03 September 2010
Responding to a growth industry
Technology is core business for RMIT – industry leaders listen to the forum. Photos by Dan Murphy.
Professor Brian Corbitt, Head of School of Business IT and Logistics; John O’Haire, Regional Manager, Public Sector, Cisco Systems Australia; Professor Margaret Gardner AO, RMIT Vice-Chancellor and President; Jeanette Wirt, Australian Computer Society; and Les Williamson, Vice-President of CISCO in Australia and New Zealand.
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RMIT University and CISCO this week hosted a major forum for information, communication and technology (ICT) leaders.
The discussion focused on building skills for an industry that is expanding, changing and increasingly challenging.
The University and CISCO give students the knowledge and experience to design, build, troubleshoot and secure computer networks.
Professor Margaret Gardner AO, Vice-Chancellor and President, said RMIT would play its part in providing the skills that an enhanced broadband environment would require.
“We are undertaking a new initiative to train 1,000 students nationally, including 500 in Victoria, over the next three years in the skills specifically demanded by high-speed broadband.
“And we are contributing to a research program that will open new opportunities for telecommuting, email, online commerce and broader use of the web.
“That research is being undertaken through the Australian Research Council’s new $24 million Centre of Excellence for Ultrahigh Bandwidth Devices for Optical Systems, or CUDOS.
“I am hopeful that this initiative will fuel R&D programs for decades, leading to a substantial growth in employment in advanced manufacturing and the ICT sector, and optimising the economic and social value to Australia of high-speed broadband,” Professor Gardner said.
About 800 RMIT students in Melbourne are enrolled in a CISCO-related program, which span the range from degrees and associate degrees to diplomas and Certificate IV.
Les Williamson, Vice-President of CISCO in Australia and New Zealand, said that from a technology perspective the game was over: “The internet, or IP, is the connection method.
“We see more than 45,000 skills gaps in the Australia-New Zealand region.
“If the National Broadband Network flies, even more, and in the region we see over the next five years the need for more than 400,000 ICT resources,” Mr Williamson said.
RMIT has registered CISCO Networking Academies, operating within the School of Engineering TAFE; the School of Life and Physical Sciences; the Business TAFE School; RMIT International; and RMIT International University Vietnam.
The panel discussion involved Mr O’Haire, Ms Wirt, Mr Williamson and Professor Corbitt.