing these concepts, individuals can stay ahead of the curve. Lifelong learning has become the norm and a necessity now.


Parmita Debnath has 19 years of experience in corporate and academics, having her footprints in the HR domain and working in leading organisations like IBM and Damco Logistics. She specialises in L&D, Talent Management, High Potential Development, and Change Management.

At SP Jain Global, Parmita globally heads Student Experience for all programs and leads Professional Development for the Executive MBA program. She developed and currently leads a Strategic Capability Development Program, which has evolved into a 1-credit course known as ECAP (Executive Career Acceleration Pathway) for the EMBA Program. Additionally, she established the SP Jain Toastmasters Club in 2017 as its Founder President and integrated the Club within the ECAP program.

Parmita is a doctoral scholar at SP Jain School of Global Management and holds an MBA in HR and Marketing, a bachelor’s degree in microbiology, and two Post Graduate Diplomas in Personnel Management and Public Relations.

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