The coronavirus pandemic is set to have a massive impact on the Australian workforce. This effect however is felt unevenly. Despite the crisis, job openings in the fields of Data Science and Cybersecurity remain strong, with projected demand for these skills only strengthening over time.
With many now seeking government assistance, there is an unprecedented opportunity to retrain and reskill Australians towards these sectors. The Institute of Data and University of Technology Sydney (UTS) have announced a scholarship program to transition redundant and unemployed workers into the booming areas of Data Science and Cyber Security.
What exactly does this course have to offer?
The Upskill Now! Scholarship Program provides scholarships of up to 90% of course fees for redundant and unemployed workers seeking to enter the Data Science and Cyber Security industry.
“The crucial difference between a retraining program like Upskill Now! and a traditional skills course is the focus on one-to-one career coaching from experts within these industries. This means we can rapidly upskill Australians on the skills that matter to employers right now, as well as get guidance on where their talents are best suited within these disciplines,” said Institute of Data Executive Director Andrew Campbell.
“Often retraining programs stop when the qualification is granted, leaving graduates to puzzle out what the next steps are to putting the new skills to use in the real world. Upskill Now! is designed to help those who have been made redundant or unemployed through this crisis get a new job quickly, skipping the learning curve of how to negotiate interviews in a new field, demonstrate expertise etc.”
LinkedIn’s hiring data clearly displays the disparity in fortunes between those with technical skills and those working in more traditional sectors. Whilst education, consumer goods and Recreation & Travel all suffered significant losses the Software & IT Services sector has seen a massive 17.3% increase in hiring.
Mid-career workers over the age of 50, who have experienced an income reduction of more than 30% are eligible for scholarships of up to 90% of course fees. This group has been identified as being particularly at risk of structural unemployment if they do not upgrade their skills.
For people between 40-50 with income reduced by more than 30%, a 50% scholarship is available. Whilst those under the age of 40 with reduced income of more than 30%, are eligible to receive a 25% scholarship.
Recipients are entitled to three months full time industry training in one of two practical skills training courses, either Data Science & Artificial Intelligence or Cyber Security. The courses cost $17,500 before the above discount is applied, and can be taken remotely from home whilst the nation is under lockdown and will revert to on-campus/remote when restrictions are lifted.
The Institute of Data and UTS have been jointly offering courses since 2017 and have used both the in-class and remote format. Since early March this year, students have all moved to remote access ahead of government health directives.
Trainers are all industry experts that teach practical skills via video conferencing technology, providing a rich and connected experience for students with virtual break-out rooms, shared screens, digital whiteboards, peer to peer collaboration and instructor support.
The time is now for everyone working in data
Steve Crooks, Manager of Professional Education in the Faculty of Engineering and IT at UTS said, “Now is the time for Australians to up-skill. To adapt to the new world of working, data, IT and cyber security skills are more important than ever. Australia needs to build capability and capacity in this area and so we must support continuous education and lifelong learning.
This crisis is an unprecedented opportunity for us to work with industry trainers like the Institute of Data to bolster Australia’s capabilities in these crucial sectors. This could be a watershed moment for the future of Australia. If we can begin to address the large gap between demand for these skills and supply, we’ll be able to remain competitive as a nation on the world stage.”
Institute of Data Executive Director Andrew Campbell said, “Thanks to technology changes, data is now the most important asset for every business. How well you manage it, protect it and understand it can now determine whether a business succeeds or fails. This is what is driving the demand for jobs now and into the future.
We have not seen a drop in demand from employers looking for data and cyber security professionals. In fact, so many remote workers means that cyber security experts are busier than ever protecting business from the new vulnerabilities associated with remote data access. These are exactly the type of jobs that Australians should be training for right now.” says Mr Campbell.
The courses offered through the scholarship take 12 weeks full time to complete full time or 24 weeks part time with graduates receiving Industry Accreditation from the Institute of Data and a Certificate of Completion from UTS.
The Upskill Now! Scholarship Program is designed to help applicants manage a career transition into these growing industries. For eligibility criteria and more information applicants can visit here.