Are you a “jack of all trades”? A “renaissance man”? Someone
of many talents, but an expert in none? The job market that we are seeing today
has been and will continue to be shaped by changing technology. Look at the
skills gap that we currently have. Yes, it might be greater in some areas and
less in others, but regardless of the industry, we are seeing knowledge gaps
being created due to the need for specific and changing skill sets.
There are many opinions on the ways that our society as a
whole can work together to close these skills/knowledge gaps; many beginning
with the education that we receive needing to be more geared to STEM skills. Bridging
the gap for the future of our workforce is very important. The steps to do so
need to be taken early on in our scholastic careers to really fine tune the
skills needed to be successful in such a dynamic job market. However, those of
us already in the workforce can help to bridge the gap as well.
Learning a new skill, may be just what you need to fit into
one of those specialized areas. This is not saying that you have to master
nanotechnology (although it is a growing field) but that you make the effort to
improve upon your existing skillset to stay competitive in an evolving
marketplace. However, going back to college to attain another or advanced
degree is very costly, it may be something you want to do in the future, but
cannot right now. It is okay, there are other options for you to work at
improving your skills in an affordable way.
The first thing that you should do as an employee who wants
to learn or get more experience in a specific area in your career, is to ask.
Approach your supervisor and ask how you can get more experience doing x, y, or
z. Most employers want their employees to learn to be able to contribute in
multiple ways, not to mention this shows initiative as an employee.
If that does not work or you want to take things into your
own hands here are 8 affordable ways to help you specialize in your career: