2020 is a year we’ll never forget. As the global pandemic continues to wreak havoc across multiple nations, it has not only disrupted our regular lives but has also sent healthcare, education, and employment into disarray. People are now forced to do everything from within the bounds of their homes. From online classes to working from home, everyone is leading their lives in the confines of their house.
How has COVID-19 created a negative impact on professional life and productivity?
The pandemic has created a massive dent in the economy and on employment. While the coronavirus cases are steadily rising, the economy is consistently following the downward trajectory. Companies are tightening their budgets, making pay cuts, and laying off employees by the dozen.
Ever since the lockdown, people across all domains have been working remotely. The sudden switch from the corporate office environment to the work-from-home model has created a host of problems, with network instability and reduced productivity being the two core issues. In the office environment, usually, people strive to compete and be the best version of themselves. The drive and motivation are entirely missing when working from home. With constant distractions at home, it is quite challenging to turn up one’s optimal productivity.
The most critical question remains – amidst such uncertainty of the downward-sloping economy and the challenges of working from home, how to ensure your relevance and value in the industry?
There’s only one answer to this – upskilling.
Why should you upskill during this lockdown?
Upskilling is not only beneficial for professional employees but also for the organization, and the lockdown period is the best time for upskilling.
In the face of the rapidly advancing Fourth Industrial Revolution propelled by emerging technologies like AI and ML and digitalization, both companies and professionals must take active initiatives for upskilling and reskilling. Now, as the ongoing pandemic has radically changed business operations and the way of working, business leaders need to train and streamline their workforce for optimal productivity.
On the other hand, upskilling allows professionals to become a flexible and indispensable resource for a company. When you upskill, you learn how to wield new technologies and tools. Thus, if your organization incorporates new technologies and methodologies in the infrastructure, you can quickly adapt to it. Upskilling can transform an unprepared employee into an adept professional with a broad knowledge and skill base.
As we mentioned earlier, the lockdown has created much uncertainty in the job market, with reports of layoffs and pay cuts resurfacing regularly. Companies have even put recruitments on hold, thus, reducing the scope of finding new jobs. This pause in recruitment and hiring activities has become a boon in disguise. It enables both employers and employees to spend their quarantine time to learn new skills and fortify their domain knowledge.
At present, remote work is boosting the demand for online learning substantially. An increasing number of professionals are choosing online learning programs as a means for productive diversion. While working from home, the monotony of the daily work routine can quickly get to you, making you feel burnt out. However, by taking productive breaks to learn something new, you can explore the desired subjects/fields or take up projects that you actually enjoy. So, not only do you spend your time wisely, but you also become a satisfied and better performer.
Career options after lockdown
Fuelled by the insecurity of their jobs and rampant salary cuts, professionals are hoping to bag better jobs after lockdown. According to a recent survey by Naukri.com, the top three domains for upskilling include Data Science and Analytics courses (22%), Digital Marketing (20%), and Finance and Risk Management (16%).
Thanks to digital technologies and digitization, education and upskilling are no longer limited to the physical classroom. While people cannot step out of their houses, they can continue to learn via online platforms. The greatest advantage of upskilling through online courses is that you can learn at your convenience and pace without paying a huge fee. Online courses cost much lesser compared to traditional classroom courses.
Let’s look at some of the most promising career options to pursue after lockdown!
1. Data Science
Data Science is undoubtedly one of the fastest-growing and popular fields right now. Companies across various sectors of the industry are experimenting with and adopting Data Science technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Deep Learning, and Natural Language Processing. As a result, the demand for qualified and skilled Data Science professionals is skyrocketing. In response to the increasing job vacancies in the Data Science domain, both students and professionals choose to take up online Data Science certification programs.
upGrad offers excellent courses on Data Science such as the Business Analytics Certification Program, PG Certification In Data Science, PG Diploma in Data Science, and Master of Science in Data Science. These courses span anywhere from three to eighteen months. All the Data Science programs are taught by top-notch instructors and include live projects, case studies, and mock interview sessions.
They cover a wide range of fields such as Big Data, Machine Learning, Business Intelligence, Predictive Analytics, Data Visualization, Statistics & Optimisation, Natural Language Processing, Data Visualisation, to name a few. Thus, gaining a Data Science certification will equip you to work on real-world applications and projects.
2. Machine Learning
Closely following Data Science, Machine Learning is another top trend in the modern industry. In fact, Machine Learning has found application across several industries, including IT, healthcare, education, gaming, BFSI, marketing, retail, and eCommerce, etc. Naturally, ML experts and practitioners are highly valued by companies and organizations.
