South Africans seeking to take advantage of growing corporate demand for specialist digital skills could increase their employability with industry-ready short courses in the fields of coding, digital design, data science, digital business, and digital marketing and sales.
This is according to international training provider Digital Skills Academy, which has recently launched a new portfolio of online short courses designed to address current digital skills gaps.
Digital Skills Academy CEO Paul Dunne says that the Ireland-based academy, which has had a presence in South Africa for the past two years, has adapted its curriculum in line with changing trends in the industry and the growing need for alternative learning solutions to tertiary education institutions in South Africa.
“There has been a lot of talk around the mismatches between learning curriculums and market realities in South Africa, and their impact on the rising 27% unemployment rate in the country. We are seeing more demand from corporates for employees with specialist digital skills aligned with global best practices. Higher education institutions must adequately respond to this by providing the right skillset.”
“With highly-skilled and experienced lecturers in digital technology, design and innovation, as well as the latest flexible learning methodologies, our Online Short Courses bridge the digital skills gap that’s impacting both South African youth and companies that are exploiting the digital era,” Dunne says.
Commenting on this urgent, countrywide issue, Jovanka Damjanovic, agile and DevOps transformation at Standard Bank — one of Digital Skills Academy’s Corporate Partners — highlights that “the skills gap in South Africa is quite large. We are very aware that we cannot scale or move forward without creating more IT capabilities in South Africa. We as a bank are investing a lot into the community and this engagement [with Digital Skills Academy] will actually create an environment where the skills gap will slowly but surely close.”
“We don’t see ourselves as an academic institution ‘outside’ of industry,” says Dunne. “On the contrary, we aim to be at the heart of transforming for the digital economy. Therefore, it’s in our best interests to respond quickly to industry trends and align our training expertise with the digital skills needs of companies.
“That’s why we’ve added Online Short Courses to our proven International BSc Degree and Professional Diploma portfolio. The subjects covered in our wide spectrum of courses will help corporates to rapidly upskill their talent pools with industry-relevant competency outcomesand ultimately drive digital transformation.”
Barry McAdam, director of programmes at Digital Skills Academy, says: “Like our international BSc degree and professional diploma programmes, our online short courses combine academic rigor and industry expertise via an agile, learning-by-doing approach.
“The work-based project experience, intensive group-work assignment, peer learning, and coaching and mentoring sessions that we provide are critical components of our new portfolio. These underpin the industry-relevant and transformational learning experience we deliver.”