The Ultimate Guide to

Future-Proofing Your
Career and Paycheck
(2021 Edition)

Affected by COVID?
This is your guide to
landing a better future.

  • How to be job ready in
    6 months or less.
  • The essential skills you need
    for the digital future.
  • The 'can't miss' in-demand
    career paths.
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Chapter 1:

Why Digital Skills Will Secure
Your Future

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Chapter 2:

3 False Assumptions with
Reskilling and Upskilling

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Chapter 3:

The 6 Essential Digital Skills
for Initial Job Success

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Chapter 4:

The 4 Essential
Personal Skills for 2021

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Chapter 5:

The 8 Future-Proof
Career Paths for 2021

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Chapter 6:

The 4 Steps to be Job Ready
in 6 Months or Less

Chapter 1:

Why Digital Skills
Will Secure Your Future

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COVID-19 has completely disrupted and negatively impacted millions of British lives over the last year, either through being furloughed, laid off, or at risk of being so. 2020 was not kind to many of us.

If the anxiety of COVID and an uncertain economic future has left you confused and scared on how best to navigate forward, you are not alone. Many have chosen to wait to make decisions on their future because of this uncertainty. As you’ll read in this guide, this could be the most dangerous path forward.

Taking control and putting yourself onto a disruption-resistant path by gaining and developing the right skills is essential to overcoming today’s uncertainties and future-proofing you for tomorrow. Skills are essential for creating opportunity, wealth and in turn improving your quality of life.

In fact, there is some truth behind the “more you learn, the more you earn” theory. That is why more and more adults and professionals are choosing to engage in online learning, evidenced by the fact that almost all of the leading online educational providers doubled their user base in 2020 alone.

Unsurprisingly, more than 380 million people worldwide have taken an online course to develop their skills and ultimately improve their life situation.

Digital Skills are in high demand...

Over the last three (3) years, digital skills have been in high demand due to economic forces like globalisation and automation. The pandemic has just accelerated the foundational need for people with digital skills.

According to McKinsey (Link), two-thirds of the UK workforce could be lacking in basic digital skills by 2030. The economy of the future will require these skills, and not having them puts you at risk of being unprepared to compete in the current and future job market.

If COVID has taught us anything, it is that now is the time to take control and invest in ourselves so we can be resilient to change and disruption.

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Chapter 2:

3 False Assumptions with Reskilling and Upskilling

If you are unsure whether online learning is for you, here are the most common re/upskilling myths surrounding online courses:

Myth #1: “I Don’t Have Enough Time or I Can’t Take Time Off To Learn”

Online courses allow anyone, anywhere to learn and gain skills at any time. With thousands of online learning options, you have the flexibility to learn on your time schedule. If you want a better, more resilient future, you can have it - the choice is yours.

Myth #2: “I Don’t Have The Money”

Having no extra funds is a very real challenge for many, especially during these trying times.

Online courses typically provide a more affordable means of gaining skills. You can learn from the most prestigious institutions, such as Harvard University or even Google, at a fraction of the price of traditional degrees. However, having no extra funds is a very real challenge, especially during these trying times. Fortunately, there are options available that you can pursue to either support or work within your financial means. These include:

  • Government funding

  • Scholarships

  • Low cost or free online courses

Myth #3: “Online Courses Won’t Help Me To Secure a New Job”

Online courses provide training and upskilling opportunities across all sectors, including several high-growth job sectors (see Chapter 5). Online training is seen as a faster route to acquiring these skills vs in-person education. Whilst some jobs (such as a Nurse or Lawyer) require professional schooling, many do not. Those on furlough or who have been laid off can benefit from shorter and more informal learning experiences.

Chapter 3:

The 6 Essential Digital Skills for Initial Job Success

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Not all reskilling is equal. There are essential skills that are needed in almost every profession, and by securing these, you will position yourself for a better future.

Your better future starts with securing essential digital skills, as it is projected that ⅔ of the British population will be lacking these skills by 2030. Simply acquiring these skills could put you in the top ⅓ of the skilled workforce and provide an above-average income for years to come.

Gain these 6 Essential Digital Skills...

In 2019, The Department for Education released the “Essential Digital Skills Framework”, a set of six (6) key skill areas every adult needs to work and live safely in our ever-increasing digital economy:

  • Digital foundation skills

  • Digital communication

  • Handling information and content

  • Transacting online

  • Problem solving

  • Being safe and legal online

To develop your essential digital skills across these skill areas, here are some high-rated courses found using

Digital Skills: Essential Foundational Knowledge

Digital Skills: Digital Communication

Digital Skills: Handling Information and Content

Digital Skills: Transacting Online

Digital Skills: Problem Solving

Digital Skills: Being Safe and Legal Online

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Chapter 4:

The 4 Essential
Personal Skills for 2021

Developing Your Personal Skills Foundation...