If you wish to gain mastery over Machine Learning concepts and tools, upGrad has two fantastic short-term ML courses for you. Both the PG Certification in Machine Learning & NLP and PG Certification in Machine Learning & Deep Learning span for six-months. They include industry-specific topics like Neural Networks, Object Detection, Sentiment Analysis, Computer Vision, Gesture Recognition, Named Entity Recognition, Natural Language Processing, Information Extraction, Hidden Markov Models, etc.
3. Digital Marketing
Ever since Digital Marketing entered mainstream marketing, it has radically transformed the ways how brands and marketers promote and market their products/services. Companies are actively shifting to digital channels to grab the attention of smartphone users (who account for the maximum share of the online audience) to expand their customer base. And Digital Marketing is the only way to do so.
One of the unique things about Digital Marketing skills is that they are not bound to any particular domain. As marketing is a core aspect of all businesses, if you acquire Digital Marketing skills, you can bag marketing job roles in any industry/company that’s into online marketing.
upGrad’s PG Certification in Digital Marketing and Communication is the perfect course for aspirants who wish to enter the world of Digital Marketing. The 6.5-month course includes concepts like SEO, SEM, Social Media Marketing, Content Marketing, Marketing Analytics, and Branding. After completion, you can opt for job positions like SEM Manager, SEO Specialist, Digital Marketing Manager, Social Media Manager, Content Manager, etc.
4. Finance and Risk Analytics
With the rapid inclusion of the adoption of disruptive technologies, all parallels of the industry are changing. The BFSI industry is no exception. Just like any other sector, the BFSI industry is also leveraging emerging technologies like AI and ML to design unique, data-driven, and customer-centric solutions. Consequently, BFSI companies are creating a massive demand for talented professionals who can work with new-age tools. If you have a professional certification proving your domain expertise in digital finance and banking, you’re a hot-shot in the current market.
upGrad has a two-year MBA program in Digital Finance & Banking that is offered in collaboration with O.P. Jindal Global University. The comprehensive program teaches topics like Fintech Ecosystems Management, Financial Management & Valuation, Data Visualization in Finance, Digital Fraud & Risk Analytics, Artificial Intelligence in Business, Blockchain, and Cryptocurrency, and Design Thinking & Leadership for Business. On completion, candidates receive the status of JGU alumni.
In the cut-throat competitive market, management specialization is a must for professionals who wish to climb up the promotional ladder and take on leadership and management roles. Management courses are designed to impart business administration skills while enhancing productivity.
upGrad has two short-term management offerings, Product Management Certification Program and PG Program in Management. While the former is a five-month course, the latter spans for eleven months. Topics covered under these management certifications include Business Analytics, Business Growth Strategies, Product Development & Planning, User Design, and Engagement & Growth.
Another noteworthy thing about upGrad’s management courses is that alongside hard skills, they also train candidates to develop soft skills such as teamwork, problem-solving, time-management, strategic thinking, and interpersonal and communication skills.
Whenever you think of Blockchain, the first thing that comes to mind is Bitcoin, the cryptocurrency. Blockchain first made headlines when it created a revolution in the banking and finance industry. However, today, Blockchain technology is not confined to just the BFSI sector. It is now a part of numerous industries like healthcare, cybersecurity, supply chain management, government, transportation, and much more.
It is safe to say that Blockchain technology is set to disrupt these industries in the near future. So, it is certainly wise to acquire Blockchain skills and gear up for niche job roles. Interested candidates can check out upGrad’s Blockchain offerings – PG Certification in Blockchain, PG Diploma in Software Development and Blockchain Specialization, and Executive Program in Blockchain Technology Management.
In these courses, candidates learn advanced Blockchain concepts such as Proof of Concepts, Smart Contracts, Consensus Algorithms, Distributed Ledger, Distributed Apps, P2P Networks, ICOs, Cryptography. Plus, you learn how to work with Blockchain platforms like Ethereuem, Hyperledger, Fabric, Composer, etc.
7. Full-Stack Development
Full-Stack Developers are experts in both frontend and backend development. This is what makes them a valuable and flexible asset for any web development firm. Full-Stack Developers have extensive domain knowledge on front-end and back-end web development, and hence, they can work seamlessly on every layer of a web application. Their expertise and diverse skill set allow them to be adaptable and agile, two qualities that are valued in the dynamic IT and software industry.
upGrad offers two well-designed programs on Full-Stack Development – PG Diploma on Full-Stack Development and Placement Track Full-Stack Development. These courses will train you on how to develop scalable websites, rich backend APIs, and UIs. On completion, you can take on job roles like Full-Stack Developer, Backend Developer, Frontend Developer, and UI Developer.
To conclude, these are the seven top-trending and well-paying career options after lockdown. When you consider upskilling during this lockdown, online courses as these are the ideal option. However, before choosing a particular course, make sure that it aligns with your short-term and long-term career goals.