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Academy Xi Blog

10 digital skills to power-up your career for 2022

By Academy Xi

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Following a year of rising demand for online goods and services, the digital revolution is set to move into 2022. Are you ready to play your part? Power-up your career with in-demand digital skills.

Group sitting at desk working behind computer

The ‘Great Resignation’ has created a seismic shift towards staff with a digital skillset, with 87% of Australian jobs now asking for digital literacy skills and 61% of the nation’s total future training needs assessed as being digital. These are the roles Australia needs to fill, and luckily, these are the roles lots of us want.

With the demand for digital skills heavily outweighing supply, there’s never been a better time to get ahead of the curve, sharpen your digital skills and start a new year’s revolution.

We’ve put together a list of 10 digital skills destined to be in high demand, helping you plan your next move and power-up your job prospects for 2022.

1. User Experience Design

What is User Experience Design?

User Experience (UX) aims to improve all aspects of an end user’s interaction with a company, its services and products.

As a UX Designer, you examine each and every element that marketing, selling and using a product or service entails. You optimise how easy and pleasing it is for a user to complete their desired tasks and use a product or service to good effect. This could include anything from how it feels to ride a racing bike, to how straightforward the purchase process is when buying that bike online.

Your ultimate goal as a UX Designer is to create easy, efficient, relevant and all-round enjoyable experiences for the user, mostly in the digital space.

2. User Interface Design

What is User Interface Design?

UX and User Interface (UI) often go hand-in-hand. UI is all about the actual interface of a product, including the visual design of the screens a user moves through when using a mobile app, or the buttons they click when browsing a website, making that bike purchase dynamic, efficient and a strong aesthetic representation of a brand.

As a UI designer, you’ll create all the visual and interactive elements of a product interface, covering everything from typography, colour palettes and page layouts, to animated features and navigational touch points (including buttons and scrollbars).

Demand for User Experience and User Interface

With so many products and services now being delivered online, the year ahead is expected to see surging demand for skilled UX and UI designers, with roles increasing by 12.3% in the next five years. The current average salary of a UX UI designer is $110,000.

If you’re ready to add a UX UI Design dimension to your career, explore Academy Xi course options.

3. Software Engineering

What is Software Engineering?

Software Engineers design and implement a set of instructions or programs that tell a computer what to do. It’s independent of hardware and makes computers programmable. There are three basic forms of software:

  • System Software facilitates core functions, such as operating systems, disk management, utilities, hardware management and operational necessities.
  • Programming Software offers programmers tools such as text editors, compilers, linkers and debuggers, all used to create code.
  • Application software (or apps) helps users perform tasks. Professional productivity suites, cyber security, data management software and media players are all widely worked with by Software Engineers. Application Software also works with web apps, is used to shop online, socialise with Facebook or share pictures on Instagram.

As well as distinguishing a company from its competitors, Software Engineering means you can improve the client’s experiences, bring more feature-rich and innovative products to market, and make digital setups more safe, productive, and efficient.

Demand for Software Engineering

Making a vital all round contribution, there are currently over 7000 Australian Software Engineer roles offering an average salary of nearly $100,000.

If you believe Software Engineering can drive your career in 2022, check out our course options.

4. Artificial Intelligence

What is Artificial Intelligence?

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a broad form of computer science that focuses on designing and building smart machines and software capable of performing tasks that typically require human intelligence (be careful not to make too much progress – you might find yourself out of the job).

Though it seems far-fetched, AI is embedded into our everyday lives, enabling your car to park itself and Alexa to play your entrance music as soon as you walk through the door. Once you’ve vaulted onto the couch, Netflix can recommend a sci-fi movie based on your tastes (Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines. Too scary? Netflix suggests Wall-E instead).

Demand for Artificial Intelligence

Given the increasing sophistication of the programs and machines we’re capable of creating, Artificial Intelligence is certain to grow exponentially for decades to come.

If you want to understand the history of AI and how it’s being applied commercially in the here and now, find out more in this IBM report.

There are over 1500 AI related roles advertised on the Australian jobs market (LinkedIn, 2021), while the average salary is $111,000 (Payscale, 2021).

Machine using a computer

5. Machine Learning

What is Machine Learning?

Machine Learning is a branch of Artificial Intelligence concerned with using data and algorithms to imitate the way that humans learn, slowly but surely improving AI’s accuracy.

Often processing ‘big data’, algorithms are trained to respond to statistics and make classifications or predictions, uncovering key data insights.

You can use Machine Learning insights to make intelligent, strategic decisions about how applications and businesses operate, ideally generating an upturn in a company’s most important metrics.

Demand for Machine Learning

As the ability to handle and harness big data continues to improve, the demand for data scientists with a Machine Learning skillset will only increase.

The value of the global Machine Learning market is projected to reach $117 billion by 2027, at a growth rate of 39.2% over the next 6 years.

The average Machine Learning Engineer salary is over $133,000 with 1300 roles currently up for grabs in Australia.

6. Python Programming

What is Python Programming?

Python is a computer programming language often used to build websites and software, automate tasks, and perform data analysis. Python is a general purpose coding language and isn’t specialised for solving any specific problems, meaning it can be used to create a variety of different programs.

Programming image on phone

You can use Python Programming on different platforms (including Windows, Mac, Linux, Raspberry Pi) and will find it has a simple syntax, similar to the English language, that allows you to write and develop programs with fewer lines.

