After a year of business closures, layoffs and widespread unemployment, we are finally starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel when it comes to COVID-19. Changes to the job market, however, are far from over.

It’s undeniable: Companies of all sizes and across industries have changed dramatically, particularly when it comes to how they integrate technology into their workflows. As a result, workers who are seeking new career paths have a massive window of opportunity to find employment as companies post new jobs and pick back up on hiring — especially professionals seeking tech-related opportunities.

According to The World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs Report, the global job market will change rapidly over the next five years as companies divide more labor between humans and machines. By 2025, projections show that as many as 85 million jobs will be displaced, while 97 million tech-adjacent roles may emerge to take their places.

So how can professionals prepare for the transformations that are currently underway? The best way forward is often skills training for in-demand tech and digital skills, which can help candidates keep up with emerging technological advancements.

Today’s Most In-demand Technical Skills — and How Training Can Help You Develop Them

In late 2020, a report titled “Skills of Mass Disruption” was published by Burning Glass Technologies, a leading job market analytics provider. The report analyzed tens of thousands of various skills from over a billion historical job listings with an emphasis on undersupplied skills that were providing value to companies across industries.

According to this research, the most disruptive tech skills are found to fall in the following 10 categories: AI and Machine Learning, Cloud Technologies, Connected Technologies, Fintech, IT Automation, Natural Language Processing, Parallel Computing, Proactive Security, Quantum Computing and Software Development Methodologies.

Understanding this information is essential because it points workers toward promising new career opportunities and helps companies better understand where to invest their time, energy and resources when it comes to building effective training programs.

However, as workers become students and embark on their journeys to learn new tech skills, they often encounter the same pain points. For example, when taking a self-taught approach, students often struggle to decide which learning path is right for them, especially with the seemingly endless amount of online information. Modern training programs can address these pain points by adding structure, accountability and guidance to the learning experience — but up-to-date curriculum and an instructor’s delivery are key to accomplishing this.

Adults can be exceptional students and create a unique classroom culture with their prior knowledge and experience. There are certainly some distinctive challenges when it comes to teaching adults, such as balancing work and family commitments, but there is also an opportunity to really see your students immerse themselves in content, take on new challenges and identify problems they can solve with their new skills. All you need to be successful as a learning adult is an instructor who is committed to keeping curriculum and content delivery relevant, engaging and immersive.

How to Pivot Into a New Technical Career

So, what happens after you have acquired some experience with your new craft? How do you convince your bosses to invest more heavily in your future, move into a new job that you’ve only recently trained for, or carve a path forward that you’ll be proud of and successful in?

For many, the process of transitioning from one job to another can be just as daunting as learning new skills in the first place. Despite new expertise under their belts, learners might still be competing with other employees or job candidates who appear to have more experience or training than they do.

One of the best ways to accomplish this is by putting together a portfolio. There is a misconception that this is only relevant to those trying to reposition themselves in the job market — but really, it’s about putting together the projects that best highlight learners’ work: This can help convince higher-ups that learners are ready and willing to take on a new set of challenges.

The best time for learners to start this portfolio is as soon as they begin mastering a new skill. This will allow them to polish their portfolios and make necessary updates as they begin to better understand their projects and their career field overall.

Another way for learners to achieve credibility is to stay on top of industry news and share ideas with their bosses on how their new skills can benefit their organization. This will help position them as people who are not only open to new possibilities, but also serious about making a change and conquering the goals they’ve set for themselves.

And for those who are still trying to convince their bosses to invest in their upskilling and reskilling, it is important to keep in mind that employers want to invest in talented people that are also invested in them. More often than not, training decisions are usually made based on how new skills within the company will directly benefit their bottom line — so presenting ideas through this lens is incredibly important.

Regardless of how you approach it, getting started is the most important step. It’s increasingly clear that the future of work is in tech, so finding the right technical skills training program and instructors will be key to navigating the changing job market and the jobs of tomorrow.