Why upskilling can help you progress in your career

Why upskilling can help you progress in your career

COVID-19 has brought an unease across workforces not just in Canada but all over the world. If your plans were to secure a promotion in 2020 and now it’s just to maintain your role as job uncertainty looms, you may be looking for ways to show your value to your employer. Or you may have found yourself in the unlucky position of unemployment and are not quite sure where to go from here. If you commit to investing in yourself with a program of upskilling, you’ll be seen in a positive light by employers.

It’s commonly acknowledged that a higher percentage of people who are employed in managerial, professional and associate professional occupations have participated in formal training, compared to people who are employed in intermediate, routine and manual occupations. While this may sound obvious, it does prove that if you want to climb the career ladder, upskilling will place you in a stronger position. So, how do you decide what development path to take? The first thing you need to understand is what employers want from their employees. 

Here are our top tips for helping you to choose your development route…

1. Know what is in demand

This is incredibly important when choosing a training path that will help you progress in your career. For example, if you are looking to go into a role where you are expected to have exceptional office and secretarial skills, there wouldn’t be much call for you to take a marketing program. 

You may consider one of the most popular programs that has applicability in many career areas: the Business Administration Diploma. It focuses on a job-related skills that may be applied to a wide variety of career paths, including skills with the Microsoft Office suite. Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and Excel are commonly used across a variety of roles with employers often requiring a proficient or better level from job applicants. For those looking for a boost in their career, a slick presentation on PowerPoint may make the difference in communicating your brilliant ideas, while basic numerical analysis via Excel can evidence your strategic skills. But seeing as our readers have many career aspirations, let’s look at some of the main skills employers will be looking for. 

LinkedIn is used for professionals to network and is one of the only social media platforms dedicated to business-to-business communication. On LinkedIn, the top 10 most in-demand skills of 2020 are: 

  1. blockchain
  2. cloud computing
  3. analytical reasoning
  4. artificial intelligence
  5. UX design
  6. business analysis
  7. affiliate marketing 
  8. sales
  9. scientific computing
  10. video production1.

With 722 million members using LinkedIn this list gives a very good gauge on what skills are likely to help you to progress up the career ladder. So, what training can you access to enhance some of the skills in this top ten list?

2. Find the right program

Getting started is the hardest part of any education journey, so finding a program that suits you is vital. Many people won’t have studied since school and there is a plethora of courses on offer out there which can make things daunting. We recommend talking through some options with an experienced advisor. They can help you navigate your options and select the best program for you based on your needs.

Whether you are already employed full-time or juggling commitments at home, your time is often limited, so what factors will give you the best chance of success? Ask about flexible study options to accommodate your life and see if study locations are close by to reduce commuting time. 

3. Find the right support

Are you the type of person who is very self-motivated or do you need the odd push to keep going? Be truthful with yourself and choose training delivered by someone that gives you the level of support you need to take your study through to completion. Even those with excellent self-study skills may need face-to-face guidance when reaching a roadblock. Some people simply work more effectively in teams so even being able to link up in a virtual environment to share ideas is important if classrooms are temporarily closed. For example, at Academy of Learning Career College we assign a learning coach who is available to support every student throughout their time with us. 

If you’ve been working from home, you’ll have felt the distractions of emptying the washing machine or keeping the TV on for the kids. Having the option to study on campus, as well as online, means you can remove yourself from your daily stress, get your head down and work through your course alongside like-minded people. It’s no surprise that when you surround yourself with people with similar goals and motivations, you’re more likely to succeed in your study and career ambitions. 

