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Academy Xi Blog

Community Spotlight: Luke Lewandowski

By Academy Xi

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Co-founder Luke discusses how ParentalEQ is helping improve the mental health of parents across Australia and the UK.

At ParentalEQ, co-founder Luke Lewandowski and the team are hard at work providing a service that helps build emotionally strong families. A few of our Software Engineering students got to work on the app with Luke, gaining valuable insight into how real developers think and build.

Thanks for chatting today, Luke. Can you tell us about the service ParentalEQ provides?

ParentalEQ is an on-demand counselling service designed to help with the challenges of parenting. Parents can log on to our app anywhere, anytime and start a conversation with a counsellor without needing to make an appointment.

We worked with a team of psychologists and put together simplified, practical parenting knowledge that’s delivered in specific modules. The modules come with suggested activities that parents can carry out with their kids.

Initially we offered just the self-help modules, but early in 2021 we realised that parents also wanted to access a mental healthcare professional for personal guidance and reassurance that everything is going to be okay. That’s when we introduced on-demand counselling, which has really rounded off the service we’re able to offer.

Whatever a parent’s challenge might be, we aim to provide professional advice and relationship-building activities that help them move beyond it.

Was there a ‘turning point’ or moment when you realised the importance of ParentalEQ?

There certainly was. Very early in the project we discovered 50% of adult mental health issues actually stem from traumatic experiences that occur when people are aged 14 and under. That was definitely a ‘woah’ moment for me and my co-founders – it really spurred us on and reaffirmed our sense of purpose.

We wanted to find a solution to the accessibility problem and realised that if parents are able to receive qualified healthcare assistance in good time, they can prevent these issues from escalating and becoming a chain reaction of problems as kids move through adolescence into adulthood.

When the project started, pre-covid, the wait time for psychologists was about 30 days. Since the start of the lockdown, that period’s increased to a number of months. Lots of the clinics aren’t taking on new patients right now and probably won’t for the rest of the year. It’s creating a second pandemic of unresolved mental health problems.

Helping families to recover from the stresses and strains of the lockdown environment is going to be a long-term fix. The ParentalEQ app will hopefully play an important role in that process. Our ultimate goal is to make a high standard of mental healthcare accessible to as many people as possible, exactly when they need it

ParentalEQ is an on-demand access to parent-science experts and personalised programs. It is available in the App Store and Play Store.

Why did you choose to bring our Software Engineering students into the project?

I actually brought Academy Xi students on board to help develop a few of my previous projects. The results have always been great. Once the ParentalEQ project reached a certain point in its development, I decided to get some of the Software Engineering students involved. They were joined by some of the Academy Xi UX UI students and everybody worked together beautifully. 

There was lots to be done, so the engineering help was valuable and it gave the students the experience they needed to launch their careers. The students take a leap of faith in their own abilities and it can lead to a total career transformation – from a taxi driver yesterday to a software developer tomorrow.

Four students stepped into the project and the assignments they completed are not throw-away – it’s been something to put on their CVs, show to prospective employers and say “look, I helped develop this product.”

It was a partnership that worked out nicely – the Software Engineering students helped us improve a product that’s on the market and they were able to showcase their contribution to that product in interviews. For everyone involved, it was a win-win scenario.

How did you find working with our students?

What I appreciate most about working with Academy Xi students is they arrive from different walks of life. They're all mature adults that have lived full lives, but have decided to try something different and change careers. They are open-minded and work hard to get there.

Luke Lewandowski

I also find the Academy Xi students are like sponges in how they collaborate – they really want to learn as much as possible and are completely open to discovering a more effective way of doing things.

Completing the Software Engineering course asks the students to develop a range of new skills quite quickly – so it’s my responsibility as an experienced coder and software developer to show them how to apply those new skills. They arrive with a toolbox of Software Engineering skills and I show them what work to do with what tools, which really crystallises their development.

I was also very impressed with how the students worked as a team. They arrived from all walks of life, but really bonded and supported each other. Those are vital characteristics to develop, because in the real-world you’ll be working in scrums with a number of professionals and getting things done collectively.

