How to Keep Your Skills Sharp for the Future of Work

The future of work is tumultuous and can be seemingly impossible to predict.

With trends rising faster and old jobs being displaced in the blink of an eye, it can leave you wondering if your skills are up to date for the future of work.

On that note, skills related to technology will be the most valuable in the future so, if you are already a tech worker, breathe easy.

However, if you work in a more traditional field, it can be a little more difficult to predict whether or not your skills will be relevant in the future of work.

For the most part, identifying which skills will be relevant will require introspection and honesty with yourself.

There’s no shame in acknowledging that your skillset may be outdated, but not refining those skills could potentially lead to a future job loss.

Therefore, learning how to keep your skills relevant is the best thing to do for your career today.

Attend a Trade School

There is arguably no better way to keep your skills up-to-date than by attending a trade school.

Vocational and trade schools are similar, but trade schools typically feature tech courses and vocational schools feature courses that are a little broader.

For the purposes of keeping one’s skills updated, however, trade schools are a great path. 

For perspective, Lambda School is a popular choice that offers an in-depth six-month immersive program into web development.

This school teaches students computer science fundamentals and tools used in front end development.

However, Lambda Schools is just the tip of the iceberg and there are numerous trade schools offering courses that range in complexity.

Technology has made education extremely widespread and available to anyone in the world.

Due to this, some traditional institutions are no longer the best places to receive the skills needed to thrive in the future of work.

Consider gaining new skills via an online degree program and you may be able to launch a new chapter in your career.

Study Current Tech Trends

Technology is difficult to study in that the trends caused by it seem to change faster than the eye can blink.

However, studying the general trends can give anyone an idea of where the future of work will head. In the last decade, coding and programming skills became popular at companies and entire jobs emerged centred around these fields.

READ:  #19 – Christian Vetter, HRForecast

As covered by the publication Towards Data Science, one of the most popular coding languages today is Python.

As an example, it could be proactive to pick up the skill by studying the language and learning to code in it. 

Accomplishing this may seem difficult while holding down a full-time job, but there are many accredited Python bootcamps that can teach you anything and everything about the language.

Coding and programming are just the beginning, as there are numerous tech fields still emerging that can be studied and entered.

Develop a Single Unique Skill

While developing one skill may seem like a bad idea when preparing for the uncertain future of work, if the skill is tech-intensive and in the right field then it may set you apart from the competition. 

When in a job interview and asked the age-old question of why should we hire you, it will be important to stand out from the crowd.

Develop a tech skill that isn’t widely utilized, but can be applied to virtually any position, and you will have a far higher chance of landing a job or advancing in your career.

Refining your skillset doesn’t mean you need to throw away every skill you have in favor of a new one.

Recognize the impressive skills you’ve gathered thus far and just add one or two that can complement your career nicely.

This can help set you up far better than someone who never updates their skills to modern times.


Keeping your skills relevant to the future of work requires foresight and ambition.

Technology, while disruptive, has made resources available to anyone looking to update their skills.

Taking advantage of these opportunities and refining your skills is a quick way to set yourself apart from other employees who may not take the same opportunity.

To be safe, assume that your skills won’t always be relevant, and keep looking for any chance to update them whenever possible. 

This is a guest blog post by Artur Meyster. He is the CTO of Career Karma (YC W19), an online marketplace that matches career switchers with coding bootcamps. He is also the host of the Breaking Into Startups podcast, which features people with non-traditional backgrounds who broke into tech.

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