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Micro units to help leaders succeed in the digital era

Leaders need to be prepared for the unprecedented change that technology will have on the future world of work.

To address this, Australia’s Swinburne University of Technology has launched a suite of five professional micro units that will be delivered through Swinburne Online.

As reported, these courses address an emerging need to equip leaders with the strategic skills to succeed in the digital era.

The 5 Professional Micro Units

The courses were designed and developed in consultation with leading industry experts from several companies.

The initial micro unit course list will include:

  1. Cybersecurity Strategy for Leaders
  2. Creating Business Value through Intelligent Automation and Chatbots
  3. Big Data and Analytics: What Questions Should You Ask?
  4. Designing Successful Products and Services in the Industry 4.0 Era
  5. Leading in the Future World of Work

The micro units are part of the wider short course offering from Swinburne Online, which includes single units and professional development courses.

According to the Head of AI and Automation-Asia Pacific of an IT company, technologies such as robotic process automation and AI platforms are playing a crucial role in the digital transformation of enterprises.

The market is racing to adopt artificial intelligence technologies, thereby resulting in more business leaders who are working to bridge the gaps in their own capabilities and skills gaps in their workforce.

Organisations need skilled talent to be able to translate these niche technologies into better decision-making and more valuable strategies with the right return on investment.

The university had combined its academic and research expertise with the latest industry intelligence to provide business leaders with future-focussed courses.

The micro units address what is required for leaders to be adaptable and successful in the future. Offering the micro units gives professionals an opportunity to enhance their career prospects in a fast and flexible way.

Employability Skills Program

In other ne ws, the University partnered with a software giant to pilot an employability skills program that will empower the students and foster job-ready, employable talent in high-demand technical roles.

The University is contributing to the online employability platform that will enable students to discover potential skills and career paths that match their interests and aptitude.

Moreover, it will support them in acquiring 21st century skills that will help in their journey towards sustained employability.

As part of the employability pilot, a series of workshops was done.

Employability issues

The headline event covered digital skills and the future of work, with a focus on the emerging skills gap in tech roles such as cybersecurity and data science.

Everyone worked together in an interactive co-creation session to discuss ways to address the skills shortage and create a stronger tech talent pipeline in our region.

Employability is a key issue globally with 808 million individuals needing to learn new skills for their jobs by 2020 and the 50 million people needing to fill open technical jobs by 2030.

40% of employers reported that skills shortages have a negative impact on their business and 65% of students today are likely to do jobs that do not exist yet.


Mixed teams of industry professionals, students and academics participated in an ‘ideathon’ around themes of student interest, talent pipeline and skills building in cybersecurity and data science to identify issues, discuss potential solutions and pitch ideas.

The need to foster interest in technical skills in the school curricula was a key theme identified in the pitches.

Internships and short term projects that will connect students with employers, thereby creating a stronger talent pipeline can address this issue.

They also identified the lack of general awareness about the nature of cybersecurity and data science roles in the industry.

Solutions to this include gamification of opportunities, competitions in schools, awareness sessions and industry coaches, which will all delivered through partnerships between government, industry and education institutions.

Other key issues acknowledged are the lack of gender equity in the field and the need for diversity.

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