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Why upskilling is important in your study abroad journey

The idea of lifelong learning has become increasingly popular, with a growing number of students and professionals seeking ways to improve or gain new skills. Upskilling refers to the process of acquiring new skills in a professional setting, which allows individuals to stay current with the latest industry developments. These newly acquired skills often complement an individual’s existing skill set.

Higher education institutions aim to equip their students with skills that will enable them to grow professionally and progress in their careers, as well as provide them with post-graduation career opportunities. The ultimate objective of educational institutions is to prepare students for the future, and therefore, they promote and facilitate upskilling initiatives.

In reality, businesses have shifted their focus from hiring based solely on qualifications to hiring based on skills, which directly impacts educational institutions. Recruiters prefer to hire individuals with relevant skills for modern technology but face a challenge in filling the skills gap among employees caused by pre-established academic curricula. In addition to equipping students with the necessary skill set, businesses that establish partnerships with universities have a vested interest in the institution’s efforts to reduce the skills gap. As a result, top universities worldwide are expected to integrate upskilling strategies into their curriculum to enhance their students’ portfolios prior to graduation.

The World Education Forum highlights the need for a comprehensive strategy to promote upskilling among students in the education sector worldwide. According to the Forum’s research, investing in skill development could increase the global GDP by $6.5 trillion and generate 5.3 million jobs by 2030. These figures underscore the vital role of the education sector in driving the global economic shift.

In 2019, Ireland launched the Human Capital Initiative, which involves a €300 million investment over five years to enhance the capacity of higher education institutions to meet future skills requirements. The initiative aims to increase the number of skills-focused programs that will equip learners at all levels, including undergraduates, postgraduates, and professionals, with the most relevant and in-demand skill sets. This will better prepare learners to meet the needs of the future job market.

Upskilling-How is the education sector responding to this new need?

Why upskilling is important in your study abroad journey

The COVID-19 pandemic brought many challenges, including in the field of education. However, one positive development was the increased acceptance of online education and e-learning. This allowed universities to continue providing education to their students and also opened up new possibilities for upskilling.

E-learning programs are becoming increasingly popular among students, covering a wide range of topics such as data automation, cybersecurity, coding, UX/UI design, search engine optimization, leadership skills, and organizational behavior. Many of these programs are now being recognized as credited courses by colleges and universities.

In higher education, many students are eager to expand their knowledge and skills by taking advantage of upskilling strategies offered by academic institutes worldwide.

These credentials can set them apart from their peers and are even recognized on social networking platforms such as LinkedIn. Employers are also seeking candidates who are willing to learn, adapt, and grow in their industry, making these skills highly valued during the recruitment process.

Irish universities have been at the forefront of this trend by offering industry-led programs taught by experienced professors with corporate or industry backgrounds. These institutions encourage innovation and entrepreneurship through masterclasses and micro-credentials that support advanced professional development and lifelong learning. Some degree programs also promote creative and analytical problem-solving skills in specific sectors, providing practical learning opportunities that help students excel in global markets.

Ireland is at the forefront of academia-industry partnerships that drive innovation and growth in academic curricula. As a result, industries benefit from qualified and job-ready applicants with specialized knowledge and practical training. In preparation for Industry 4.0 and the digital future`, tech companies are collaborating with universities to upskill their talent.

The University of Limerick is meeting the demand for upskilling in the technology sector by offering innovative and diverse computer science courses. These include the immersive software engineering program, developed in partnership with leading tech companies like Analog Devices, Stripe, and Zalando from Ireland and around the world. Similarly, the Technological University of the Shannon in Athlone offers the MSc in Applied Software Engineering, which is funded by Ericsson Ireland and ICT Skillnet. This program covers the entire software development lifecycle and includes a three-month paid placement with Ericsson, providing valuable hands-on experience for students.

Why upskilling is important in your study abroad journey


As great thinkers have stated, learning is a never-ending process. While education and degrees are essential, what truly distinguishes individuals in today’s competitive job market are their ability to adapt to new-age skills and practices. Therefore, both students and professionals must prioritize expanding their knowledge base and rapidly adapting to new developments in their field to secure valuable positions.

Additionally, if one desires to study abroad or obtain a tourist visa for countries such as the USA or Canada, specific visa requirements and procedures must be followed.

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