Would you consider working with Academy Xi students for future projects?

Absolutely – it worked perfectly, but at the moment I’m carrying out most of the development work myself. That said, I’d be up for doing something similar in the future. It’s the perfect environment for the students to apply everything they’ve learned, and they also learn some completely new skills at the same time.

I really enjoy the mentoring role the student projects place me in. The students were applying for jobs parallel to completing the assignment, so I also gave them non-technical guidance by helping them polish-up their CVs and prepare for interviews.

It wasn’t just a transactional arrangement of ‘you complete this task and then you’ll graduate’. I dedicated time to giving the students additional mentoring and did everything I could to ready them for that shift into the Software Engineering industry.

That’s wonderful to hear, Luke – thanks! We’ll look forward to working with you again soon and we’ll also keep an eye on the ParentalEQ app. It’s a service that makes a huge difference for all the families using it and we’re proud to be involved!

Make an impact in the tech industry and the wider world with our Software Engineering: Transform course. Designed by tech experts and professionals, this course will have you thinking and building like an industry-ready Software Engineer.

Finish the course by completing a capstone project that puts all of your new coding skills to test. You’ll showcase your project to industry professionals, receive expert feedback and build connections in the Software Engineering space, giving you everything you need to transition into one of Australia’s hottest tech industries.

Blog - Kanako Chapman (1000 x 563)

Academy Xi Blog

Student Spotlight: Kanako Chapman

By Academy Xi

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After 14 years in accounting, Kanako upskilled and moved internally into a new data analysis role that she’s really passionate about.

Blog - Kanako Chapman (1000 x 563)

Kanako is a recent graduate of our Data Analytics: Elevate course. Read on to find out about Kanako’s Academy Xi experience and how she managed to land an exciting new role auditing and analysing data in her company’s cost control department.

Thanks for taking the time to chat with us today, Kanako. Can you tell us about your career history?

I’ve been working in the same company for the last 14 years, mainly as an accountant. It’s a large construction company and most of its contracts are big projects for the state government, including bridges and roads.

I was a senior accountant in charge of management reporting and my main KPIs focused on management reporting and auditing the data entered by other staff members in the company. I thought my role would benefit from advanced data analytics skills. I’m a very analytical person with a high attention to detail and wanted to make those characteristics count in my career as much as possible.

A couple of years ago, I moved to another role as a reporting analyst. One of the main objectives of this role was to improve existing reporting processes.

Throughout my time in that role, I taught myself how to use Microsoft Power BI and also developed my capabilities working with Excel. I even managed to get a Microsoft certificate for Data Analyst Associate with Power BI and used advanced formulas and data modelling.

At that stage, I decided that learning programming would enable me to push more data into Power BI. My company uses Power BI quite a lot, so being able to code with Python and SQL seemed like a good way to maximise on the processes we regularly use.

Studying data analytics represented a win-win scenario, since it would either enable me to change careers, or it would improve the way I work in my current role. Developing data analysis skills would help with the tasks I already performed and make the work so much more interesting. Whatever the outcome, studying and getting qualified in data analytics only offered a huge upside.

How did you arrive at studying with Academy Xi?

First, I spent six months carefully researching courses of all levels offered by different providers. These included university master’s degrees, but the courses were two years long and took too long to complete. I even started doing a LinkedIn Learning course in programming while doing my research, but it didn’t really work out very well. I needed the guidance of a taught course.

I looked closely at a university-run six-month bootcamp, but then Academy Xi popped up in my Google searches. The Data Analytics: Elevate course is instructor-led, with live classes and applied projects, and takes only three months to complete, which was a perfect structure and timeframe for me.

When I spoke to the Academy Xi course advisor, she was super friendly and gave me honest advice. I got the impression that she wasn’t just someone trying to make a sale. It also helped that the price was competitive – but not so cheap that I questioned the quality of the product!

How did you find the course?

