Digital Careers

Digital shake-up

By Ben Skuse

Businesses of all kinds need tech experts to lead them into the future.

Digital technology has smashed barriers to industries that entrepreneurs wouldn’t have dreamed of entering just a few years ago. From banking to health, innovators in all fields are improving the experiences and lives of customers.

A change manager, for example, helps established companies adapt to the digital marketplace. Digital experience designers, meanwhile, look at how best to attract and engage customers online.

The key to these careers is the right education. “Let’s engage kids in game-making, website creation, robotics and wearable technologies,” says Sarah Hobson, eLearning integration teacher at Good News Lutheran School in Brisbane.

Sarah is actively involved in the Digital Careers program – an Australian Government initiative to encourage young people to pursue careers in technology. Through this program, Sarah has enrolled her students in the Young ICT Explorers competition, which encourages school students to tackle their own tech projects.

“Two of our primary school students wanted to make Tinkerbell’s dress sparkle for a performance of Peter Pan,” she says. They sewed strips of coloured programmable LED lights onto a skirt and attached them to a GEMMA – a tiny wearable platform that can be programmed using open-source coding software Arduino. To get the LEDs to sparkle, they used conductive thread, and then had to learn how to control the lights by programming the GEMMA.

“They started with a problem – and solved it with code,” says Sarah.

Pictured above: Kids in Young ICT Explorers competition from Abbotsleigh school in NSW.
Ben Skuse

Author: Ben Skuse

Ben Skuse is a UK-based former mathematician turned professional science writer, who has written for the Careers with STEM magazines for over 5 years. You can follow him on Twitter @BenSkuseSciComm.