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Academy Xi Blog

FinTech FrankieOne Fuel their Talent Pipeline

By Academy Xi

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“You need to be innovative in every area of your business – and talent acquisition is no exception” – Simon Costello, Co-Founder and CEO, FrankieOne

Simon Costello, whose onboarding and fraud-prevention platform FrankieOne attracts some of the best emerging tech talent, acknowledges the increasing need to draw in early-stage digital professionals. In a very tight digital and tech talent market, Costello believes that it is critical to build frameworks for junior talent to learn, develop and succeed.

For a fast-growing business like FrankieOne, having the right people is imperative. The past 18 months has seen the business bring on nearly 100 new clients across banking and fintechs, including the likes of Westpac and Afterpay, as well as various hyper-scaling international cryptocurrency companies and neobanks. Their recent Series A funding attracted $20 million and with new offices springing up internationally, their team will be on the hunt again for the right talent. In particular, Costello is on the lookout for more junior graduates who have the right blend of curiosity and technical know-how to support their broader business talent pipeline.

With Australia expected to need 6.5 million newly skilled and reskilled technology workers by 2025 (Amazon Web Services, 2021), many businesses are becoming more tactical with the who and why of hiring staff. One common obstacle the digital skills shortage presents is the inability to secure experienced mid-senior digital personnel. Hiring experienced people is becoming increasingly challenging, as demand for digital talent continues to rise beyond the supply of skilled people.

It was in this context that Simon pursued a previously unexplored pathway – recruiting new graduate talent. When searching for a UX Designer to join the team, he came across Jerry Tian, a recent graduate of Academy Xi’s UX UI Design Transform course. Given that customer experience is at the very heart of the FrankieOne brand, finding the right designer was an important decision.

“After landing on Jerry in the recruitment process, he came in to work with us for a week for a paid trial. It was evident by the end of the first day that we wanted to have Jerry on board… That ended up being a fantastic decision.” – Simon Costello, Co-Founder and CEO, FrankieOne.

Jerry quickly stepped into the role, excelled and has taken ownership despite only having been with the company less than 9 months. “He has now become almost a Product Owner in one particular area”, Simon reports. “[His role] requires a combination of technical know-how and deep understanding of the customer.

Jerry himself is pleased with the professional progress he has made since starting with FrankieOne. Although regarded as a junior initially, he felt well equipped to make the transition from his Academy Xi course into the real world.

“Whilst working on one of the client projects as part of the Academy Xi Transform course, I had the opportunity to work with the client’s development team. It gave me valuable experience because, every day here at FrankieOne, I am working with developers, business analysts, product owners, product managers etc. It’s a team effort to get the kinds of products we create off the ground” – Jerry Tian, Product (UX/UI) Designer, FrankieOne.

His advice to anyone looking to start a career in UX UI Design is to consider what kind of company they see themselves being a part of. Jerry observes “agile start-ups, corporates, government – they all have very different ways of operating … my current role now goes beyond what a UX UI Designer does – which is great because you get to learn and do a variety of tasks.”

As the technology skills gap continues to widen, those businesses that are creative and adaptable will drive their businesses forward. But the landscape is complex, with many factors in play, including skills shortages, digital transformation, disrupted business models and changing worker expectations.

Academy Xi Co-CEO Vincent Creighton acknowledges that the digital skills challenge, accelerated by COVID, has forced organisations to consider alternative approaches to securing, training and retaining critical digital talent.

“Jerry’s success story with FrankieOne is an excellent example of what motivates the Academy Xi team to continue supporting and enabling Australians to transition into digital careers successfully with great businesses like FrankieOne.”  – Vincent Creighton, Co-CEO, Academy Xi.

“Unsurprisingly, Academy Xi is experiencing an unprecedented demand for graduate talent and training programs that enable organisations to thrive in an increasingly digital world and attract and retain digital talent in a competitive market.”, he continues.

Businesses like FrankieOne will likely continue to work with recruiters. However, they may also choose to explore internal employee training programs and external talent pipeline initiatives to understand how they can access the best graduate pools. The environment we are currently working within is serving as an ongoing lesson in the benefits of agile talent management.

