Faced with slogging it out in a career she wasn’t passionate about, lawyer Esha Thaper realised if she wanted to escape the legal grind, she was going to have to take a big career risk, and invest in additional training.
But like a growing group of millennials, rather than enrolling in expensive post graduate or lengthy MBA studies, she opted to try out the new breed of edutech platforms. Just over three years ago she enrolled in her first digital marketing evening classes at General Assembly, eventually working her way through to web development and then an eight week UX course at Academy Xi.
Thanks to her new digital skill set, since taking the leap she’s successfully worked her way up from entry-level copywriting to leading digital content at 1Cover travel insurance. Each step along the way was driven by a new course, and the hunger to plug a skills gap that she quickly learned was not only translating into a pay rise and great responsibilities, but a more fulfilling role and career.
Esha isn’t alone. A report by Udemy found 73% of millennials now expect they’ll need to pursue additional education or training to advance in their careers.
While many of these millennials are forging another career path by choice like Esha, a growing number will be forced to reskill thanks to automation and the loss of traditional office and manufacturing jobs.
Over the next 2 years, ManPower predicts office and administrative functions are set to lose 25% of headcount, finance and accounting 8%. For those in frontline and customer facing roles, headcount is expected to drop by 11%. But on the flipside, it’s also expected to grow by 26%, as new roles and functions emerge. But these new roles will only be filled by those who have the right digital skills. Skills like Esha’s.
Helping young Australians like Esha adapt to this seismic career shift is now becoming a national priority. Over at Zuper, we’ve made it a cornerstone of our mission, by putting reskilling at the heart of our super fund. We want to help Australians reimagine the connection between work and wealth, and how continuous investment in your super and your career is more important than ever. After all, performance is more than just your fund balance. It’s about you as well, and the return on your time.
To bring this to life, Zuper members like Esha are able to access exclusive discounts on courses at edutech platforms like General Assembly, Academy Xi, Switch L+D, Zambesi and many more, through our Learn More / Earn More program. The amount we hope to save our members on courses they were already looking to take, could for some members be over and above any fees they might have paid their existing super fund, or even Zuper.
For new Zuper member Esha, who’s already invested close to $20,000 in professional development, any help is welcome. “I have a mortgage and I live in Sydney – anything my fund can do to help me get ahead is meaningful," she says. "It’s so great to have that support from your super fund, and to see they actually get where people like me are at. I’m already looking at new courses I want to take. You have to be a lifelong learner these days.”
Esha is part of a growing movement of people who are realising the potential they have to develop themselves into a valuable asset. After all, the career choice Esha and all of us make is one of our biggest purchasing decisions, so we need to make it wisely.
“Part of why I’ve continued to develop myself is I realised to succeed in the workplace today, I need certain skills to ensure I am a really valuable and portable asset. I don’t thing being an employee is necessarily enough anymore. If I got made redundant tomorrow, I wouldn’t worry. Broadening my skills and even freelancing for a period made me realise no one employer ‘owns’ me. Taking the courses at GA and Academy Xi was a really freeing experience – unlike a lot of my friends, being made redundant holds no fear for me anymore.”
You can find out more about our Learn More / Earn More program for members here.
This article is general in nature, and has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider if the information is appropriate and whether you need to speak to an accredited professional.
CEO and Co-Founder at Zuper Superannuation. Loves fintech, writing, pilates, Campari and soda's and, as of 2018, marathon running.More