RMIT today launched an industry-designed online short course for DevOps to help meet the increasing demand in the local sector. The course provides students with the fundamentals of the practice in an Australian context.

According to the Melbourne university, national vacancies for DevOps engineer roles are set to grow 21 per cent in the next five years and the global DevOps sector is worth US$2.77 billion. But Australia is at risk of missing out because of its notorious digital skills gap.

RMIT’s fully credentialed, six week, $1600 online DevOps course was developed in partnership with Thoughtworks, a global software consultancy, and industry association, Devops Agile Skills Association.

DevOps – from software development (Dev) and information technology operations (Ops) – is a set of practices to deliver software more quickly and in an iterative fashion to deliver the highest quality final product. The method has become increasingly popular and complements the agile methodology.

The new RMIT course has been designed to upskill people already in technology and management roles looking to integrate DevOps within their business.

According to the university, the foundational elements of DevOps are taught in an Australian context with local case studies and mentors, and students finish with skills and knowledge that are practical and relevant to the modern workplace.

RMIT Online

RMIT has been expanding the digital-focused short courses it offers in its new online school, hoping to better arm postgraduates with practical skills in areas like cloud computing, artificial intelligence programming, cybersecurity, and blockchain.

RMIT Online CEO, Helen Souness.

RMIT Online CEO, Helen Souness, says the online courses are targeted at a broader demographic than on campus degrees.

“We’re seeing enrolments from people at all stages of their lives, including students, early to mid-career professionals and executives,” Souness told Which-50.

“Students who typically enrol in our short courses might do so for a variety of reasons – one being employability, but more often than not, it’s to pick up a new skill or develop in their existing role.

A survey of 560 RMIT Online students found more than half are primarily focussed on broadening their skillsets.

Australia’s skills gap

Australia is ranked 44th of 63 comparative countries for digital skills in the latest World Digital Competitiveness Rankings, and has been sliding down the overall list for half a decade.

At less than two years old, Souness says RMIT Online is already helping to address Australia’s “alarming” digital skills gap.

“Statistics have estimated that Australia’s annual pool of ICT graduates – around 4,000 yearly – is exponentially lower than demands from the tech industry. With DevOps, specifically, there’s a view that job vacancies in the sector will see an annual growth of 21 per cent.

“This emerging field will continue to grow and without sufficient intervention, Australia will fall behind the rest of the world when it comes to innovation. This would present a huge missed opportunity for our workforce and our economy.”

Addressing the challenge requires a holistic approach, Souness says, involving industry, government and educational institutions working together to develop an education-focused solution to upskill the local workforce.

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