Honestly, at first I found it quite difficult, but I studied in the evenings and at the weekends and my confidence steadily grew. Also, the other students on the course were really helpful and supportive. A few of them already knew how to code and gave me lots of tips and advice that helped me develop quickly. When it came to SQL, I had quite a lot of experience dealing with tabular format data and was able to pay back the favour.

The first project was based on Python programming, which I didn’t have too much experience with and I found it really challenging. But by the second and final project, which was a linear regression model, I had had plenty of time to practice and was more comfortable with Python. We sourced data using SQL, cleansed it with Python and then programmed data visualisations. Once we’d built the linear regression model and visualisations, we analysed the statistics, handling and interpreting data from end-to-end.

I’m in my mid-forties and before studying with Academy Xi, I thought learning programming was only for young people. But I worked hard, picked up the skills and completed two big data analysis projects. By the end of the course, I was so pleased with my progress.

How did you find the experience of learning online?

I was used to working from home in a lockdown, so it was a familiar way of doing things. If we didn’t have that time in lockdown before, maybe it would have been a different experience for some of us. But everyone on the course seemed totally at ease with the concept of online learning and it was quite natural for all of us to be productive in an online environment.

Because we were in lockdown, I really enjoyed the social aspect of the course format. Everybody appreciated attending the classes, talking to one another and sharing ideas. Some of the other courses I looked at were pre-recorded and less interactive, but the Academy Xi course had live classes, which made a huge difference to the overall experience.

What were your highlights of the course?

Working in a cohort meant that even though I was studying online, I felt well connected. We all helped each other at different stages and developed some good working relationships. I connected with about half of the students on the course via LinkedIn and we’re still connected now, mostly keeping tabs on how everyone is progressing in their careers.

My course mentor, Jeffery, was super smart and really professional. When we were working on the larger project near the end of the course, Jeffery would stick around after the live sessions to answer any questions we had. I booked one-on-one sessions with him and he answered my questions and was also reachable at other times on Slack.

The quality of the course material was also very high and for me, one of the highlights of the course.

How has what you’ve learned helped you in your career?

I’m still at the same company, but it’s enabled me to transition into a new role and work on more interesting projects. I’ve moved out of accounting and into another department called cost control. It’s specific to construction and has to do with analysing company costs and auditing everybody’s financial processes. It’s much more analytical and I now have the chance to create more efficient and automated reporting processes using Power BI and the skills learnt throughout the course.

When I was interviewed for the cost control role, the interviewer was really impressed with what I’d studied at Academy Xi. The project was new and he was open to the possibility of using what I’d learned in data analytics to find new, more effective ways to do things as a department.

We work in Excel a lot and he felt that what I had learned with data analysis would help me optimise the Excel processes the company follows. I’m still working on improving those at the moment and there’s plenty of scope for future improvement.

What would you say to anyone interested in studying data analytics?

Truthfully, the Data Analytics: Elevate course is great and I would definitely recommend it to anyone interested. That said, there is a lot to learn in 12 weeks, so be prepared to put in the hours and work hard, if you want to get the most out of the course. 

On some level, I feel as though there might be even more value in what you learn about yourself than what it is you learn from the course content itself. I think it’s important to prove to yourself that you can do difficult things, that anything’s possible at any age.

Even at what seems like a later point in life, you can always learn new skills. Developing a new complicated skill set at this stage in my career has given me a massive confidence boost.

Kanako Chapman

What are your plans for the future, Kanako?

In the short term, I’ve started to teach myself how to write macros in Excel. Learning to work with Python has given me so much self-belief, so I’m feeling ultra confident and ready to develop any new skills my career needs.

At some point in the future, I might want to study data analysis to an even deeper level, but my job keeps me very busy and I’m really happy with what I’m doing right now. It’s a really great team and an interesting project that I’m now part of and I’m enjoying my day-to-day work more than ever.

Academy Xi Blog

Student Spotlight: Sanjay Jaya

By Academy Xi

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Jay landed on Australian shores with design experience, worked as a cook, but soon retrained to secure a dream UX UI Design role.

