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May 31, 2021 Upskilling and Reskilling: How Associations Can Fuel Growth in 2021 and Beyond Steve Longo

Upskilling and Reskilling: How Associations Can Fuel Growth in 2021 and Beyond

Did you know that 58% of professionals plan to take continuing education courses in 2021, mostly online? Or that 25% of professionals said their upskilling and reskilling goals for 2021 included enrollment in a formal degree, certification or badging program?

Simply put, 2021 has been the year of upskilling and reskilling as professionals look to stay up to date in an evolving job market. The COVID-19 pandemic, which led to unprecedented economic upheaval and left long-term scars in its wake, has only accelerated this trend.

So, what does this mean for associations? It means that the following months are a time of opportunity.

Associations seeking to make the most of it should prioritize optimizing their digital presence and establish their organization as the accessible, go-to resource for professionals looking to advance their careers.

Interested in learning more? We examine upskilling and reskilling as well as how associations can grow in 2021 in general below.

What are Upskilling and Reskilling?

Upskilling is:

· Learning new skills or improving existing ones with the goal of career advancement.

Reskilling is:

· Learning an entirely new set of skill or training for a new position, usually with the goal of transitioning into a new job or profession.

A good example of upskilling would be a retail sales associate enhancing their skills with the goal of becoming a store manager. On the other hand, an example of reskilling would be a retail associate laid off during the COVID-19 pandemic enrolling in a coding academy to become a web developer.

The Benefit of Jobseekers Upskilling and Reskilling

Many professionals have made both upskilling and reskilling a priority so to advance their careers, secure job safety and explore new opportunities in high-demand fields.

The COVID-19 pandemic aside, the upskilling and reskilling trend has been accelerating for years due to a number of factors, especially changing technology and many young professionals’ desire to hone their skills in a fast-changing economy. One technological change in particular, automation, is often on professionals’ minds these days as they look to either advance or change their career path via upskilling or reskilling, giving the impact that this type of technology will have on the job market in coming years by eliminating obsolete roles and disrupting the economy as a whole.

The bottom line is that upskilling and reskilling offer a prime opportunity for associations looking to capitalize on this key important recruitment trend, specifically by attracting employers to advertise job opportunities in their career center and to attract professionals looking to further develop their careers.

So, it's clear that any association looking to boost membership in 2021 and beyond should jump at this opportunity. But to do so requires optimizing your online presence. Let’s explore how to do just that below.

How to Optimize Your Association’s Online Presence

Associations can capitalize on the fast-growing upskilling and reskilling trend by optimizing their digital presence and taking a “member-centric” approach to growing their membership rolls.

Online Courses

If your association hasn’t started offering e-learning courses, now’s the time to start.

Although tech titans like Google are also offering e-learning courses for young professionals looking to advance their careers, associations can’t throw in the towel. They need to compete to attract and engage young professionals by offering both affordable in-person developmental programs as well as online learning courses.

By doing so, associations can drive engagement cost-effectively and further their appeal to young professionals in 2021 and beyond.

Today’s professionals are especially digital-savvy, meaning that you need to use search SEO best practices to ensure that your association’s website is visible in search engines like Google.

This can be done in several ways, including:

· Creating thorough, longform (1,000+ word) content that offers value for your target audience

· Considering user search intent to craft quality content based in what users are searching for specifically

· Optimizing the title tags, meta descriptions, header tags and URLs of all your webpages

· Building high-quality backlinks to your association’s website

· Leveraging social media marketing to amplify your association’s content online

· Ensuring your website has a strong technical foundation so that search engines can easily crawl and index it

· Creating a great user experience that prioritizes a fast loading time, mobile-friendliness and an intuitive navigation structure

How to Attract Millennial and Gen Z Members to Your Association

More than any other cohorts, younger generations like Millennials and Gen Z are looking to advance their careers in 2021. As these young professionals are very digital-savvy, its crucial to optimize your online presence to not only attract them to your association, but to retain and engage them.

But how exactly should you go about this? Here’s a few tips to consider!

Online Courses

Start by implementing online career development courses to make upskilling and reskilling quick, easy and affordable. Although this may require some work to do successfully, the rewards are numerous when done right, such as increased member acquisition and higher member engagement.

Social Connections

After being cooped up for over a year during the COVID-19 pandemic, many young professionals are eager to start networking and growing their professional circles in 2021. For associations, this offers a prime opportunity, as the can position themselves as the focal point for jobseekers looking to advance or switch their skill set via upskilling or reskilling.

Prioritize growing your online community and expanding your mentorship programs. Discounted mentorship prices for young professionals and students can be a great way to attract and keep them engaged, plus fulfill their needs for renewed social networking in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Community Outreach

Both Millennials and Gen Z hope to drive meaningful changes in society. Associations can tap into this by offering volunteering programs and building digital experiences around these programs. Offering free or discounted courses can be a great way to attract ambitious yet cash-poor Millennial and Gen Z professionals and allow associations to give back in a positive way.

Position Your Association to Leverage the Upskilling and Reskilling Trends

In our newest guide on upskilling and reskilling, you’ll find:

· Additional information on upskilling and reskilling and how these trends are impacting the current job market

· Key findings on how associations can improve their online member experience

· Information about the benefits that professionals value today

· How to boost membership acquisition through online courses

· How to attract and retain Millennial and Gen Z professionals

· Detailed advice on content marketing for associations

· How to optimize virtual events for success

· Guidance on how to improve your association’s career center

Want to learn more? Download your guide on “How Associations Can Fuel Growth in 2021 and Beyond