Big Day In – Sydney

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About 1,600 students attended two days of Big Day In presentations this week at UTS (University of Technology Sydney).

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Professor Attila Brungs, Vice Chancellor and President, UTS welcomed everyone to his university. He shared  about the amazing growth that has occurred at UTS over the past few years and the commitment they have made to link with industry and government to provide their students with outstanding opportunities to thrive and potential build their passions into future work opportunities.

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Hon Victor Dominello MP, Minister for Finance, Services & Property officially opened the event. He told the audience about the many wonderful opportunities there are in NSW to build a future in the IT industry. He made the point that many industries can have a positive impact on the world over time but working in IT can make a wide impact very quickly.

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I had the honour of being the opening keynote presenter and shared the value of creativity as a skill that will help young people thrive in the future.

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My special helper Rob the Robot feature during the presentation to give a robot’s perspective on things like automation and how that will effect the future workplace.

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A key part of my message was to encourage the students to develop skills and interest in areas that are not likely to be computerised in the near future. I showed them a study from Oxford that predicted that 47% of jobs are at risk of being automated in the next 20 years.

http://www.oxfordmartin.ox.ac.uk/downloads/academic/future-of-employment.pdf

I showed them part of the recent ISA (Innovation Science Australia) study that claimed that more jobs will demand 21st‑century skills, such as interpersonal skills, entrepreneurialism and creative problem solving. And that 92% of future jobs will need digital skills, and 45% of jobs will need people who can configure and work confidently with digital systems and technology.

https://www.industry.gov.au/Innovation-and-Science-Australia/Australia-2030/Pages/default.aspx

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I also told them that according to the ISA study, an Australian student leaving school today is likely to have five careers and 17 jobs over their working life. A very different world to when I was their age and when their teachers were at school.

It worries me that our education system is still based on an old mindset that believes the most important thing in education is to get a good Year 12 result so that students can get into university and have a chance at a good career. We don’t live is that world anymore.

I introduced the students to the recent work from Marc Prensky that looks at a wide range of specific skills that are required by the future worker.

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And I encouraged the students to learn how to brand themselves in creative ways so they can stand out from the crowd. Of course, I suggested they learn a range of the Adobe tools they have at their schools and encouraged the NSW DoE students to take advantage of the free access they have on their own devices provided by the NSW Government.

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Over the two days, there were a wide range of other presenters from companies such as

  • Microsoft
  • Animal Logic
  • TechnologyOne
  • Westpac
  • WiseTech Global
  • BT Financial Group
  • SMB Consultants
  • JAR Aerospace
  • Micro Focus &
  • Tradie Pad
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Michael Quandt from Animal Logic, the makers of The Lego Movie (and lots more)

It was great to have the support of Jerry Wong and Anna Nakao (Adobe Customer Success Managers) at the Adobe table as the hundreds of students can streaming past asking questions about how to access and work with Adobe tools.

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Special thanks to John Ridge and Kerrie Bissaro from the Australian Computer Society Foundation for the amazing work they do in running these events throughout the country.

I’m looking forward to the next one that I will be involved with in Melbourne on 30th May.