New world, new tech, new skills

New world, new tech, new skills

Emerging digital technology has changed the way we live and work forever.  People are calling it the ‘fourth industrial revolution’ – and it’s only just begun.

Revolutionary technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT) have changed how we live and work on a global scale. We can learn faster and dream bigger. We can connect with others and find a better way of doing things.

Associate Professor Simon Egerton, Head of La Trobe’s Technology Innovation Lab, believes the technology driving digital transformation is key to our industrial future.  

‘If you look at the top economic drivers in Australia – you’ve got manufacturing, construction, health care, and agriculture – those industries contribute to the top 25% of Australia’s GDP,’ Professor Egerton says.

‘Across all those sectors, you’re looking at $300 billion growth alone in Australia over the next eight to 18 years. That’s all being driven by this new technology.’

Natural language processing, big data, machine learning and cyber intelligence may sound like something from the Terminator movie franchise. But these key technical areas of AI and IoT are already changing our lives.

La Trobe recently teamed up with the City of Greater Bendigo to install weather sensors throughout the CBD at local landmarks, homes and businesses. Using the city’s new ‘Internet of Things network’, Bendigo residents now have access to more accurate and timely climate readings.

Chris Rowlands, Innovation Officer at the City of Greater Bendigo, said the project could also inform planning.

‘More accurate temperature readings will help the City make important decisions on how to best manage heat in the city – such as where we plant trees, how and where we design infrastructure, and improvements to the developments we approve.’

The technology driving digital transformation is set to have a positive impact on all sectors, including sustainability, healthcare, manufacturing and more.

The next generation workforce

Machine automation and connectivity are the cornerstones of AI and IoT technology. It’s true that the changes brought by these advances will impact on some existing roles performed by humans. But digital transformation is also paving the way for new employment opportunities in new emerging industries.

In PwC’s 22nd Annual Global CEO Survey, 85% of chief executives agreed that artificial intelligence will significantly impact the way they do business in the next five years. Technology sectors like data science, software and systems engineering, cybersecurity and communications are crying out for skilled AI and IoT professionals.

Digital transformation is helping to solve human problems in a technical way. But according to Head of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at La Trobe, Professor Nick Bisley, we shouldn’t discount the value of transferrable skills.

‘Digital disruption is opening up a Pandora’s box of exciting opportunities as well as raising complex societal and ethical questions,’ Professor Bisley says.

‘For example, while big data offers opportunities for companies to increase their efficiency and make better informed decisions, it also raises fundamental questions around privacy and increased cyber security risk.’

While digital skills are in high demand, employers want more. They’re looking for problem solvers with communication skills and a strong sense of empathy.

More broadly, the world needs professionals who understand the technical and human side of the challenges we face. We need to find solutions that are ethical, not just efficient.

Become a part of the digital era

At La Trobe University, we’re at the forefront of digital transformation. We’ve developed courses that meet the needs of this evolving industry, preparing you to step into jobs that might not even exist yet.

Our Master of Internet of Things is the first course of its kind in Australia, created in partnership with Cisco. You could develop advanced programming skills and work with this ground-breaking technology first-hand as you turn your IoT visions into reality.

According to a study by PwC, AI is set to inject $15.7 trillion into the global economy by 2030. Want to be a part of that growth? Study our Master of Artificial Intelligence. With the option to specialise in interactive media, computer vision or natural language processing, you’ll graduate with the knowledge and skills to shape the future of the IT industry.

And with technological innovation reshaping all areas of our lives, industries need skilled and imaginative professionals to ensure technology innovation is ethical, sustainable and just. Our Bachelor of Humanities, Innovation and Technology brings together humanities, business and STEM subjects. You’ll be ready to shape our human future for the better.

The revolution is here. At La Trobe, you can be a part of it.

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