4. Concentrate on you

Whether you just want to stand out at work or feel more confident in general, career training can help you achieve this. The key thing to understand is that learning is a lifelong endeavour. An employer will notice your efforts and will appreciate your productivity and quality levels rising. Being able to complete your work to a higher standard will also translate to feeling happier in your role. Happiness in work is important because the better you feel, the better you’ll do in a job. Out of 1,001 Canadians and 1,000 Americans surveyed, 37 percent said they were either actively or casually looking for a new job, and 36 percent say they’d consider a new position if recruited2. With these statistics highlighting the problem of people being unhappy in their current roles at work, putting yourself in a position that will make you feel happier and, ultimately, perform better is crucial to standing out in the crowd. 

5. Tackle those inner demons

A large number of people feel what is known as ‘imposter syndrome’ when at work. Imposter syndrome is the feeling of persistent inadequacy. These people suffer from chronic self-doubt and a lack of intellectual capacity. According to The Imposter Phenomenon, an estimated 70% of the population has experienced imposter syndrome at some point in their career3. The best way to fix this is to target what frustrates you every day and work at it. If you struggle with using a certain kind of Microsoft Office program, for example, you can take a simple course and prove yourself entirely capable. 

Final Thoughts

It’s a common misconception that if you’re set on a career path you don’t need to upskill, but the world of work and all its innovations never stands still, and neither should your learning and development. Not only does becoming more skilled in your career help you work to a better standard, improve your confidence and affect your feelings of satisfaction, it also makes you stand out from the crowd. Some people fear going back into education, reminiscing about the difficulties at high school or college but adult education can be very different. Taking a course can be affordable, flexible and will get you interacting with like-minded people. Technology and jobs are constantly evolving, so you must invest in yourself and evolve too.

1LinkedIn.com, 2019, New LinkedIn Research: Upskill your employees with the skills companies need most in 2020

2Nielsen, Dec 2018, Pulse of Talent report3The Journal of Behavioral Science, 2011, The Imposter Phenomenon

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5 Helpful Tips For Reentering The Workforce After a Long Break

Have you spent the last few years raising a family, serving in the military, or coping with an illness? Whatever your reason for leaving the workforce, it can be challenging and intimidating finding a way back in. Below are tips for reentering the workforce to help you land your next role and get you up to speed as quickly as possible.

1. Do your research.

While you may think “taking just a few years away” isn’t long, the job market can evolve in just a short period of time. It’s important to understand what types of roles companies are looking for, and what skills you’ll need to land those jobs.

2. Update your skills.

If you haven’t kept up with new developments in your field, it’s normal for some of your skills to slip or become outdated. You’ve likely fallen behind the competition, and you’ll need to do some catching-up.

Spend a few hours a day researching the latest trends in your industry by reading books, blogs, videos, articles, and other resources. Also, consider taking a few classes or getting a diploma or certificate. This will help you gain the skills and knowledge specific to the job that you want. Plus, having it on your resume may give you a competitive edge over other applicants.


3. Update your resume.

Your time away might make you feel like you have nothing new to add to your resume, but many times that’s not true. Try to think of any projects, volunteer work, classes, or skills you have developed during your break.

Be upfront with your employment gap, but demonstrate that you’ve dedicated time to improving yourself as a worker and human being. Focus on your skills and successes, and be able to explain how these can relate to the job you’re now applying for.

4. Consider temporary or part-time work.

The reality of reentering the workforce is that you might have to make some compromises, especially in the beginning. Be open to temporary, part-time, project or contract work.

These types of jobs can be a great opportunity to ease into the workforce before taking on a full-time schedule. Temporary positions also allow you to sample different roles and companies, which will help you figure out where you fit best.

5. Be confident.

Getting back into the job search can be nerve-racking! However, it’s important to approach this process with a positive attitude, confidence in yourself, and confidence in your own abilities.

Practice answering common interview questions until it comes naturally. Whenever you get discouraged, remember where your strengths lie: education, experience, soft skills and determination.

With time, patience and perseverance, the right job will come your way.

About Academy of Learning Career College

At Academy of Learning Career College, Canada’s recognized leader in private education, we’re committed to your success. Our programs are designed to help you reach your goals quickly and easily, in a setting that builds confidence and skills.