As a Python Programmer, you can write code that connects database systems, reads and modifies files, handles big data and performs complex mathematics. Because of its simplicity, Python is often used for rapid prototyping and software development.

Demand for Python Programming

According to a Developer Survey by StackOverflow, Python has been one of the most in-demand technologies throughout 2021, with the need for Python Programmers set to grow in 2022.

Over 7000 programming roles demanding Python skills are available in Australia, with salaries topping out at $200,000.

If you want to add Python to your programming skillset, check out our Data Analytics courses.

7. Structured Query Language

What is Structured Query Language?

Structured Query Language (SQL) is a standard programming language for relational databases. It’s the most widely used database language and is often thought of as a Data Analyst’s best friend.

Because SQL is so frequently applied, knowing how to use it is extremely valuable if you want to be involved in computer programming, or even use databases to collect and organise information more expansively and efficiently.

SQL works like a spreadsheet, a bit like Microsoft Excel, but can help you compile and manage data in much greater volumes, seamlessly merging millions, or even billions, of cells of data.

Demand for SQL

There are currently over 12000 roles in Australia that require the use of SQL skills in part and over 3,000 developer roles that work with SQL specifically. The average SQL developer salary in Australia is over $103,000.

If you want to put SQL to work, take a look at our Data Analytics courses.

8. Augmented Reality

What is Augmented Reality?

Augmented reality is the end result of using technology and digital programming to superimpose information, in the form of sounds, images and text, onto the world we experience.

Picture the lazy genius Tony Stark in Ironman and his interactive holograms mapping out the world’s contents, all of which he can rearrange and manipulate whilst hardly moving a muscle.

In more realistic terms, phones and tablets are how augmented reality features in most people’s lives. You can use Vito Technology’s Star Walk app by pointing the camera on your mobile device at the sky and see the names of stars and planets superimposed on the image.

Another app called Layar uses your smartphone’s GPS and camera to gather information about your surroundings. It then overlays information on the image about nearby restaurants, shops and points of interest. There’s endless potential for what you can do with Augmented Reality.

Demand for Augmented Reality

Working with Augmented Reality is an exciting job prospect, but it’s a tech field that’s still relatively niche. That said, it is growing quickly, with demand for AR talent rising by an incredible 1400% over the past year.

There are around 100 roles that work directly with Augmented Reality in Australia at the moment, although many more draw on its principles.

For the lucky few, you can expect to earn between $100-150,000. If you save hard and push your AR skills, you might even develop your own Ironman suit and never walk from the sofa to the fridge again.

9. Data Science and Data Analytics

What are Data Science and Data Analytics?

While Data Science is all about finding meaningful correlations between large datasets, Data Analytics is designed to delve into the specifics of extracted insights.

Simply put, Data Analytics is a branch of Data Science that finds specific answers to the questions that Data Science raises.

As a Data Analyst, you gather, clean and examine data, using it to solve all kinds of problems and help a business or organisation make better decisions.

You often apply four core forms of Data Analysis: descriptive analysis will tell you what happened, diagnostic analysis will tell you why it happened, predictive analysis will form projections about the future, and prescriptive analysis will generate actionable solutions.

Demand for Data Science and Data Analytics

Data science and analytics is forecast to grow by 27% in the next five years, with more and more roles set to appear in Australia.

The average salary for a Data Analyst is over $104,000, while even entry-level roles earn an average of more than $90,000. With well over 16000 Data Analyst jobs available in Australia, it’s definitely a career worth pursuing.

If you’re ready to drive your operation forward with Data Analysis, take a look at our Data Analytics courses.

Woman working on screen of data

10. Cyber Security

What is Cyber Security?

Cyber Security is the process of protecting systems, networks, and programs from digital attacks. Cyber attacks are usually carried out to access, change or destroy sensitive information. They also often entail extorting money from people or businesses, or interrupting normal business processes.

Implementing effective Cyber Security measures is especially challenging in today’s world because there are more devices than people, while attackers are becoming evermore innovative in their methods.

As a Cyber Security professional, your job description will typically entail installing firewall and encryption tools, reporting breaches or weak spots, researching cyber attack trends, educating the rest of the company on security, or even simulating security attacks to identify potential vulnerabilities.

Demand for Cyber Security

The field of Cyber Security is always growing, with new trends, practices, technology and threats emerging each year. Global spending for the industry is projected to skyrocket by 88% and hit $270 billion US dollars by 2026.

According to the Australian Government’s own Cyber Security Strategy, ‘Australia is suffering from a Cyber Security skills shortage.’ This shortage provides a golden opportunity for people with Cyber Security skills, as according to Australian employment projections, demand for their capabilities will grow by at least 21% before May 2023.

There are nearly 2000 Cyber Security roles on offer in Australia right now, with an average salary of more than $115,000.

So there you have it, 10 digital skills that can help you power-up your career for the year ahead!

As well as vowing to self-improve by drinking more green juices, learning to play the banjo, or doing a couch-to-10K whilst playing that banjo in your Ironman suit, maybe it’s time to start a new year’s revolution. Think big and develop a digital skillset that gives you the strength and knowhow to push things forward for everyone’s benefit.

If you’re determined to start the new year with a bang, but still can’t decide which career path to take, chat to one of course advisors and discuss your options today.

Academy Xi offers a full range of digital skills courses, with real-world projects that lead to industry recognised qualifications.

We’re here to help you develop a skillset that enables you to build, move and improve in 2022.