Julie Archer Jun 07, 2024
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Difference Between Upskilling and Reskilling

In today's rapidly evolving professional landscape, driven by technological advancements and shifting industry demands, continuous learning has become inevitable for staying relevant and competitive. With the imminent transformation of job roles and the emergence of new industry needs, complacency is a luxury businesses cannot afford. Fortunately, leaders have two potent talent development tools: upskilling and reskilling

“The future belongs to those who learn more skills through intensive persistence” - Robert Greene


This blog delves into the nuances between upskilling and reskilling, helping you discern the most suitable path for your career aspirations. It equips you with the necessary resources to thrive in today's job market and help you excel in the ever-changing digital landscape.


What is Upskilling?

According to the World Economic Forum, 50% of the global population needs new skills to meet shifts in demand driven by new technologies, (a figure projected to rise by 90% by 2030). Upskilling refers to acquiring new skills that complement and enhance your existing skill set, akin to building upon a strong foundation. These new skills can directly relate to your current role or expand your capabilities in a way that benefits your overall career development. There are various corporate training programs that will help you upgrade your technical skills along with soft skills.

Examples of Upskilling

  • A marketing professional learns new social media advertising tools like TikTok marketing or explores advanced analytics platforms.
  • A graphic designer masters 3D design software like Maya to create more immersive experiences.

Benefits of Upskilling

  • Increased efficiency in your current role by streamlining workflows or tackling new tasks.
  • Expanded responsibilities and potential for leadership positions within your company.
  • Improved performance evaluations and potential for salary increases.
  • Staying ahead of the curve in your field and demonstrating a commitment to continuous learning.
  • Improved job satisfaction and morale resulting from feeling more confident and competent in your role.

What is Reskilling?

Reskilling, on the other hand, involves retraining and learning new skills to take on new jobs within a company or to prepare for a career transition. It entails acquiring entirely new skill sets, making it ideal for individuals seeking significant changes or facing job market disruptions in their current field.

Examples of Reskilling

  • An accountant learns data analysis skills and programming languages like Python to become a business analyst.
  • A customer service representative learns coding languages like HTML and CSS to become a web developer.

Benefits of Reskilling

  • Adaptability to industry shifts and new technologies that might render your current skillset obsolete.
  • Qualification for new job opportunities in different fields that align with your evolving interests.
  • The chance to pursue a career path that offers greater personal fulfilment or better work-life balance.
  • Increased job security by making yourself more valuable and versatile in the job market.
  • Enhanced professional growth and development through continuous learning and skill acquisition.

Upskilling Vs Reskilling

Reskilling is distinct from upskilling, which involves consistently training or educating an employee to reduce skill gaps and enhance performance within their existing role. Here's a table to illustrate the key differences between upskilling and reskilling:

Feature Upskilling Reskilling
Objective Enhance existing skill set for career advancement Transition to a completely new career path
Skill Sets Acquired Builds upon and complements existing skills Entirely new skill sets in a different domain
Career Impact Increased performance and potential for growth Career change and qualification for new jobs
Learning Intensity Moderate; builds upon existing knowledge Intensive; requires significant time and dedication
Duration Shorter, typically continuous learning Longer, comprehensive training
Resource Investment Often company-sponsored or self-funded May require external funding or support
Industry Alignment Aligned with current industry trends Tailored to specific industry demands
Job Stability Enhances current job security This may involve temporary unemployment during training
Employer Demand In-demand skills within the current field Addressing emerging skill gaps or industry shifts
Certification Often recognized within the current industry May require certification for entry into a new field

By understanding these distinctions, you can determine whether upskilling or reskilling is the best approach to achieving your career goals.

Identifying Your Needs: Upskilling vs. Reskilling 

Here’s how you can choose the right option! 

Questions To Ask Yourself

  • Are you satisfied with your current career path?
  • Are your skills keeping pace with industry demands?
  • Do you see opportunities for growth within your current role?
  • Are you interested in exploring entirely new career possibilities?

How to choose between upskilling and reskilling?

Choosing between upskilling and reskilling depends on your specific career aspirations. Here's a self-assessment to guide your decision:

  • Are you content with your current career path? If you enjoy your field but want to advance, upskilling might be the way to go.
  • Is your knowledge sufficient to meet the latest industry demands? Upskilling can help you stay relevant and competitive.
  • Are there opportunities for career growth in your current role? Upskilling can equip you for these advancements.
  • Do you yearn for a complete career change? If your interests lie outside your current field, reskilling is the answer.

Take into account your organization's long-term objectives. If you anticipate potential impacts from technological advancements like AI and machine learning, strategize on leveraging reskilling initiatives to effectively prepare for these transformations.

Resources for Exploration

  • Explore government resources or online platforms that offer career assessments and information on various industries and skill sets.
  • Utilize online tools or professional resources to identify gaps between your current skill set and desired career paths.


The ever-changing job market demands continuous learning. Whether you choose to upskill and refine your current expertise or re-skill and embark on a new career adventure, this guide equips you with the tools and resources to thrive. Remember, the most important step is to take action. Start your upskilling or reskilling journey today and invest in your future success!

Chief Consultant Corporate Trainer

Julie Archer is a Corporate Training Professional with more than 15 years of experience in training and development. Hailing from Newcastle, United Kingdom, Ms. Archer established her authority in the field of corporate training and business skills development in the UAE and now with Edoxi Training Institute in Dubai. She has critical exposure in designing and delivering training programs for the top business organisations in Dubai. Her drive to transform employees and contribute to their company is the secret behind her excellence in this profession. To make a positive change in the lives of people is what she finds most fascinating about her job.

She enjoys the challenges that come with building a vibrant and efficient workforce. Her rich knowledge in the domain comes to the rescue when situations prove to be demanding. She commits much of her efforts to transforming education spaces into smart learning environments.