Ten minutes after his interview, Jay got an offer: a dream job that’s a product of his learning experience, hard work, self-belief, and a little help from our career support team. Read about Jay’s professional journey and how he navigated his career path in a new industry and a new country.

Thanks for taking the time to chat with us today, Jay. Could you tell us about your career history?

I worked in the User Interface space for about 7 or 8 years back in Singapore and had a successful career as a digital designer, photographer, and manager for micro social media influencers. I performed a bit of market research after I arrived in Australia and soon realised there are plenty of homegrown graphic designers and digital designers, and work is also outsourced to places like Indonesia.

I thought to myself, “I’ve got to find something new – what am I going to do?”.

My aunt works in Australian healthcare and said, “Jay, you’re smart, you’re empathetic and the patients would really benefit from someone like you – why don’t you get into nursing?”

I really wanted to do something that made sense to me. A lot of people go through the motions in their work with little awareness of what they’re doing and why. Eventually, I joined New South Wales Health as a cook (aka as a food service assistant) and worked with them for 2 years. They eventually offered me a full-time opportunity and in considering the offer I realised it was not the career for me. I felt I should follow my passion by retraining and going back to design work.

How did you go from that realisation to landing at Academy Xi’s door?

I was waiting for a bus going to work and overheard 2 guys talking about User Experience. It caught my attention and I missed the bus because I had a conversation with them. UX appealed to me because it was still in the field of design, but it was also something new to learn. One of the guys said, “I’ve heard really good things about Academy Xi, so you should definitely check them out.” I did my research and found UX was a hot market and that there were quite a few educators working with the discipline, but not all courses are built in the same way. For instance with another provider, it’s an immediate hands-on approach, but you don’t cover all the roles of UX. You might be picked to work as a competitor researcher on the client project and that’s all you do. It didn’t appeal because I wanted to work right through the discipline and develop a range of case studies to show off in my portfolio. A mentor from another institute mentioned they had come across lots of LinkedIn profiles for Academy Xi graduates who’d become really successful in the industry. That was very persuasive and I settled on a full-time UX UI Design course with Academy Xi.

How did the course measure up to your expectations?

Honestly, it was excellent, but it was a bit of a deep dive for me. During the first class, it seemed as though all of my classmates immediately went from 0-100, asking all kinds of interesting questions. The questions you ask show where you’re at with design thinking and I quickly realised that I needed to stay switched on.

By March last year, I had completed the first half of the course, but I had to drop out due to a Covid related personal emergency. I met with my Mentor and eventually the Head of Student Experience on Zoom and they were very supportive. The student support team offered to put me into a new intake once I’d returned. I stopped studying and decided to join a later intake.

In July, I went back and joined a new cohort. Learning UX was still challenging, but I was able to reach out to a few of the other students and give them some tips and feedback because of my prior experience. One of the wonderful things about studying at Academy Xi is that people arrive from all different backgrounds. I used to be a designer, so I’m accustomed to design thinking, but it’s so inspiring when you meet someone with zero experience in the field, like an ex-builder, who displays an advanced capacity for design thinking.

Everybody had their own working style. Some people wanted to meet on Zoom to define everything before we started, and some of us wanted to get stuck into the project and figure things out as we went. Working in the design scrums introduced me to people I would never have met otherwise – I developed some great friendships.

Can you tell us about the projects you worked on?

We worked on three projects – one personal and two for real-world clients. For the personal project, I picked something close to my own heart – renting. Reaching out to my property manager can be tough, so I decided to explore that problem space. I think having my mentor Hayden’s advice was really crucial. Initially, I wanted to focus on the experiences of renters, but Hayden said “go and speak to the property agents and landlords and see what they want – make sure you design a product both sides can use.”

For the two client projects, I worked with a mental health app and an onboarding experience for a wedding photographer recruitment company. Both were brilliant, but I particularly enjoyed working on the mental health project. One of my friends belongs to the LGBT community and she’s been refused treatment by a psychologist who said they didn’t know how to help her. When you’re down as is, being told that can send someone into a further downward spiral. She’s happy and mentally healthy again, but she’s still got a level of distrust for psychologists.

