Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Australia’s Digital Pulse

Greetings from Parliament House in Canberra, where Michael Keenan, Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Digital Transformation, launched the Australian Computer Society's Digital Pulse Report. Mr Keenan pointed out that IT was a global industry and taxes needed to be low or companies would move elsewhere. He also mentioned the government was changing IT procurement to allow smaller companies to tender. Interestingly, the report was prepared by Deloitte with help from LinkedIn:
"With domestic graduates from ICT degrees still below 5,000 a year, the only way we’ll reach workforce targets is by importing labour, much as we’ve done for the past five years. We need more ICT workers with skills in artificial intelligence,
data science, cyber and blockchain, and filling these positions with migrants suggests a missed opportunity to provide rewarding employment for the next generation of Australian workers. Further, our existing workforce has diversity issues: only 28% of ICT workers are women and only 12% are over 55, compared with 45% and 15% in all professional industries respectively."
From "ACS Australia’s Digital Pulse",  Deloitte and ACS, 27 June 2018
My colleagues at ANU are teaching artificial intelligence, data science, cyber security and blockchain. The diversity issue is one which will perhaps be addressed by changes in university programs generally, and STEM ones in particular, to include more work relevant skills. This sees computer professionals having to learn people skills, and as a byproduct makes the courses more inclusive.

ps: I was last at Parliament House on 4 June to speak to the Senate Committee on the Future of Work and Workers. I suggested changes to the education system to better address changes due to technology.

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