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Careers of the Future: Digital Technologist

digital technologist

This article is sponsored by Charles Darwin University

Globalisation, automation, and rapidly changing needs mean the future of employment will probably look very different from how it looks today. In fact, many current careers won’t exist in the next 10 to 20 years. So, it’s critical that students ask the important question: ‘Will my chosen study path lead to strong job opportunities after graduation and beyond?’

In this series, we’re exploring a range of occupations forecast to have strong employment prospects in the future. Some careers in the tech industry are quickly emerging. Plus, there are other existing careers that will also have an important place in the employment opportunities of tomorrow. 

If you love keeping up-to-date with the latest technology and see yourself working in the digital space, then you might be suited to a career as a digital technologist. As modern industry attempts to keep up with a rapidly changing digital sphere, this newly emerging field is one of the fastest growing and in-demand professions today. 

What is a digital technologist? 

The role of a digital technologist involves the design and implementation of digital skills, strategies and solutions in the workplace. The responsibilities of the job will vary depending on which industry the digital technologist is employed in, but may include coding and programming, cybersecurity, developing and using robotic and automation technologies, leveraging information, and communication technology skills in business. 

Endless opportunities 

Digital technology is an exciting and innovative field. The industry is moving faster than ever and the software we used one week may be outdated the next. With digital technology revolutionising the way businesses function, companies are increasingly required to keep up with emerging technological developments. 

With practically every field relying on some sort of digital technology, working as a digital technologist offers a wide range of career opportunities. You will find work as a digital technologist in the following industries: education, creative industries, construction, tourism, engineering, business, marketing, and cybersecurity. This career path can lead to specialising as a technology officer, instructional designer, education software developer, learning and development specialist or e-learning specialist.

You’ll also have the opportunity to take your career abroad. Countries like Japan, South Korea, Singapore, India and China are becoming world leaders in digital technology, with lots of innovation happening across each country.

Graduates are in high demand 

The recent 2019 AISC Report reveals that industries are prioritising digital technology skills. In the 2019 Skills Forecast, the Industry 4.0 Industry Reference Committee ranked digital skills fourth out of a series of 12 generic skill categories. The report lists ‘data literacy’ and ‘digital competence’ as two of the most imperative skills for the utilities and business industries.

As businesses are increasingly relying on data-driven decision-making and using new digital platforms, businesses need people who can confidently navigate the digital world. This means that digital technologists are in more demand than ever – and this demand is going to keep growing over our lifetime! 

The 2019 Australian Computer Society Digital Pulse report indicates that there will be an additional 100,000 jobs available in Australia between now and 2024. The industries seeing the biggest growth will be ICT (information and communications technology) and healthcare. At this stage, there is still a distinct lack of new graduates entering the field, meaning that tech workers are receiving higher salaries and more job offers. 

Image taken of Chengxi in rural China.

Digital technology student Chengxi shares her story 

After realising that studying accounting wasn’t her true passion, Chengxi began looking for alternative career paths and became the first full-time student to enrol in Charles Darwin University’s innovative Master of Digital Learning Futures.

The course soon inspired a newfound interest in teaching, and as an undergraduate, Chengxi was able to participate in a volunteer program in rural China. 

“I was the volunteer teacher in a middle school located in a remote and poor village,” she says. 

The program opened her eyes to the unequal disparity between access to educational resources in remote and city areas. Chengxi believes the skills she learned in the Master of Digital Learning Futures can be used to address this problem in undeveloped areas. 

“The development of technology or the internet can help to provide a better society with a more equal allocation of all kinds of resources to everyone,” she says.“One of my initial goals from this course is that I will be able to design some products that can provide sufficient education resources to remote areas with a reasonable and affordable cost.”

On the completion of her course, Chengxi says, “I think it might be one of the best decisions I’ve made.”

Study a digital technology course

You can study a Master of Digital Learning Futures through Charles Darwin University in Darwin, Northern Territory. The interdisciplinary course is designed to attract participants from a variety of backgrounds including, design, computer, marketing, science, education and business. It offers a broad understanding of skills needed to effectively engage with the digital world. 

Students will gain a broad understanding of how to design and deploy learning opportunities using digital technology. The industry-relevant program is based on a solid foundation of core units, research and internships to gain theoretical and practical experience. Elective units will include new media production skills, web development, app design, programming and system management. 

To be admitted into the course, you must have successfully completed a recognised bachelor degree.