South Africa, 14 September 2018: Barely a day goes by without us hearing how artificial intelligence, robotics or some other technological advancement is changing our world. And if you are wondering whether the pace of change may impact your future employability, you are not alone. A survey released this week found only 23.8% of respondents were completely confident that their current skills would see them employed 10 years from now.

Luckily, the same survey – the MasterStart South African Workforce Barometer – also found an encouraging openness among respondents to evolve their skills in order to stay relevant. 95% of people surveyed were open to lifelong learning, with 80% planning to study in the future.

Andrew Johnston, CEO of MasterStart – an online learning provider – says online education has made lifelong learning efficient and accessible. “Online learning has experienced unprecedented growth in a short amount of time, which demonstrates people’s persistent desire to continuously bridge capability gaps to cement themselves as assets. Essentially, this gives people the globally-equivalent skill-sets that set performance apart. Ultimately, our survey results indicate our workforce believes learning is the best way to future-proof careers.”

Here are Johnston’s top five reasons to continuously evolve skills through study:

  1. Become an indispensable asset
    By making the decision to consistently enhance your skills, you’ll equip yourself to remain an indispensable asset – a flexible person able to pivot as the need arises in your working life. You’ll be able to stay ahead of industry advancements, understand new techniques and developments within your field and be equipped to play a leading role in evolving a business so it continues to thrive.
  2. Boost your earnings
    Making learning a lifelong commitment will give you leverage over your competition, giving you a better chance of swiftly scaling the corporate ladder – or finding success as a business owner. The more in demand your skills are, usually the higher the salary you can command.
  3. Build your self-confidence
    Self-confidence is one of the main ingredients for success. Improving your expertise and skills will give you the self-confidence you need to progress through life as well as in your career; as you won’t feel threatened by others, but rather, confident in your own capabilities. The Mastertstart survey found that most young people, especially, cite lack of skills as the number one threat to job retention. Beat this concern and build your confidence by investing in the skills you think you need.
  4. Make better decisions in the workplace
    It’s a no-brainer that by gaining a better understanding of the intricacies that come with performing your role you’ll be able to make better decisions. This is exactly why they say knowledge is power. It gives you the tools you need to make decisions that are in the best interest of your objective. Survey participants who had chosen to study further said their decision-making and communication skills both dramatically improved, making them better assets to clients and their colleagues.
  5. Become a well-respected individual/employee
    People look up to those who can teach them something – those who are skilful, smart and competent. This is partly due to the person’s charismatic confidence in their abilities, but also largely due to the fact that they’re inspiring pioneers. Be generous with your knowledge and become a go-to resource for others; this is one of the best ways to establish yourself as a leader.

Visit UTM for the full report or for more information.

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