Jay conceived his UX Project when people from the cities were moving into regional NSW since WFH was in effect. He identified the problem of anxious renters often worrying on Facebook about their relationship with their Property Manager and Landlord. Take a look at his project.

My team’s response was to factor in input from people from the LGBT community, people of different ages, people of colour and people from all walks of life. That was one of the benefits of working in such a big scrum team – everyone has access to different people. It was a bit of the wild west at times, with some of them doing 8 or 9 interviews a day and all kinds of insights popping up on the Miro board. The product we designed offered a quicker, more effective means for people to access mental health help, shaped by the wants and needs of people with similar lived experiences.

How did you find working with Hayden?

I have very high standards for educators – I think they should be people who inspire you and not just people pleasers. In that sense, I have a huge amount of respect for Hayden. If you’re misunderstanding something or not applying the learning properly, he’s always comfortable telling you. If you go through the effort, you can find out a lot about UX UI just by searching online. For me, the ultimate unique selling point of this course is Hayden. He gives personal insights and priceless tips and tricks you won’t find anywhere else.

During the wedding photographer project, the client had photographers to bring in for interviews and we started scheduling paid interviews with them. Hayden stepped in and explained that during the discovery phase you’re not going to know if they fit the company’s recruitment profile. He told us to use that money to budget for testing usability with the photographers at a later stage. It showed how things work in the real world – you’ve got money and need to be accountable for it.

The client was very impressed with the approach we took and the results gleaned; he was an UXer himself so the praise received was very encouraging indeed! I learnt so much about the industry from Hayden and really lucked-out having him as my mentor.

How did you benefit from the Career Support Program?

Elizabeth was my career coach. It’s always nice to talk to someone who listens to you – I think that’s an underrated soft skill. When it comes to recruitment services, too many people come to the table with “I can offer this” instead of “I’d like to hear what you have to offer”.

My wife is a recruiter, so I already had my CV and LinkedIn profile in good shape, but Elizabeth works in the UX space and gave career-specific advice. I had a three page CV with all the bells and whistles, but Elizabeth explained that very few companies would read it. Instead, I produced a one page, high impact CV – if you take one look at it, you know who I am and what I do.

Elizabeth also helped prepare me for the interviews and plan what I might say. I started applying for jobs through LinkedIn and eventually had an interview with a well-known Australian pay television company, much like Netflix. While going through the interview process, I got a LinkedIn notification that Commission Factory had viewed my resume. Commission Factory connects businesses with social media influencers who can help market and sell products. This was an area of huge interest for me, given my professional background.

A day later, they reached out to set up an interview for a UX UI Designer role.

Can you tell us about how you navigated the interview process?

The design lead, Jack, led the interview process for Commission Factory. He had me go through my portfolio of case studies and asked questions about how I respond to challenges.

Commission Factory gave me a design challenge. Instead of just presenting the design as a PNG or a JPEG, I created a full presentation for it on Canva, which allowed me to record myself speaking through a slide deck. After presenting, I sent Jack the link to the design file and he was really impressed. He told me the challenge was a real roadblock for the company and they wanted somebody that could help solve their design problems.

I was offered a job at an Australian pay television company but I also had a final interview at Commission Factory which included their CEO, who used to be a designer himself. We spoke about mood boards, UX and the direction I see design heading in, just to check that I was a culture fit. Ten minutes after the interview, I got the offer. I picked Commission Factory because I trusted and wanted to work with the manager who offered me the role. I’ve landed my dream job and it only took 88 days from graduation.

Jay Jaya - Student Project - Thumbnail
Check out Jay’s online portfolio.

What a great success story, Jay! Finally, are there a few words of advice you would give to anyone thinking of a career change?

I think everyone has big ambitions and wants to be successful. I’m very conscious that I represent a particular demographic and hope that my story shows that anyone from any background can advance within their career.

It’s important to get the message out there. It’s never over, you can rebrand yourself at any point, you just need to see that value in yourself, surround yourself with the right people, and put the hard work in. If you follow that process, anything’s possible.

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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.