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5 Ways to Make the Most of Online Learning in Career College Programs

If you want to get back to school but are worried about managing
the commitments you already have on the go, online learning might just
be for you. Taking courses online can allow you greater flexibility and
room to balance your work and family life with your studies, giving you
the convenience to complete coursework from your own home. The online
format may take some getting used to, but you’ll be in a great position
for success once you get the hang of it!

You might not have originally considered taking online courses the
moment when you decided to return to school, but they can absolutely
help you build the future you want. Here’s how online learning can boost
your educational experience.

Make a Schedule so that You Know What Needs to Get Done When

For any student taking online courses, this format demands greater
self-motivation, concentration, and discipline. It also means you’ll
need to manage your time extremely well if you want to transform your
professional life. To ensure you stay on top of your coursework, try
building a study schedule and follow it. Having this kind of structure
will make it easier for you to engage with the online learning
environment and stay focused.

Set Up a Space in Your Home to Commit to Completing Your Studies

Taking classes online at home while studying at a career college
can be convenient, but it can also leave room open for distractions. As
such, it’s a great idea for you to have a space in your house set up
strictly for your studies during your journey in online learning. Be
sure that this space is neat and tidy, and in an area of your home with
little to no noise. Designating an area of your home for this purpose
will provide an incentive for you to get things done!

Having a dedicated study space can incentive you to get your work done

Ask Lots of Questions—Your Instructors Are There to Help!

Connecting with your online instructors during your course will be a big help, as you’ll know where to turn when you need assistance. Be sure to ask plenty of questions! For example, our Integrated Learning System (ILS) helps it stand out among colleges in Ontario by offering students support from a Learning Coaches. With any questions or concerns you may have with your online learning, remember that our learning coaches are there to help!

Minimize Distractions so You Can Finish Tasks Quickly

To maintain momentum during your studies, it’s important to minimize
distractions. Letting distractions get the better of you can be a
hindrance to both your work ethic and the quality of your assignments.
Find ways to structure your study space so that you won’t have other
things, like a smartphone, grabbing your attention.

Doing Career College Programs Online Also Means Finding Balance

While it’s a must for students in career college programs to invest their time and energy into their online learning, it’s just as important to avoid burning out. To find a strong balance between your academic life and personal life, set time limits for completing your coursework, and make time for breaks while studying. Step away from your desk for a bit and go for a walk before returning to your studies. You’ll want to succeed with online learning, but you shouldn’t stretch yourself too thin while doing it!

Do you want to use online learning to pursue your passion?

Your career awaits.

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3 Signs You’re Ready to Consider Our Career College Programs

The stereotype of single-career life is swiftly changing in this modern world. More and more people are having two or more careers throughout their lives. A person is no longer obliged to stick out a career that they’re no longer interested in, and there are many resources available to support this change if desired. There are many reasons why you might make the decision to change career paths: personal growth, a desire to challenge yourself, wanting a better work-life balance, or just unhappiness and boredom.

If you want to change careers, there are schools available to support you in your journey. How do you know if you’re ready for such a big transition? Here are three signs that you might be ready to consider changing careers.

You Don’t Feel Passionate About Your Current Career

If you are no longer invested or interested in the daily bustle of your job, it could be time to initiate a change. If you find yourself shirking away from decision-making or agreeing with things you normally wouldn’t, apathy may have set into your professional life.

Another symptom of professional apathy is no longer being proud or passionate about your work. If others ask you about your job and you don’t feel inclined to speak about it at all, it could be time for a change. If you don’t feel like talking about the projects you’re involved with at work, your professional path might have lost its appeal. Luckily, there are colleges in Brampton and more that can assist in this transition. This could be the moment when a career change could leave you feeling energized and passionate about your work again.

