My skills are out of date
Time to update your skills?
There are lots of ways to develop new work skills or refresh skills you trained in some time ago. If you know your career direction already, start with one of the options below. If you'd like to start by exploring new careers that build on your experience, start with the How-to Guide: Switch careers.
How can I learn about what’s new in my field—or in a career I want to enter?
- Go online to research what’s happening in your industry or career area. Get started by searching for the name of the career or industry and “professional development.” You might find recent blogs or articles to read, or webinars to view.
- Find and join a professional association to learn trends in your field. Many national organizations have local chapters. You might read journal articles and attend a conference or workshop.
- Visit Tools & Technology Finder to look up the most common tools or types of technology used in hundreds of occupations.
How can I gain skills right away?
- Refresh basic English or math skills at a literacy training center or find a local library to ask what training or workshops they offer.
- Search online for free training using “How to” and the name of a skill you want to learn.
- Review the professional certifications related to your career and consider obtaining one to refresh your credentials.
- Enroll in a class in your field at a local college, technical school, community organization, or local school district.
- Volunteer at an organization that uses the kind of skills you need to develop or refresh. Many provide training.
- Consider getting technology training if needed. Take an online class or find free introductory classes through public libraries, and American Job Centers.
What are longer-term training options?
- Consider entering a program to earn a certificate or college degree. Visit What’s right for me? to learn more or check out the Local Training Finder for programs near you.
- Find out about apprenticeships, to learn skills on the job while earning an income. Many apprenticeships are in well-paying occupations in the manufacturing, construction, health care and transportation industries, and last from 1-6 years.
- If you’re an adult going back to school, read more at College for adults. You might also find resources for you at 55+ Workers or Entry-level workers.