In today’s globalized and rapidly evolving economy, continuous learning is more than just an additional skill for skilled trades; it’s critical to professional growth, and staying ahead of the pack. A recent report from the World Economic Forum predicted that by 2025, “an estimated 85 million jobs may be displaced by a shift in the division of labor between humans and machines.”
To stay in demand in the skilled trades, workers must develop additional and new skills that allow them to remain relevant while adapting to the ever-evolving job market. In this article, we’ll discuss the best ways to maximize your professional growth through continuous learning in the skilled trades.
Learning About New Tools, Methods and Techniques
Continuous learning in the skilled trades involves developing an understanding of new techniques, methods and tools that help improve efficiency and output. According to a survey by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW), 98% of job seekers said that improved mechanical skills would make them more employable. Therefore, trade workers need to have an in-depth understanding of the new tools and methods used in their industries, and that can only be achieved through continuous learning.
Attend Seminars and Conferences
Attending Seminars is an excellent way for trades workers to gain new knowledge, discover new equipment, discover technologies and get exposure to innovations in their respective jobs. Also, attending trade seminars can help to create professional networks with other tradesmen, find new job opportunities, and discover new trends and developments in the industry.
To stay competitive, it’s essential to invest time and money attending productive and relevant events. According to a report by Forbes, tech companies invested around $18.5 billion in continuous employee learning in 2019. Learning opportunities help workers to gain a deeper understanding of their industry, and this knowledge can lead to promotions and development opportunities.
Join Associations and Attend Workshops
Professional associations are an excellent way for trades workers to improve their education and knowledge. For instance, the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) offers multiple workshops, conferences, and certification programs on energy efficiency, indoor air quality, and refrigeration- topics of high interest to the skilled trades person.
Associations also offer certification programs for their respective industries, providing evidence of expertise and credibility. Certifications can set individuals apart from their colleagues, demonstrate proficiency with their craft, and ultimately increase employability and compensation.
Another way to improve your knowledge and gain new skills is to attend workshops organized by associations. These workshops are typically short courses and programs, and often have practical applications relevant to your service. Many workshops also offer certification upon completion.
Take Advantage of Online Learning Opportunities
Due to the advent of the internet, today’s workforce has access to infinite educational resources, including online courses and lectures.
There are plenty of online learning opportunities available to workers in the skilled trades. Some available resources are websites such as Lynda.com, YouTube, and even Google. While some of these courses may be free, workers should also be willing to invest in paid courses that provide in-depth, practical skills relevant to their field.
Bottom line: Skilled trades workers who embrace continuous learning are more likely to advance their careers and remain relevant in their respective industries. Through active participation in trade associations, attending workshops and conferences, and continuous online learning and development courses, individuals can stay competitive in their field and improve their chances of achieving success.