Tuesday, 26 July 2022 11:35

Invest in digital academies and programs to address tech skill gap, RMIT University research says


A new report by RMIT University funded by the Victorian State Government recommends the establishment of digital academies and programs to address tech skills gap brought by the pandemic in context of developing Melbourne as a digital central business district.

“We are more vulnerable than ever to cyber security attacks as the new environments we study and work in demand unprecedented agility and precaution from us,” RMIT University centre for cyber security research and innovation director professor Matt Warren said.

“For Melbourne to become a digital central business district (CBD), we need to enhance our collective understanding of the digital skills shortages among professionals – an important first step on the path toward global excellence, for the state of Victoria,” Warren added.

“Ensuring Melbourne transforms into a digital leader for cities around the world is a thrilling aspiration.”

“In Australia, one in three workers lacks basic digital skills, indicating that a substantial number of workers need reskilling or upskilling,” report co-author Dr Ahmad Saleh Sahraki noted.

The RMIT report also surveyed digital professionals including ICT & cyber professionals working in Greater Melbourne to provide further insight into current skills shortages.

“Although over 60% of respondents indicated that there has been an increase in the number of cyber security staff compared to three years ago, only a quarter of respondents believe that they currently have enough cyber security professionals working in their organisation,” Dr Sahraki stated.

In addition to this, less than 15% of workers in the cyber security industry are women, making it the industry with the biggest gender gap.

The Digital Skills and Cyber Security: How do we secure our future report lists the following recommendations:

Establish a Victorian Digital Skills Academy
Establish an Australian Cyber Security Accreditation Body and an Australian Cyber Security Body of Knowledge
Create a comprehensive ICT and Cyber Security Diversity Action Plan for Victoria;
Increase skilled migration to aid Victoria’s recovery
Invest in innovative school programs highlighting the skills required in a digital economy
Create a program to increase the awareness of digital technologies and the need to upskill digital skills within the Melbourne CBD.

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