You’re no Longer Learning and Feel Stuck in Your Current Position

Careers are central to a person’s growth and development and can help to stoke a person’s curiosity and drive towards knowledge. If you find that you navigate your workday on autopilot, fulfilling your duties through muscle memory and not feeling curious, there’s a good chance you’re no longer learning and that you might not be reaching your full potential.

Being involved in a professional career that’s stimulating and energizing, and that enables constant learning, can make a real difference in a person’s life. If you’re no longer learning from your job, it might be time to look into our ccareer college programs.

You’re Looking Into Career College Programs

If you’ve started to research whether or not the decision to enroll in a career college program is right for you, chances are it’s something you’ve been thinking about a lot. If you’re unhappy with your current career path, looking into alternative options is worthwhile. When people are happy with their careers, their happiness in other facets of their lives increases as well, improving their overall quality of life.

Are you ready to begin a new stage of your life? 

Your career awaits. Call us today at 905-273-6788.

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Video Interviewing Tips For Candidates

Video interviews can be advantageous for candidates and in some cases can be as effective as the ‘in-person’ interview. The interview may take place either at the candidate’s home, a nearby company office, via a webcam provided by the employer or at an off-site location via webcam. If the employer supplies the webcam it will be accompanied with full instructions on its use.

The key to success, as with every interview, is an awareness of procedures and thorough preparation. A video interview is no different to a ‘proper’ interview. The candidate’s responses will be assessed as they would for a face-to-face interview.

If you are invited to attend a video interview, typically held via Skype, the following tips will help you to perform to the best of your ability:-

Prepare thoroughly : As you would for an ‘in-person’ interview, prepare for your interview in detail. Review the job spec, research the company, prepare a list of responses to typical interview questions, review your CV and prepare questions for the employer. If anything, your preparation should be more thorough than usual. The interview is being recorded leaving no room for misinterpretation or a vague recollection of your answers.

Choose your timing : Check the time difference if relevant for your video interview and try to arrange a time that suits you where possible. For example, if you are not a morning person request an interview early evening.

Ensure everything is in working order : If the interview is being carried out on your own equipment double check everything, including your microphone and your internet connection. If necessary, purchase a separate webcam rather than rely on the sometimes distorted sound and vision that comes from the built-in system of your laptop. Carry out a test run with a friend who will provide you with uncompromising feedback on how you sound – and your visual position.

Double check your surroundings : Ensure a neutral and uncluttered backdrop, which may mean removing books and files for the duration of the interview. Your intention is to keep the interviewer firmly focused on you, not on your collection of books.

Agree how to handle a pause : Internet connections drop out, screens freeze. Candidates should agree upfront with the interviewer on how to handle any problems arising during the interview.

Refer to your CV if necessary : Keep an online copy easily accessible as well as a printed copy for your reference. This will enable you to quickly highlight points in your career history which are relevant to the vacancy and share them via Skype. It is also useful to have online links to your portfolio ready to share during your interview.

Dress professionally : Irrespective of the time of day, always dress for a formal interview Wear a suit and stick to neutral colours – patterns may be distorted on a video screen. Again, if in doubt, ask a friend or colleague to carry out a trial run and provide candid feedback on your onscreen appearance.

Be confident : Be aware that you may be talking to more than one interviewer, even if you cannot see them. Speak clearly and express enthusiasm. A mumbled answer during a video interview does not project confidence.

Be aware of body language : The normal body language indications such as a firm handshake are lost in a video interview. Candidates can, however, maintain an upright posture, smile and engage eye contact to compensate for what is missing. For jobs where interaction with colleagues takes place regularly online, the video interview is an opportunity to display how comfortable you are in handling technology. Please also see the note on eye contact below.

Record your own interview : If you aren’t successful with your application, recording your interview will enable you to assess your performance and make your own notes on how to improve in future video interviews.

Always follow-up after your video interview : Follow-up after a video interview is perhaps more important than it is after an in-person interview. Send an e-mail expressing your gratitude to the interviewer for their time and reiterating your interest in the vacancy. Cover the points where you felt your experience was relevant and your skills were a strong match for the position.


