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Ready For A Career Makeover? These Skills Will Land You A New Collar Job

Ready For A Career Makeover? These Skills Will Land You A New Collar Job

In this time of rapid technological change, you have to up-skill to future proof your career. If you're looking for a career makeover, you have to develop new skills. This means that you have to be ready to build continuous learning into your already over-scheduled day. The World Economic Forum (WEF) reports that you need 10 skills to thrive in 2020. Because of all the technological changes, skills are constantly changing, therefore, you have to learn how to learn. Besides the 10 soft skills that WEF says you need, you have to learn whatever skills you need for your career makeover.

Recently, there has been a lot of talk about new collar jobs. I came across the term a few weeks ago and had to research it. There are many tech jobs that remain unfilled and the beauty is that you don't need a four-year degree to secure these new collar positions. If more women went through the training for new collar roles, there could be a feminization of the tech sector.

The goal of this article is to introduce you to the term new collar jobs and the skills and training you need to qualify for them. I believe that since I only learned about this term a few weeks ago, it may be unfamiliar to you. There are a few important things about new collar jobs that you need to be aware of.

What are New Collar Jobs?

New collar jobs span multiple disciplines and you don't require a college or university degree. To qualify for them, you need vocational training in the relevant technical and soft skills that I present later in this article. You can acquire these skills through nontraditional educational paths, such as vocational training or by taking online courses. The most important thing to remember is that it is the skills and not level of education that define these jobs. This is a win for self-directed learners.

Employers like self-directed learners who update their skills and refresh themselves. You must be agile and resilient to successfully navigate your way in the workplace of today. The good news is that continuous learning will place you leaps and bounds ahead of other professionals when it’s time for a career makeover. 

New Collar Jobs Act

Although there are many types of new collar jobs, at this time, the Act covers workers in cybersecurity. This makes sense since there is so much concern over cyber-attacks. According to a government website:

“The New Collar Jobs Act fosters job growth by providing federal stimulus for re-education of workers in cybersecurity.”

New Collar Skills

Seeing some of the skills below in a job ad are a clue that the position is a new collar one. 

  • Java
  • Python
  • JavaScript
  • Angular JS
  • JQuery
  • User interface design
  • User experience
  • Design development
  • Ruby
  • HTML5
  • HTML
  • Troubleshooting
  • Hardware
  • MySQL
  • SQL
  • SQL server
  • PHP
  • Software development
  • Relational database
  • Interface design
  • Cloud computing maintenance
  • Security analysis and testing
  • Data mining and statistical analysis
  • AutoCAD
  • Data storage engineering and management
  • Computer science
  • Help desk support
  • Computer literacy
  • Field service
  • Technical

Learning Python and Java are good starting points if you're thinking of switching careers into the tech sector. There are many positions that use these two skills. Python is used in data analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning. Java is used in application development, web applications, big data technologies and more. Java is the most popular programming language followed by Python.

If you decide to learn Java, it's much easier if you know C, C++ or JavaScript. If a new collar position is the career makeover you want, it may be worth learning Java and Python along with related and adjacent skills. Julia, a new programming language and an alternative to Python, is also becoming popular.

New Collar Job Categories

New collar jobs span multiple disciplines. The four main categories of these jobs are technology, software, engineering and healthcare. There are also many new collar jobs in manufacturing but the sector suffers from an image problem. Most people don't want to work in manufacturing because of the old image they have in their head. But it’s not accurate since disruption is taking place. Big data, nano tech, drone tech, wearable tech, and 3D printing are leading the way in manufacturing technologies. These technologies create many new collar jobs.

Where You Can Learn Skills for New Collar Jobs

If you are a self-directed learner interested in new collar jobs, the websites below offer relevant courses, most of which are free.


General Assembly




IEEE Computer Society

Khan Academy


Open Culture: Computer Science and Engineering

To secure a new collar job, you also need soft skills such as problem solving, critical thinking, creativity, emotional intelligence, team work and negotiation. 


Avil Beckford, the founder of The Invisible Mentor, is an expert interviewer, published author, and writer. In two years, she wants to get 1,000 professionals reading a book every week. She will help you to learn, stretch, and grow to aid you in your career development. To do this, she created the Strategic Reading Challenge – jump into the challenge now.

Have more questions? Follow up with the expert herself.