“Hiring Jerry has certainly changed our perception on hiring a junior straight out of a UX & UI course. We actually have a lot of senior individuals at FrankieOne but from the experience with Academy Xi, we are open to taking on more individuals out of Academy Xi to fuel our talent pipeline.” – Simon Costello, Co-Founder and CEO, FrankieOne.

If your business is struggling to plug the digital skills gaps, Academy Xi is here to help. See how we’ve helped organisations transform their workforce, source exceptional external talent and get priority access to people with exceptional skills working in design, tech, data, business and digital solutions. Get in touch with us today.
5 Product Management Experts

Academy Xi Blog

Why Product Management is having a moment right now

By Academy Xi

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We asked a group of talented product specialists for their take on why 2021 saw product management continue to gain momentum in business.

Key themes include: 

  • Kinesthetic learning
  • Storytelling
  • Product Management role ‘archetypes’
  • Problem definition and articulation
  • Hiring strategies
  • Good humour

Anton Stout – Senior Product Designer, Myer

Anton is also a Founder of Clue Group which creates tools and strategies to support Experience Designers.

There has been a huge spike in the demand for product management in recent years. How would you describe the trajectory it is on?

It’s certainly a busy time for Product Managers, and it’s not likely to change soon as the demand for digital offerings has increased. For business, it’s simply been a question of survival. If they never had a digital presence or operated under a lackluster digital strategy, lockdowns have changed all that.

It goes without saying those already invested in digital saw a significant uptick in demand through digital channels, putting downward pressure on team capacity as backlogs started to fill up.

The rapid hiring of digital talent has seen teams balloon, calling on greater people management skills. This lands squarely at the feet of the Product Manager.

What are the three most valuable skills any Product Manager can have?

First, it’s all about the people. Without a doubt, your most important skill is communication. Communicating clearly and frequently in terms of performance, bottlenecks, and workarounds to key stakeholders and equally co-ordinating and keeping the team focused on the right tasks is critical.

Second, lean heavily on your area of expertise. Those with design, engineering, architect, etc backgrounds will definitely find traction with team members that occupy those disciplines. It’s important to determine if the gravitas of the team’s challenges marry well to your area of expertise if you want to better guide team outcomes.

Third, release the pressure valve. It’s not all about hard business skills. Good humor is a hidden superpower of great Product Managers. You need to let go and inject a few laughs into the process, knowing when and how to do that brings and keeps the team closer together is often an unrecognized talent.

Imagine you have been charged with growing the product management function of your business from scratch. What’s the first thing you do?

Make sure you have the right team for the job. If you have the opportunity, hit your network if you need a solid team, if the Job/Position Descriptions haven’t been written, ask yourself, who do I need that has done this (and done this well) already. While controversial, I’d want to know the hiring strategy and the skills/talent match based on the OKRs/desired project outcomes.

Performance is completely based on the team capability, if you don’t have a fortified cross-functional team, a clear resourcing pipeline and if you suffer from any team attrition you’re going to be underperforming.

Lai’i Dowsett – Senior Consultant, Product Development (previously Tesla, Apple)

La’i loves building new things. After graduating college in Boston and working in Silicon Valley, she returned to work in Australia in 2018 to be close to her family.

There has been a huge spike in the demand for product management in recent years. How would you describe the trajectory it is on?

Absolutely. And with this demand being driven by the pace of technology, increasing customer expectations and competition, businesses (tech & non-tech) realise their continued success will depend on building a more dynamic (broad and deep) level of ‘integrated competence’ and collaboration. Businesses don’t necessarily have the same luxury of time when it comes to R&D and launching new products to market. They need to test & learn quickly. As products and services become more sophisticated, the way we work, self-organise, and deliver value to customers has also had to evolve; a sharper operating rhythm and rapid adaptability to change is required to thrive. (Cue product management.)

I think there’s still a lot of change ahead with various PM role ‘archetypes’ evolving from different business’ needs (i.e. having a technical, strategic, and/or execution/delivery slant). This presents a lot of opportunity for people from diverse backgrounds to enter the Product space; customer support, marketing, and engineering are just a few functions that people can make natural pivots from.