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Second Career: Get Skills-training and Financial Support When You Qualify

What Second Career gives you

You can get new skills – those needed for jobs in demand now – and financial support when you qualify for Second Career.

Apply for up to $28,000 for costs including:

  • tuition
  • books
  • manuals, workbooks or other instructional costs
  • transportation
  • basic living allowance (maximum $410 per week)
  • child care

How you qualify for Second Career

As a start, you qualify for Second Career when:

  • you have been laid off and have not been working
  • you have been laid off and are working a temporary job just to cover costs

If you’re receiving Employment Insurance (EI), or have in the past, you can still apply.

When preparing your application, you also have to show:

  • how long you have been unemployed, or working your temporary job, and looking for work
  • places you have applied and positions you have applied for (e.g. cover letters, CV and responses from potential employers)
  • what level of education you reached
  • where you worked before, for how long and what skills you needed for that work
  • what skills you want to get and where you can get trained in them
  • information showing the skills and job you want to train for are in demand

What you pay into Second Career

When you apply to Second Career, you have to show the costs to be covered during training.

You may have to pay part of these costs yourself. The amount you’ll have to pay is based on several things, starting with your gross (before tax) household income.

Financial information

You must provide information about:

  • your income
  • your household income (e.g. spouse)
  • current expenses

School information

You must research at least three training institutions to make sure they offer the training you need. Make sure to include:

  • at least one college of applied arts and technology
  • at least one private career college

Job market information

You must show that the skills you want to get – and the work you want to do – are needed by employers. This can be shown through:

  • job postings
  • news of future job opportunities (e.g. office expansion, new company)

Applying to Second Career

You are at the right place! We are here to assist you with Second Career evaluation and application. Please call us at 905-273-6788 to make an appointment. 100% free service.



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Apply for Second Career – Get skills-training and financial support

What Second Career gives you

You can get new skills – those needed for jobs in demand now – and financial support when you qualify for Second Career.

Apply for up to $28,000 for costs including:

  • tuition
  • books
  • manuals, workbooks or other instructional costs
  • transportation
  • basic living allowance (maximum $410 per week)
  • child care

How you qualify for Second Career

When you apply to Second Career, you have to show the costs to be covered during training.

You may have to pay part of these costs yourself. The amount you’ll have to pay is based on several things, starting with your gross (before tax) household income.

Applying to Second Career

To apply to Second Career, you’ll work with an employment services agency, where people are trained to help you decide if this program is right for you – and, if it is, to complete your application.

Find an agency in your community and make an appointment.

Staff at the agency will help you gather the information needed to support your application to Second Career.

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Meet with a counsellor

You can also request an appointment with an Employment Ontario counsellor.

A counsellor can help you find an employment services agency in your community and can answer any other questions you may have about Second Career.

Financial information

You must provide information about:

  • your income
  • your household income (e.g. spouse)
  • current expenses

School information

You must research at least three training institutions to make sure they offer the training you need. Make sure to include:

  • at least one college of applied arts and technology
  • at least one private career college

Find a college of applied arts or technology or private career college near you.

Job market information

You must show that the skills you want to get – and the work you want to do – are needed by employers. This can be shown through:

  • job postings
  • news of future job opportunities (e.g. office expansion, new company)

Contact us to help with your application

If you have any questions or difficulties in applying for Second Career or preparing for the documents, we are ready to help you anytime. Please call us at (905)-273-6788 or Email min@aolmississauga.com.

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Free Resume Writing & LinkedIn Profile Writing Workshop

About the Workshop

Academy of Learning College Mississauga is delighted to provide a free Resume Writing and Linkedin Profile Writing Workshop for those who are struggling to find a job in their field. The aim of this workshop is to help you with finding a job with the right Resume and Linkedin Profile.

What’s in for you?

