Upskilling versus Reskilling: What’s The Difference?

By Jes­si­ca Mitsch ● November 01, 2022

Today, a vast majority of talent development professionals note the presence of a skills gap in their organization. In the tech industry, it is especially important that businesses remain proactive to combat this skills gap, as innovation perseveres and new technologies continue to emerge. 

A 2022 survey conducted by Pluralsight found that with this prevalent skills gap, only 32% of tech organizations are dedicating time toward education. Moreover, 91% of respondents have a desire to improve their tech skills to meet their career goals. The striking difference between these data points truly highlights the importance of upskilling and reskilling. Businesses must take steps toward combating the tech skills gap by providing training opportunities for their current and future employees, and in doing so, can also improve retention rates by helping individuals meet their career goals.

Upskilling versus Reskilling

While upskilling and reskilling often go hand-in-hand, they have their differences. Upskilling is the learning of new skills to improve in your current role. For example, a legacy software developer may partake in upskilling to learn new and emerging softwares to remain proficient in their role. On the other hand, reskilling is the learning of new skills to succeed in a different role. For example, a software engineer may participate in reskilling in order to become a sales engineer. In most cases, reskilling takes place when an individual is shifting into a new role that will require some of their prior knowledge and skills. As in the case previously mentioned, with the existing knowledge in the softwares, systems, processes, etc. that the individual possessed as a software engineer, shifting into a parallel but different role as a sales engineer will require reskilling. To put it simply, upskilling focuses on specialization, whereas reskilling focuses on versatility.

Why Invest in Upskilling versus Reskilling?

Whether you focus on upskilling or reskilling, investing in both has an array of benefits for your organization and its tech talent. First and foremost, upskilling and reskilling meet future demand by developing the key skills needed. Next, you will help promote internal mobility by committing to your employees’ career development and growth within the organization. This not only benefits your employees, but it benefits your organization by improving employee satisfaction and retention rates. Above all, upskilling and reskilling can help set you apart from your competitors and their talent pool.

Consider a Training Partner

At Momentum, we are all about continuous learning and building an efficient talent pipeline. We have partnered with a number of companies to upskill and reskill their workforce in preparation for the future. At the end of the day, upskilling and reskilling your tech talent is a critical move to remain agile and competitive in today’s market. To learn more about our training services, contact our team at Momentum today.