What are the three most valuable skills any Product Manager can have?

First, communication. Articulating ideas and problems for different audiences, but also being able to collaborate with a diverse set of stakeholders. It’s important that a PM has the ability to move between strategic discussions and then quickly pivot and dive into detailed product work. Because PM is a fast-paced, multifaceted discipline, I’d say this is an underrated and very important skill.

Second, adaptability to change. Having a level of resilience, stick-with-it-ness and adaptability to change in the face of ambiguity is important. I think this is something learnt through exposure, being thrown in the deep-end, or being responsible for avoiding failure at all costs. As a result, exposing yourself to new environments/projects as frequently as possible could be a good start.

Third, problem solving. There will be many things you don’t know the answer to – but the job of a PM isn’t to know everything – it’s to know the questions to ask, and to strategise, prioritise and drive outcomes. A willingness to learn, genuine curiosity, and an appetite for wearing multiple hats/leaning into being a multi-faceted contributor is important.

Imagine you have been charged with growing the product management function of your business from scratch. What’s the first thing you do?

Once the problem you’re solving for and opportunity have been shaped, making a few initial, intentional technical/product hires is key (Tech lead, Engineering, Design). These will look very different depending on the problem you’re solving/product you’re building. However, finding a small founding team who can wear multiple hats is the starting point.

It comes down to this: when you don’t know the answers, you want to be in a room with people who 1) know the questions to ask, 2) have the perseverance and adaptability to change to keep breeze in the sail, and are 3) resourceful, curious, and reliable team players.

Zeke Condon – Business, Innovation & Product Consultant, Director & Founder, Telos PM

Zeke’s business, Telos PM, sees him launch media, & web mobile applications, deliver product go-to-market campaigns & consult on organisational-wide product transformation programs.

There has been a huge spike in the demand for product management in recent years. How would you describe the trajectory it is on?

Would you like to buy Tickets for a Rocketship anybody?

The joke at the beginning of the work-from-home was “Q: So who was responsible for driving your digital transformation? CEO, CTO, CIO, CPO? A: the global pandemic”. And it’s true. There has been more digital change in the past two years than any forecast x10 would ever have predicted. But the thing is, most of the corporations out there adopted existing technology – both for servicing their internal and their external facing customers.

Now that all of those businesses are coming out of lockdown, confidence is increasing and companies are realising the need to customise on top of the technology they have adopted, or are now in a much better state of digital readiness that they are ready to bring forward their big hairy audacious innovation goals. Likewise, consumers’ digital readiness is through the roof. Simple adoption trends like the humble QR code are opening up new markets for product interactions that were previously reserved for early adopting markets.

With all of this tech and innovation comes more competition, and then the new wave of understanding, adoption, and adoption of better product development and management principles. Someone has to drive all that change and product management is finally moving from niche tech companies to mainstream industry. Read more about the Product job market in The Enormous Growth of Product Management.

What are the three most valuable skills any Product Manager can have?

First, kinesthetic learning. It’s one thing to read or hear about something, but doing something yourself. It creates an entirely different mindset & set of insights that a product manager can product, plus it sets you up for the next skill.

Second, storytelling. It’s impossible to know every single data point and trend, let alone piece that all together into a coherent statement. There’s just not enough time. A PM who can instead tell a story about a customer experience, an observation of a trend in the market or articulate the patterns that make certain technologies work over others is most likely to elicit imagery and free thinking in those they work with. This is about empowering the teams to build on top of ideas and make them even better.

Third, coaching & mentoring. PM is one of those roles that has a ‘manager’ title, but (normally) nothing they are responsible for… but you are accountable for the results… so influence is a big factor in the success. A great way to influence others is to start by coaching & mentoring, being the selfless leader, putting the people ahead of you and sharing what you know and learn freely. A good coaching PM can create an entire product without ever making a decision, just asking good questions, listening deeply & intently to those around them.

Imagine you have been charged with growing the product management function of your business from scratch. What’s the first thing you do?

