Upskilling to invest in your future

In an increasingly digital world, today’s workplaces are constantly changing and there is a growing need for professionals to be mindful of continuing to upgrade their skills.

This has been exacerbated by COVID-19. The pandemic, and ensuing lockdowns, forced many organizations to adopt a digital-first mindset in order to continue to do business and survive. However, a recent survey conducted by KPMG shows that finding workers with the skills needed to compete in today’s marketplace is a struggle for many Canadian companies.

KPMG’s Business Outlook Poll found that 79% of businesses surveyed said the pandemic changed the way their organization works, which has increased the need for employees with IT skills.

“The pandemic clearly provided a catalyst for many businesses to accelerate their digital strategies,” said Armughan Ahmad, President and Managing Partner, Digital at KPMG in Canada. “But implementing these strategies is becoming more difficult, as the competition for digitally-skilled talent is accelerating globally.”

The survey found that 69% of organizations surveyed are planning on hiring more staff over the next three years, with 20% ranking data analytics/analysis as the top skill required and 24% saying cyber/information security is their most in-demand skill.

But with 68% of businesses saying hiring workers with the skills they need is a challenge, the majority of survey respondents (89%) said they are investing in developing their existing workforce’s skills.

“To address this, companies are looking inward for solutions, and upskilling their existing workforce to become more digitally focused,” Ahmad said. “They’re also starting to recognize micro-credentials to help expedite the upskilling of their employees.”

Micro-credentials have become an increasingly popular way for professionals to not only upskill for their current role, but also invest in their personal professional development for future career prospects.

Micro-credentials allow professionals to gain valuable and specific skills in a short amount of time. Self-paced learning options make it easy to incorporate coursework into a busy schedule and many micro-credentials can be completed in a few months. Micro-credentials are also a way to advertise skills to potential employers and many allow professionals to earn additional industry certifications.

University Canada West, which is part of Global University Systems Canada’s network of institutions, has a growing lineup of micro-credentials that focus on technology, business and innovation.

The Data and Web Analytics Micro-Credential by the Digital Marketing Institute is ideal for professionals who are already analytically-minded, or working in a similar position and looking to upskill. It covers the fundamentals of data and analytics, data collection and privacy, security and compliance, data and marketing, and visualizing and presenting data.

The Online E-Commerce Micro-Credential covers many facets of the evolving world of online shopping, including how the design of a website can affect how customers choose to purchase goods, how to attract customers using search, social media and other digital tools and how to choose the nest marketing channel to help achieve your business goals.

For more information about UCW’s lineup of micro-credentials, visit

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