This workshop will help you:

  • Write a compelling Resume that will maximize the application process and get you noticed
  • Learn critical resume tips and insights
  • Learn how to apply for jobs online with your personalized resume
  • Create a compelling headline on Linkedin
  • Showcase your expertise in the summary section
  • Differentiate yourself in the experience section
  • Leverage your LinkedIn profile using endorsements, recommendations, groups and more to grab clients’ and recruiters’ interest.


Academy of Learning College Mississauga Campus

1310 Dundas St E Unit #4, Mississauga

Date & Time

March 17, 3:00pm-5:00pm

March 18, 3:00pm-5:00pm




Please make a Registration or drop-in with your details at our location on the given timings.

Make the best of this opportunity and make a registration here today.

Any questions? Please call 905-273-6788.

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For any recent college graduate, job interviews can be nerve-wracking, especially if you haven’t interviewed in a while. That’s especially true when you’re interviewing for a position in a new industry, competing with hundreds of candidates who’re in the same or similar situation as you.

Despite of the challenges, the more you prepare – by practicing your interview skills, researching the company, being able to show why you’re qualified, and by following up after the interview – the better chance you’ll get at securing a job offer! Now let’s take a look at some useful tips for acing an interview for college graduates!

Job placement

Research The Company in Depth

The employer will expect you to know quite a bit about the company you’re interviewing for. Prior to your interview, check the company’s web site and social media pages, learn about its values and visions, scroll through its latest projects, and think about what you can do to better their products and services. You can dig even deeper by talking to a current or previous employee of the company and conduct informative interviews with them beforehand.

Customize Your Answers for Common Questions

There are some typical questions that are being asked at almost every job interview, such as “Tell me about yourself.” “What are your strengths and weaknesses?” “Tell me about your greatest accomplishments.” “Why do you want this job?” “Where do you see yourself in 5/10 years?” You can find sample answers to these questions online. Read how others answer these questions, and plan your own answers according to your situation.



Prepare 5-7 Sample Stories

Scenario questions such as “tell me about a time when you had a conflict with a coworker and how did you handle it” or “Share with us a time when you made a mistake and how did you resolve it” are a must in job interviews. Make sure to prepare some examples beforehand. Start with the situation by describing the context and problem. Then explain what you did to improve the situation and describe the results in quantifiable terms. This demonstrates that you understand the importance and the impact of your personal contributions. With these stories prepared in advance, you can adapt them to various scenarios.

Show Your Eagerness to Learn

Some of the attributes that employers look for in candidates are curiosity, eagerness to learn, as well as the ability to quickly adapt to new environment and pick up new tools. Aa a new graduate, you may not have loads of past experience relevant to your new position, but your learning ability is gold. Show your future employers that you are a fast learner (this can be demonstrated through scenarios), and that you are excited to face new challenges and opportunities in a new industry.

Pay Attention to Your Body Language

During the interview, watch your body language as your poses and gestures can reveal your personality. Shake hands firmly, make eye contact as you articulate your points, avoid fiddling, and sit up straight. If you are super nervous and don’t know how to act, remember, smile is your best weapon. Smiling isn’t hard to do during interviews, and it shows confidence and amiability, which is a huge necessity in workplaces.

Develop Intelligent Questions

Towards the end of your job interviews, you’ll be asked whether you have any questions for the interviewer. Don’t just say “I’m good” or “I don’t have any questions”. Asking questions demonstrates your level of interest in the job; it is also a great chance to show your knowledge of the industry as well as your eagerness to learn and contribute. Develop 3-5 questions ahead of time, and jot them down to memorize before your interview.

As the largest career college in Canada, we attributes the growth in our success to identifying the gap between the formal education available and the realities of the working world. We fulfill the needs of learners by developing customized programs for each student, while meeting the requirements for convenient and effective training at an affordable cost. Browse our program list by province and find the best program that suits your needs!

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