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Upskill 2020: 3 Higher Ed Programs for Adult Students

Looking to add a new line or two to your resume? It may be time to “upskill.” This popular 2020 term has come to mean a variety of different things: engaging in continuing education programs, adding a new certificate to your LinkedIn profile or completing a variety of other higher ed programs for adults. The idea is to make your resume — and professional skills — fresh and stand out to prospective employers.

Like many things in 2020, labor markets are experiencing major changes. It’s never been more important to ensure that skills and abilities are sharp and meeting the needs of current employers and future job opportunities. In fact, a World Economic Forum report recently stated that 54 percent of employees will need to upskill by 2022. The workforce will need to be able to effectively utilize next-generation technology and compete on a global playing field.

Upskill: For Current Career Growth or a New Job 

Upskilling brings opportunity. It can propel your current career. If it’s been a few years since earning your degree, upskilling can help retain the value of your skills, give you negotiating power or help you climb the ladder. On the other hand, adding new skills can also help you switch to a higher-paying role at a new company or take advantage of an up-and-coming industry.  

Six Skills to Sharpen

A good place to start with upskilling? Determine your desired skills and abilities. A 2020 study by labor market analytics firm Emsi tallied the top six skills sought by employers:

  • Communications
  • Management
  • Leadership
  • Problem-solving
  • Teamwork
  • Critical Thinking

Eighty-four percent of job postings required at least one of these soft skills. So, sharpening these abilities can boost resiliency during tough job markets.

Gain Hard and Soft Skills: 3 Higher Ed Programs for Adult Students

Here are some higher education programs that can help you add these important skills to your CV.

Higher Ed Track: Psychology

Skills Focus: Critical Thinking, Management, Leadership, Communications, Problem-solving

Learn what makes people tick. Not only will you gain a better understanding of human behavior, this broad area of study offers all kinds of skills. You’ll learn research methods, verbal and written communication skills, problem-solving, and more. There are many different fields of psychology and opportunities to customize your coursework to best suit your end goals. If you choose to specialize in managing organization change, for instance, an Organizational Psychology Generalist certificate might be a good fit. This means you’ll become an expert in developing teams, encouraging employee engagement, increasing organizational effectiveness, and more. It can prepare you for roles in human resources and general management.

Higher Ed Track: Business

Skills Focus: Management, Leadership, Communications, Problem-solving, Teamwork, Critical Thinking

Become a business aficionado. There are many great things about studying business. For one, the skills learned can be applied to any industry, including banking, insurance and healthcare. In addition, it can bolster any previously earned degrees — no matter whether you already have an Associate in General Studies (AGS) or a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Marketing and Advertising. Business studies are amongst one of the most popular higher ed programs for adult students. You may decide an online Business Administration certificate will give you the edge and flexibility you need. Or there’s always a more traditional Master of Business Administration (MBA) path. MBAs are known to help propel degree-holders to leadership roles.

Higher Ed Track: Healthcare Management

Skills Focus: Critical Thinking, Ethical Decision-making, Critical Thinking, Management, Leadership, Communications

Master the medical field. Healthcare is one of the fastest-growing fields, and healthcare degree programs offer all kinds of opportunities to upskill. One specific healthcare degree program that covers all of those highly sought-after skills? Healthcare management. Focused on the business side of healthcare, you’ll learn about organizational procedures, industry regulations, change management, leadership skills, and so much more. Expedited certificate programs are often completed within a few months and can bolster the resume of those considering climbing the healthcare administration ladder. Already earned an associate degree? A bachelor’s degree or MBA might help you reach your future goals. These programs can help open the door to career possibilities like physician practice manager or healthcare administrator, which may have you overseeing an entire department or healthcare system.


There are a number of postsecondary degree programs that can help you “upskill” — protecting your skillsets, adding new abilities and making your resume shine. These are just a few of the countless degree options and in-demand career paths available. Enrollment Advisor features the top schools and flexible degree programs to fit busy adult student schedules and so much more.

Take the next step. Get started on and find the right higher ed program for you to upskill and prepare for career growth!