Invite the whole team to a full day treasure hunt somewhere in the city. There is no map, there are no instructions, there is no clear goal. They can’t ask me for advice or tips because I technically don’t exist, nobody knows what they are looking for and nobody tells them what tools they can use. All they get is a vague but powerful vision statement that tells the people who participate that at the end of the day everyone will be better off.

Then watch that team learn all about what it means to really understand what it means to be a team that is flying blind towards a vision.

Luke Hymers – Chief of Staff to CEO, Baraja

Luke leads executive, product and engineering operations at Baraja, a rapidly growing start-up which makes self-driving car technology.

There has been a huge spike in the demand for product management in recent years. How would you describe the trajectory it is on?

I think the perpetual trend is just masses of new product companies popping up solving old problems better with new tech. There is also greater appreciation for the mindset shift from one-dimensional focus to more ‘product thinking’ focused on value creation and outcomes for customers and the business. Increasingly you’re seeing this shift in functional/operational areas where the customer is the business but hasn’t been thought of that way before. In short, more people in more places are starting to think of more things “as a product” with an aim to inspire more innovation and impact.

What are the three most valuable skills any Product Manager can have?

Good product managers need to analyse, synthesize and define. They seek to understand the situation from all angles and can consolidate information to create coherent insight, clear vision, strategic narrative and focused direction. Those building blocks help determine the necessary decision points – what is priority, what is contentious, what needs to be communicated and what needs to be resolved. PM’s must also be exceptional communicators and ‘wood-chopping, water carrying’ leaders for their teams. But perhaps the most important role is simply being those eyes that see, distill and influence things across the business. Few roles have as broad and deep exposure as PM’s.

Imagine you have been charged with growing the product management function of your business from scratch. What’s the first thing you do?

One of my favourite pieces from MIT says that problem definition is ‘the most underrated skill in management’. Before you do anything or build anything, you need to deeply understand and articulate the problem(s) you’re trying to solve and know that they’re commercially meaningful enough to even need a product or product team! Paraphrasing Des Traynor – small, rare problems don’t make good foundations for products. There’s then the ‘plumbing’ which is critical to building impactful, motivated teams – you need to set clear strategic context. Marty Cagan’s new book ‘Empowered’ outlines a good framework for this: purpose, vision, strategy, KPIs/scorecard, measurable objectives, team ‘topography’ (structures, process and rhythms) – those are the guardrails which enable people to effectively focus on, explore and solve the right problems.

Tiffany McHugh – Head of Product (Learning), Academy Xi

Tiffany heads up Academy Xi’s Product function which is responsible for delivering cutting-edge, employment-driven learning experiences.

There has been a huge spike in the demand for product management in recent years. How would you describe the trajectory it is on?

Due to the global impact of COVID, digital transformation became a matter of survival for many companies. The rise in popularity of product management accompanies and facilitates these necessary and important digital changes. There is a growing need for skilled professionals who can drive rapid development of new products and services to meet the demands of established and new digital industries and tech-savvy customers.

At Academy Xi, we have seen a significant uplift in interest in studying Product Management. We’ve also noticed an increase in hiring partners looking for PM graduates, and we have observed a variety of tech-adjacent roles adding PM skills into their hiring mix. “Help! I can’t find good tech talent” is a good read which outlines the demand in the current job market. We expect this trend will continue for many years to come, and believe that the diverse commercial, strategic and technical skills that underpin product management are beneficial for many digital professionals, not just those titled as “Product Manager”. Check out our Product Management Elevate course.

What are the three most valuable skills any Product Manager can have?

First, analytical/strategic. Skilled at unearthing the “real problems” and opportunities. Second, pragmatic. Balancing the needs of the customer with the needs of the business. Third, persuasive and personable. Possessing the diplomacy to take on many (sometimes competing) perspectives, the capacity to understand the technical difficulties involved, and to motivate a team with a range of challenges towards a single unified outcome.

Imagine you have been charged with growing the product management function of your business from scratch. What’s the first thing you do?

First, understand the organisation’s digital strategy moving forward. Without a clear overarching mission, vision and strategic plan, product initiatives may remain unfocussed. It’s important to know what values most heavily influence business and product decisions. Cheapest, fastest, biggest, best? Know your company values and priorities.

