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Changing Careers - Deconstructing The Myth of Stigma and what it means for your career

24th May 2023

Evolving skills make career changers more in demand than ever. They have the skills of the future.

"They haven't really learned the job at all". This is the common pre-conception of career changers. But why? This narrow-minded thinking is anchored in traditional conceptions of what a career path should look like: apprenticeship, school, A-levels, IT studies, and finally a job... until retirement.

This way of thinking leaves a lot of personnel career potential untapped. While the pure technical aptitude that qualifies a person for a job is important, it’s no longer decisive for success. This is because digital transformation is changing job profiles so rapidly that many people will soon have to pursue several professions in the course of their working lives. A rigid skillset as selection criteria for applicants is of little help in this case. Rather, social skills that enable individuals to adapt to changes in an agile manner are far more helpful. Experts speak of 21st-century skills in this context. But what are they? And how do career changers fare in terms of future competence?

New skills require new skilling models

Complexity and speed - both characterise the global economy of the 21st century. Market dynamics are increasing while customer demands are growing. Entire industries are evolving. By 2030, around 6.5 million workers will be faced with the obligation of acquiring significant new skills and qualifications or retraining. More than 4 million workers will even have to pivot to other professions. This implies new job profiles, where new competencies such as creative problem-solving take centre stage.

The new skills of the 21st century are:

  • Media/digital literacy

  • Communication and collaboration skills in a diverse environment

  • Creative problem-solving, innovation, analytical and critical thinking skills

  • Flexibility, tolerance of ambiguity, self-motivation and autonomy

These competencies have a direct impact on the innovative capacity of companies- that’s logical. What is less obvious, however, is that these skills are not necessarily acquired through a degree. On the one hand, this change in competencies is taking place so quickly that the traditional career route of multi-year studies is not able to adequately keep up. On the other, it’s unrealistic to expect people to complete a new degree every time their job description changes throughout their career. Therefore, alternative skilling models that are faster, more effective and work-friendly are needed.

3 months instead of 3+ years of training - does it work?

Yes, it works! But it’s not a foregone conclusion. In other words, not just any further training or retraining achieves the desired result. In contrast, our reskilling and upskilling bootcamps at neue fische have been proven to work. This is proven by the more than 1,500 graduates since 2018 alone, 92% of which started in a new IT job directly after graduation.

Why does our concept work?

  1. We select our candidates to be a perfect fit. By means of multi-stage aptitude tests, we ensure that participants have the necessary qualifications to succeed.

  2. We’ve been preparing people from non-technical professions for their entry into IT for over 5 years. We focus on motivation and willingness to learn as well as on previously acquired professional experience. The key to success is motivation combined with a willingness to evolve. Because - as a study by the McKinsey Global Institute shows - people are very capable of acquiring new skills and moving into tech from other fields.

  3. Our coaches teach according to the latest learning formats such as social learning and communities of practice. In this way, using problem-based and experiential learning with practical examples, only the really necessary technical knowledge is taught. Students learn how to learn, with the focus on the application of social skills. In this way, we explicitly promote 21st Century Skills. After the bootcamp, graduates are able to react to changes with agility, perform in diverse teams and acquire new knowledge independently.

  4. We work closely with our partner companies. This ensures that the participants acquire all the skills they will need in the future during the 3-month-bootcamp.

The result: After 3 months, our graduates have the technical basics AND analytical thinking, creativity, imagination, teamwork and communication skills, organisational skills, process thinking, and much more.

Career changers bring many advantages and provide companies with new impulses thanks to their interdisciplinary knowledge. They find creative solutions, master challenges unconventionally, are very motivated and have proven that they have the will and stamina for change.

Integration of reskilling and upskilling

The fact is, no one can expect to do the same job for decades any more. The readiness for lifelong learning is more important than ever. Those responsible for human resources must therefore discard their old ways of thinking about "classic" career paths and instead make tailored re-skilling and upskilling offers available to employees throughout their entire working lives. A comprehensive strategy is needed to strengthen training and further education and to integrate them into everyday working life.


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