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03-06-2024 | By Corporate Dev. Team

What is Upskilling?

Upskilling involves gaining new knowledge or skills to improve and remain relevant in a constantly changing job market. Whether through online courses or on-the-job (OTJ) training, upskilling enables individuals to adjust to evolving job demands and technological advancements.

Importance of Upskilling

As industries evolve and new jobs emerge, upskilling becomes essential for individuals to capitalise on emerging prospects and safeguard their careers for the future.

01 Rapid Technological Advancements

Invest in your professional growth by pursuing training and upskilling opportunities or obtaining new certifications. Stay informed on industry trends, best practices and emerging technologies relevant to your industry.

By broadening your knowledge and skill set, you not only improve your capabilities but also provide valuable insights and expertise to your organisation.

02 Aftereffects of COVID-19

The pandemic has caused digital transformation to speed up which indirectly leads to an increase in dependency on digital tools. To successfully navigate this digital era, one must develop skills in digital literacy and cybersecurity.

Barriers to Upskilling

01 Time Constraints

Many people find it challenging to dedicate time to upskill because of their existing work and family obligations or other personal responsibilities.

To tackle this, allocate a small portion of your time daily to gradually progress in acquiring new skills or knowledge. Consider exploring online courses that provide flexibility in learning times and locations. It is important to keep in mind that investing in self-improvement creates opportunities for growth and fulfilment.

02 Financial Constraints

⁤Expenses linked to upskilling, such as course fees, materials and potential loss of income while training tend to be a challenge for individuals from lower-income backgrounds.

⁤There are, however, multiple resources available to help mitigate these costs. ⁤⁤Scholarships, grants, and financial aid programs can assist individuals seeking to enhance their skills and knowledge. ⁤⁤Organisations and companies acknowledge the value of investing in their workforce and thus often provide training opportunities and assistance to employees interested in upskilling.

03 Age and Experience

⁤Older employees with experience may show reluctance to upskill due to various concerns such as starting fresh or facing competition from the younger crowd.

⁤It is important to understand that upskilling is not about starting from scratch but improving current skills and staying relevant in today’s evolving demands. ⁤⁤While your experience and expertise are invaluable assets, embracing new technologies and trends can complement your existing knowledge, hence making you more competitive and adaptable in your field. ⁤⁤Always remember that there is no age limit to learning and your willingness to adapt sets you apart as a resilient professional.

Upskilling vs Reskilling

Upskilling Reskilling

Enhance or expand existing skills to prepare for advancement within the same field or career path.

Acquire entirely new skills or competencies to transition into a different field or career path.


Deepen knowledge, refine skills, and stay updated with the latest trends, technologies, or practices relevant to the current job role.

Facilitate career transition by equipping the new skills required and adapting to changing market demands to succeed in a new field or industry.


May lead to improved job performance, recognition, and advancement opportunities within the same career trajectory.

May result in gaining employment in a different field, pursuing new job opportunities, and achieving long-term career growth and fulfilment in a new profession.

In summary, although both upskilling and reskilling are essential for professional growth, they vary in their emphasis on improving existing skills within the same field versus acquiring new skills for transitioning into a different field. Recognising these differences can help individuals customise their learning and development efforts to align with their career objectives.

Avenues to Upskill

01 Online Learning Platforms

Utilise online learning platforms such as Coursera, Udemy, NTUC LearningHub or MySkillsFuture. These platforms offer a wide array of courses covering different topics, ranging from technical skills like programming and data analysis to soft skills like communication and leadership.

02 Professional Development Programs

Attend professional development programs offered by universities or industry associations. These programs may include workshops, seminars or certificate programs designed to enhance specific skills or competencies relevant to your professional goals.

03 OTJ Training

Take advantage of OTJ training opportunities within your current role or organisation. Volunteer for challenging projects, seek mentorship from colleagues or supervisors and actively seek opportunities to gain hands-on experience and develop new skills in real-life settings.


MySkillsFuture is a one-stop portal for Singaporeans to upskill in their lifelong learning journey. All Singapore Citizens aged 25 and above will receive an opening SkillsFuture credit (SFC) of $500 to upskill or reskill into new areas out of their current field.

Type of Support Eligibility  SkillsFuture Credit Amount Expiry
(Base Tier)

Opening SkillsFuture Credit

Singapore Citizens aged 25 and above $500 Does not expire
(Base Tier)

One-off SkillsFuture Credit Top-Up In 2020

Singapore Citizens aged 25 and above as of 2020 $500 Expires 31 Dec 2025
(Mid-Career Tier)

SkillsFuture Credit (Mid-Career) Top-Up

Singapore Citizens aged 40 and above $4,000 Does not expire

Outstanding balance from Additional SkillsFuture Credit (Mid-Career Support) top-up from 2020 is now merged with SkillsFuture Credit (Mid-Career)

Adapted from

With your available SFC, you may use them to offset the course fees from the courses listed in the portal. Here’s how:

  • When registering for the course, inform the training provider that you will be using your SFC in part or in full for the course fee.
  • Within 60 days before your course starts, submit the SFC claim with the necessary supporting documents via the MySkillsFuture portal.

Refer to MySkillsFuture FAQ page for more information.

Aside from courses available, there are also self-assessment tools to understand yourself better and identify suitable career options.

Final Words

In today’s dynamic job market, upskilling is not only beneficial for personal growth but also essential for maintaining competitiveness and achieving long-term career success.

By investing in upskilling, professionals can broaden their skill set, increase their employability and unlock new career opportunities.

For more insights on HR or employment topics, be sure to check out our other articles here.

Category: Blog