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Are the skills you developed five years ago completely obsolete?


Are the skills you developed five years ago completely obsolete?


Deloitte says that after five years a job skill becomes irrelevant, and new research from Hays finds that 77% of employers are more likely to shortlist a candidate who regularly upskills.

According to new research from recruitment company Hays, 77% of surveyed employers say individuals who upskill regularly are more attractive candidates. Hays’ surveys also found that 71% of Millennials (1980-94) believe that upskilling should lead to salary increases, while only 56% of Generation X (1965-79) and 40% of Baby Boomers (1946-64) agree.

“The Fourth Industrial Revolution is here and rapidly gaining ground,” says Nick Deligiannis, managing director of Hays in Australia and New Zealand. According to consultancy firm Deloitte, the half-life of a skill is now only five years – meaning professional skills acquired ten years ago are obsolete, and half of the skills acquired five years ago have become irrelevant.

According to Hays’ research 96% of professionals say upskilling is ‘very important’ or ‘important’, while according to Deligiannis only “14% of professionals said they upskill weekly, 18% monthly and 20% quarterly”.

While the majority of Millennials surveyed (71%) say upskilling should lead to an increase in salary in the long term, 50% of Baby Boomers say upskilling is a necessity only serving to keep them employable. “Accelerating technological advancements mean staying still will see you become obsolete. Identify your skill gaps and take action,” continues Deligiannis.

Professionals can upskill in a variety of ways, according to Hays. Here are the top three:

  1. New projects mean new skills  – Venturing outside your professional comfort zone can develop new problem solving skills. Hays advises to find an opportunity to work on something out of your territory. “Managers are the key to having your name put forward to be part of an internal project,” says Deligiannis.
  2. Keep your finger on the pulse – Keeping up with industry leaders via LinkedIn, TED Talks, YouTube, Twitter and other social media will maintain relevant skills. Hays says “52% of professionals upskill by reading articles or professional literature” and “25% view content online shared by connections”.
  3. Networking works – Professional associations and industry groups can help build and nurture careers. Deligiannis advises, “Before joining an association, ask about its continuous learning program as well as networking events.”

Hays’ research included surveys of 951 employers and 1253 professionals in Australia and New Zealand.


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Image copyright: peshkov / 123RF Stock Photo

Josh Loh

Josh Loh is assistant editor at MarketingMag.com.au

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