IT Brief Australia - Technology news for CIOs & IT decision-makers
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Short courses on the rise as essential career tools
Sat, 14th Oct 2023

In the ever-evolving landscape of the Australian job market, short courses have emerged as a pivotal resource for individuals looking to secure their positions and boost their incomes amidst the relentless pressures of the cost of living. A recent study by Perkbox has shed light on the growing demand for upskilling and reskilling opportunities, with a significant majority of Australian workers recognizing the necessity of acquiring new skills in the near future.

According to the study, a substantial 69.5% of Australian workers believe that they will need to upskill or reskill in the coming years. What's even more striking is that 43.6% of them are leaning towards short courses as their preferred route to acquiring these essential skills, as opposed to pursuing a traditional university degree or a TAFE diploma.

Furthermore, a staggering 71% of respondents emphasized the critical role of upskilling in either preserving their current jobs or achieving salary growth. The findings underscore a fundamental shift in how Australian workers perceive education and skill development.

The Perkbox study, conducted among a diverse sample of over 2,400 employees across Australian organizations, spans across various states, business sizes, and age groups, offering a comprehensive view of the workforce's sentiments. Perkbox, a company currently collaborating with over 200 Australian firms and 4,000 global partners, including renowned names like CBRE, Muji, and Krispy Kreme, holds a unique position to gather and interpret this data.

The research also indicates a diminishing demand for traditional higher education qualifications. Only 14.5% of those surveyed expressed interest in pursuing a university-level degree or a Masters course, while a mere 9.9% considered undertaking a TAFE course. This stark contrast in preference highlights the increasing allure of short courses as a pragmatic and efficient means of acquiring new skills.

Ross McDonald, the Country Manager at Perkbox, shared insights into the significance of these findings. He noted, "Employees are recognising that in order to progress in their career and stay ahead of cost of living pressures, they need to offer more to their employer. Short courses are a cost-effective way to stay ahead of the curve and continue to grow their skill set."

McDonald also pointed out that this trend is beneficial not only for employees but also for employers who can leverage short courses as a tool for offering additional benefits and enrichment to their teams, thus ensuring team retention, motivation, and engagement. He emphasized the importance of individualized strategies aimed at motivating teams to succeed in the current dynamic job market.

Vincent Creighton, the Chief Operating Officer of Academy Xi, a tech-focused short course provider, echoed the sentiments of the study. He stated, "We're at a pivotal moment where businesses recognize that investing in short practical courses and workshops is more than just training; it's about securing their future." Creighton emphasized that, as companies increasingly focus on nurturing and retaining digital talent, short courses play a crucial role in fostering mutual growth for individuals and organizations alike.

In conclusion, the Perkbox study provides a compelling snapshot of the shifting dynamics in the Australian workforce. With the majority of workers acknowledging the need for upskilling and reskilling, and a significant preference for short courses, it is evident that these courses have become integral tools for both individuals and businesses in securing a brighter and more prosperous future in the face of ever-mounting cost of living pressures.