Fast Track:
The Easiest Ways to Train for a New Career

See also: Employability Skills

In the wake of the pandemic, many people have either seen an opportunity or have found it necessary to move on from their previous job. While some have been able to find similar work, for others finding the right position has been challenging. That’s why so many have chosen now to retrain for a new career.

If you have found yourself in a similar position, you might be wondering how best to do it. Here we take a look at the easiest ways for you to train for an interesting new career.

Online courses

Perhaps the most obvious route to retraining as quickly as possible is to go online. There are courses in a truly limitless range of subjects that can be signed up for and started immediately. Some of the most common forms of online training focus on jobs using computers and technology.

A well-known example is Codecademy which offers training courses in a wide variety of coding languages including Python and Javascript. But there are also many online training providers offering courses in everything from graphic design to sign language.

Training online can provide you with immediate access and perhaps the fastest possibilities for retraining. However, these types of courses generally don’t offer the kind of credentials or qualifications that are available with other types of training.

Learning a trade

You could also choose a form of in-person vocational training, especially centred around learning a trade. Many facilities offer training for trades such as plumbing, painting and decorating, and carpentry - all of which have a range of potential career options. There is a particular focus on electrical training because of the many different roles that need these skills.

“There’s a consistent need for qualified electricians and the pace of growth is expected to continue to increase in the coming years,” says Joseph Bennett, Director at Trade Skills 4U “making this a stable industry if you’re just starting your career. Even once you’re trained and working as an electrician, there are still opportunities to learn more and build on your skills to gain further qualifications and specialisations.”

Vocational training courses for trades can often be booked easily and quickly, and you can get started as soon as possible, making it a popular choice for those wanting to retrain.

Learn on the job

It might not seem like the most glamorous route, but one of the most effective ways to retrain is simply by starting at the bottom. Take a job in the industry that you are looking to progress in and focus on development and training as you work.

Many businesses are interested in taking on hard-working and dedicated individuals that could potentially have talent. Learning on the job can allow you to organically develop the skills that you are most suited to.

This might involve dropping down to a lower salary as you are likely to be starting at the lowest rung on the ladder - but if you are willing to put in the effort, businesses are often keen to reward those who bring across skills from elsewhere.


When many people hear the word, they think it applies only to school leavers. But apprenticeships are not just for 16-year-olds. The apprenticeship scheme runs through the government’s official website and can help anyone over the age of 16 find an apprenticeship in a varied range of roles.

There are apprenticeships available in everything from dental assistants and digital marketers to chefs and car service technicians. This can be an opportunity to learn from experienced professionals as they work, giving you direct vocational training as you earn money from your new career.

Higher education

For those looking for a very specific career change, sometimes higher education is the best option. Some roles require a relevant degree - and it is possible for you to study either part-time or full-time to achieve it.

Higher education offers an almost inexhaustible array of options - although the majority of degrees are not vocation-based and as such, this is not always the most direct route to a new career. If you are pursuing higher education and looking in terms of job training, it is wise to really consider the job that you are interested in and check whether a degree is a requirement. In some cases, it will be just as effective to work your way up.

Evening classes

Taking evening classes is often a quicker route to a new career than going through higher education institutions. Of course, it comes with the trade-off that the qualifications are less prestigious. Evening classes are typically centred around teaching you a specific skill that you can use in a job.

Evening classes can offer you training on a truly vast range of subjects depending on the specifics of your local provider. Many facilities offer courses in bookkeeping, fitness instructing and counselling.

Side hustle

Another option could be taking your current side hustle and developing it further into a true career. Many people take on occasional or freelance work alongside their job, either for extra money or because they enjoy it. Developing your side hustle can actually be a great way to turn your hobby into your career.

Think about the skills that you have already developed in this area. For example, if you are doing a little freelance writing work here and there, you may well have naturally developed the skills that could prepare you for a role as a copywriter or a proofreader.

“The main thing to acknowledge is that it will always feel scary,” says Sophie Clyde-Smith, a life and career coach “even if you’ve been building momentum and your side-hustle income matches/outruns your 9-5 salary, it will still feel like a leap. This is totally normal but can hold a lot of people back from biting the bullet.”

The Skills You Need Guide to Personal Development

Further Reading from Skills You Need

The Skills You Need Guide to Personal Development

Learn how to set yourself effective personal goals and find the motivation you need to achieve them. This is the essence of personal development, a set of skills designed to help you reach your full potential, at work, in study and in your personal life.

The second edition of or bestselling eBook is ideal for anyone who wants to improve their skills and learning potential, and it is full of easy-to-follow, practical information.

In conclusion

It is never too late to retrain for a new career. And there have never been more opportunities and avenues available for retraining. It is important to think clearly about where you see yourself and then look at the range of different options that can potentially get you there.

About the Author

Dakota Murphey is a writer based in Brighton, specialising in management training, HR and effective talent acquisition. Having authored pieces for numerous online and print magazines, Dakota has undertaken independent studies to discover how managerial styles and practices can positively impact business productivity.