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upskilling reskilling esei

3 reasons why upskilling or reskilling is important in 2021

The pandemic swept the carpet from beneath our feet  – and for many of us, our professional and personal goals have changed. As a result, many people are now looking to enhance their skill set by upskilling, or take a new direction completely by reskilling. 

In this post, we’re going to explore what these terms mean, why they’re important now and how we can help you. 

What is upskilling and reskilling? 

You might have heard these words a lot recently – but what do they mean? While they both imply learning new skills, there is a difference. Let’s take a closer look. 


  • Upskilling is the process of learning new skills to enhance your skill set.

Upskilling is most common within the workplace. Employers may want to train their workforce to acquire new skills, ultimately enabling workers to grow in their current positions and bring added value to the business. 

Yet, many individuals who are not involved with an organisation may also want to upgrade their skill set. They might take night classes, short courses, masters programmes or other professional training to achieve this. Ultimately, this is a means of enhancing your career path.


  • Reskilling is the process of learning new skills with the goal of finding a different job or career path.

Reskilling is attractive to individuals who are looking to change their jobs or careers. They may take further education to learn the skills needed to enter an entirely new field of activity to what they were previously in. 

Yet, this also happens in the workplace. For instance, an employer may wish to retrain a worker if their position has become redundant, or if their skill sets would be better suited to another role. 

3 reasons why upskilling or reskilling is important now

Most people upskill or reskill to stand out from the crowd. Yet, after the past year, it’s now more important than ever. Here’s why:

  1. The impact of COVID

As a result of the pandemic, unemployment rates have skyrocketed, with the opposite true for job security. This has had detrimental effects on people’s livelihoods and led to a sizeable reduction in the global economy

However, as history shows us, a global pandemic or major natural disaster is usually followed by a period of prosperity. Research has found that even though COVID still exists, the world is on the verge of a post-pandemic boom. 

For instance, many economic forecasters expect America’s economy to grow by 6% (4% higher than its pre-pandemic trend) and the UK’s is set to grow at its fastest rate in more than 70 years. We can see this happening already in other parts of the world, for example, in China whose economy grew a record 18.3% in the final quarter of 2021. 

With all this growth and optimism, gaining new skills will put you in a better position to take advantage of a stronger economy. So, if you want to make sure you’ve got the edge, it’s time to start thinking about upgrading your current skills or changing your career path altogether now. 

  1. Growing digital technologies and innovation 

While digitalisation was underway prior to COVID, the pandemic has accelerated the rise of the digital economy. This has led to some major developments in the world of work. These include:

Digital transformation 

While companies were previously reluctant to switch their traditional systems to digital, the pandemic almost left them with no choice. If they wanted to continue doing business while the world was in lockdown, they needed to work digitally. 

This has led to a sharp rise in the development of new apps, systems and software. As a result, employers have had to retrain their workforce to use this technology. Yet, where technology is replacing workplace jobs, such as traditional administrative roles, workers are having to reskill to find other roles. 

New job roles 

Digitalisation is creating new job positions that didn’t exist 10 years ago. These are typically associated with using and developing technology such as: app developers, cloud computing specialists, social media managers and user experience managers. 

And the current demand for these jobs is on the rise. As a result, more people are now looking to gain these skills and find work within the burgeoning tech sector. 


One of the downsides of the growth in technology is that it is replacing a large number of low-skilled, manual jobs. Although automation has been happening for many years, this is likely to increase much more rapidly in the coming years. 

The BBC reports that “Up to 20 million manufacturing jobs around the world could be replaced by robots by 2030.”

As their jobs become redundant, these workers are having to reskill or upskill in order to find new work. 

  1. Skills shortages 

Digitalisation also creates a demand for new skills – and this is proving to be problematic. There is now a global shortage of skills connected to new technology-based jobs. 

The top 10 skills in demand in 2020 include:

  1. Complex problem-solving
  2. Critical thinking 
  3. Creativity
  4. People management
  5. Coordinating with others 
  6. Emotional intelligence 
  7. Judgement and decision-making
  8. Service orientation 
  9. Negotiation 
  10. Cognitive flexibility

Yet, these are the skills that are currently scarce within the workforce. According to research “by 2030, more than 85 million jobs could go unfilled because there aren’t enough skilled people to take them.”

If you want to change jobs or simply prepare for the future of work, now is the time to consider acquiring some of these scarce skills – make sure you’re ready for whatever comes your way!

How can ESEI help you? 

At ESEI, we are devoted to helping you reach your goals. Whether you’re an individual looking for a new career path, or an employer searching for a training programme for your workers, here’s how we can help:

In-company programmes 

Our in-company courses are aimed at companies that want to help their employees build new skills and gain knowledge across a number of business subjects.  

Whether you’re looking for more training for your employees or consultancy for your company, we offer flexible programmes and projects “á la carte” to suit your business needs. All of which are delivered by our knowledgeable and experienced professionals.

The types of courses we offer include:

  • Leadership and resilience
  • Leads and growth actions
  • Social media for a Pyme
  • Effective team working 
  • Innovation power engine

Find out more about our in-company training courses here

Master’s programmes 

We offer a number of MA programmes spanning various topics. These include:

All MA courses are taught by professors who are professionals in the field and offer a mix of theoretical information and project-based learning

Each programme takes one year to complete, is taught 100% in English, worth 60 ECTS and offered on-campus or online.

Learn more about our MA programmes here

International MBA programme 

Our one-year International MBA programme in Business Management lays the foundations for a successful career in business. It teaches the central principles of company organisation and administration, and covers a range of economic, financial and legal concepts. 

New this coming academic year, ESEI students can choose to specialise in a subject area for their MBA:

  • Digital marketing
  • Business management
  • Marketing and communication 
  • International relations and international business
  • Tourism and hospitality management

Discover our MBA programme here

Short courses 

Our short courses offer a great way for individuals and professionals to acquire new skills or enhance existing ones. These courses follow the same subject areas as our Masters. Yet, they offer you the opportunity to choose and specialise in individual modules.

They’re great for upskilling and getting a taste of the subject matter in case you’d like to take this career path further. 

Find the right short course for you here
If you’re interested in beginning your path to upskilling and reskilling now, head over to our website or contact us today.

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