Next it’s important to understand the capacity, skill and technical constraints of your teams from the outset. A product will only be as successful as the contributors that built, sold and supported it, so understand the capabilities that exist now, and the gaps that may need to be filled so you can find the right people to build the right products to meet the company’s goals.

Product Management can certainly occur in smaller companies without a dedicated product manager; cross-functional teams with good management (and a project owner) who collectively understand PM methodology can collaborate towards a unified goal. But as the business and projects scale up and evolve more rapidly, it makes sense to embed a PM professional (or more) to formalise and organise these collaborations. Better still, give your key people core product management training to allow them to practice key product planning moments in a safe environment. As to whether these teams follow agile ceremonies or formal PM processes will entirely depend on the nature of the work and organisation. As with any methodology, it is best to pick and choose the elements that suit the context of the business. It’s about overriding ‘business as usual’ thinking and not every tool and method in the PM textbook will be relevant in every business.

Want your business to harness a ‘product mindset’ to better solve problems? Why not give your key people a strong foundation in Product training?

Get in touch with us.

Group sitting at desk working behind computer

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.

Student Spotlight: Sitara Ramakrishnan

Academy Xi Blog

Student Spotlight: Sitara Ramakrishnan

By Academy Xi

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Meet Academy Xi graduate and Customer Experience Measurement Advisor at iCare NSW, Sitara Ramakrishnan! 

DJ turned CX professional Sitara took not one but two of our courses this year. Here, Sitara tells her story and talks about reaffirming her passion for Service Design, as well as her overall course experience.

Student Spotlight: Sitara Ramakrishnan

Hi Sitara, which course did you study with Academy Xi?

I studied both the Service Design Elevate and User Experience (UX) Foundations courses! I finished both my courses at the end of June 2021.

Were you studying or working in a related field or something completely different?

I’m currently working in Customer Experience Measurement at iCare NSW, with our broader team consisting of Customer Advocates, CX Designers & Analysts.

What prompted you to study this course?

After working in CX for over a year alongside talented Design practitioners, I was really drawn to the processes, unique opportunities and genuine social impact delivered through Service Design. I believed I had the capability and potential to excel in this field, once I had a stronger grasp of the methodologies, techniques and ways of thinking that underpin design. Curating and crafting my own design portfolio to help solve the social issues I’m most passionate about has been a great experience.

Why did you choose to study with Xi?

The course structure was the main reason I chose Xi – it mixes theory in a clear and succinct fashion, continuous practical application of project work and ongoing collaboration with our classmates and mentors. The fact that we move through the entire end-to-end design process in a rapid yet structured fashion with weekly outputs was a huge bonus. It allowed me to clearly see the evolution of my project over time before the final showcase.

Highlight of your training?

The moment I completed and submitted my final state blueprint it felt like such an achievement and something I never would’ve known how to do, visualise and communicate in the way that I do now. Seeing the service organically progress through every part of the design process was so eye-opening and fulfilling. And lastly, being able to showcase my project and all my learnings with my fellow classmates was also a major highlight!

“The moment I completed and submitted my final state blueprint it felt like such an achievement and something I never would’ve known how to do– Sitara Ramakrishnan

How did you find the online learning experience?

The online nature of the course is great. The content is presented and articulated in a very clear, insightful and thought-provoking way. The ability to connect with classmates from any corner of Australia by interacting with their weekly outputs, queries and comments alongside our fortnightly classes made it much easier to stay connected and learn from others.

Did your training with Xi assist you with a new career path or job change?

Absolutely! The course has reaffirmed my passion, confidence and capability in Service Design as the next step for me. I’m grateful to be working for an organisation that is supportive of my career development and objectives to help me achieve this.

Do you have a mentor now or are you planning on finding one?

Throughout my course and afterwards, I’ve been lucky enough to receive mentorship from a talented CX Designer at my work to help reach my full potential. My mentor has been instrumental in further elevating my knowledge and skillset with weekly advice and feedback on the various artefacts I produced or tested with them.