RMIT has announced an Australia-first partnership with global tech education leader Udacity, which is set to bring Silicon Valley learning on Self-Driving Cars and AI Programming to Australia.
The new partnership is designed to address critical skills shortages in emerging technologies, while also providing a credit pathway into a traditional degree.
A recent study from the Australian Industry Group found that 75 per cent of organisations in Australia reported skills shortages when recruiting for jobs relating to automation, big data and Artificial Intelligence (AI).
To address these skills shortages and help fill growing job vacancies, RMIT has taken the lead in upskilling and reskilling Australians for the modern, digital workplace with the introduction of four new online courses: Australia’s first-ever Intro to Self Driving Cars online program, AI Programming with Python, Robotics Software Engineer and Front End Web Developer.
The unique collaboration between Udacity and RMIT is inspired by a commitment to make upskilling in critical fields more widely accessible, and to serve a community of lifelong learners through an industry-led model.
Vice-Chancellor and President Martin Bean CBE said RMIT and Udacity were leading the way by providing access to new and disruptive technology.
"Through this exciting partnership, we are embedding some of the best technology and education from Silicon Valley directly into RMIT,” he said.
“These new courses truly harness the creativity and industry connections RMIT is renowned for as we prepare our students for the future world of work."
Students will enjoy a world-class learning experience developed in Silicon Valley, combined with personalised support from experts drawn from local industry partners and employers, including Holden, GitHub, Culture Amp, Kapsch and Accenture while earning a University-backed credential.
According to Infoholic Research, global autonomous vehicle market revenue is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 39.6 per cent over 10 years, reaching US$126.8 billion by 2027.
With these projections in mind, and acknowledging the changing needs of customers and environmental considerations, Intro to Self Driving Cars was developed to take students beyond the hype and headlines, and towards a career as a qualified self-driving car engineer, through hands-on projects across computer vision, robotic controls, localisation, path planning and more.
While companies including Holden have already started recruiting for specialist engineers in this space, until today, there were no dedicated courses in Australia enabling these skills to be developed at scale.
RMIT Online CEO Helen Souness said disruptive changes to business models would have a profound impact on the employment landscape over the coming years.
"We are working to address these skills gaps and companies and individuals must make a concerted effort to plan and upskill to meet the demands of the changing workforce," she said.
"Recognising strong parallels in Udacity’s vision, we are thrilled to collaborate to bring the Silicon Valley mindset to Australia’s workforce and beyond."
Udacity has collaborated with numerous Silicon Valley powerhouses including Google, Facebook and NVIDIA, and gives students the skills to advance their careers through a series of online courses in hands-on technologies across high-demand subjects, from self-driving cars to data science.
Founder of Udacity and Google’s self-driving car project, Sebastian Thrun, said he was excited to combine the best of Silicon Valley with RMIT's local industry partnerships and mentors, "helping students achieve a credential from the leading University for future skills in Australia and real job outcomes".
“Researchers estimate that autonomous cars will save 10 million lives per decade. It’s an exciting, challenging and infinitely rewarding space to be working together with RMIT Online to educate Australians for the future,” he said.
All courses open for enrolment today. For more detail, or to enrol, visit futureskills.rmit.edu.au.
Story: Jennifer Graham