Once you have acquired essential digital skills, there are some key personal skills that you should aim to develop to help future-proof your career in 2021 and beyond. Our research suggests that skills related to creativity, team work, time management and leadership are invaluable across many sectors. To develop your essential personal skills across these skill areas, here are some high-rated courses found using

Personal Skills: Content Creation and Creativity

Personal Skills: Collaborating with Team Members

Personal Skills: Efficient Time Management

Personal Skills: Leadership and Leading Teams

Chapter 5:

The 8 Future-Proof
Career Paths for 2021

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Once you feel you are digitally proficient, you’ve taken a big step forward towards securing a more financially stable career. Congratulations!

But now is not the time to stop. Next, you’ll need to find a career path that will be both in high demand and resistant to future disruption shocks. We have identified the eight (8) career paths that are expected to be the most disruption-resistant in 2021 and beyond: Software Engineer, Data Scientist, UX Designer, Content Specialist and Digital Marketer, Cyber Security Professional, Healthcare Worker, Skilled Tradesperson, and Teacher.

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Software Engineer

Software Engineers use problem-solving and programming skills to build and develop applications to answer business problems and meet customer needs. There are many flavors of Software Engineers, from application and website developers, to maintaining sophisticated networks.

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Data Analyst | Data Science

Every business collects data, whether it's sales figures, market research, inventory, or transportation costs. Data Analysts help companies make sense of their data, by analyzing and presenting information to help drive business decisions.

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UX Design | Digital Customer Experience

UX Designers research, design, and architect how we experience products and services through user research and testing. They are the voice of the user, advocating the user’s needs whilst balancing business goals.

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Content and Digital Marketing

Digital marketers work at the intersection of creativity and strategic thinking. They help companies reach and acquire customers through digital channels, from Google search, to Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and more.

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Cyber Security

Cyber security professionals safeguard information system assets by identifying and solving security threats. They protect systems by defining access privileges, control structures and resources. They use problem-solving skills to recognise problems by identifying abnormalities.

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With an aging population across Great Britain, the demand for healthcare workers such as nurses, physicians and other support staff is increasing. Healthcare workers maintain a healthy society, both physically and mentally.

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Skilled Trades

The skilled trades combine specialised knowledge and skills with hands-on work to build, fix or maintain many of the physical products we use everyday. Many skilled trades are in short supply today across areas of construction, plumbing, electrician, millwright, fabrication, and more.

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Teachers educate the next generation of our society. Teachers develop curriculums and lesson plans, and present those lessons to their students. Teachers are responsible for developing students and their love of learning.

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Chapter 6:

The 4 Steps to be Job Ready in 6 Months or Less

Now that you have upskilled, become digitally proficient (read chapter 4 for more info), and have found a career path that is resistant to disruption, now is the time to take the progressive step forward to landing your next, in-demand career.

The good news is that this next step doesn’t have to be confusing. Learnisa can help you gain and develop the right skills by matching you to the most suitable online courses that are available across the market. Learnisa uses artificial intelligence to scan over 100,000 courses available online and recommends you with the best three (3) courses based on your skill sets, learning goals and preferences. Whether you’re taking an online course to land that new job or even that promotion, Learnisa can reduce the frustration and time to locate (and finish) that ideal course faster and sooner. Best of all, Learnisa is free to use for individuals.

To get your personalised learning recommendations to support your new and stable career, follow these four (4) simple steps on Learnisa:

Step 1 of 4:

Start at Learnisa

Start with the advanced search on

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Step 2 of 4:

Provide Your Current (or Last) Career Position

Next, input your most recent or current career position. All skills associated with this career will be selected by default. Here, you can select and confirm those skills that you already have.  

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Step 3 of 4:

Add Your Desired ‘Future-Proof’
Career Path

Enter the future-proof career path you selected in step 2 above. Add this under “What is your desired job?”.

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Step 4 of 4:

Match Your Skills to the Desired Path. Get a Personalised List of Courses that Best Address Your Learning Gaps

A list of the most common skills associated with the new career will display. Like in the previous step, all skills associated with this career will be selected by default. Here, you can deselect any skills that you may already have.

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Learnisa will then scan the market for courses and provide you with the top course recommendations to address your skills gaps and make you proficient for your new career as fast as possible. Importantly, Learnisa will display a % match indicator, allowing you to see how and why a course is a suitable match for you.

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Lastly, Learnisa has a useful feature in which you can save your time in the future by saving your skills and course matches with a free account. Take the first step today towards a brighter future.

Take the first step to a brighter future