Skip to main content
group of people sitting on chairsgroup of people sitting on chairs

A 2023 reflection

Nic Cola, RMIT Online CEO, takes a look back at the year that was

Like many, as we come towards the end of 2023, I’m compelled to reflect on the year we’ve had.  

While digital skills have long been a critical part of Australia’s skills landscape, we see the immense progression just 12 months of digital transformation can make to the workforce.  

2023 has been a year that’s seen all eyes trained on privacy, security and data - particularly with an unprecedented number of high impact data breaches and the widespread adoption of generative AI.

The demand for digital skills continues to grow.  


Our recent report, in collaboration with Deloitte Access Economics, revealed three in five Australian businesses believe their workforce lacked one or more of the digital skills they require to do business.  

This skills gap between our current industry skill set and realising the true potential of a resilient Australian workforce is costing businesses $3.1 billion annually. It’s an astronomical figure, particularly when closing the current digital skills gap would take an investment of a staggering $1.5 billion.  

And I want to stress these skills aren’t limited to any one role - they’re something every single person within an organisation must be cognisant of as it affects broader business outcomes.  

Salespeople need to understand how their organisation deals with AI risks and benefits in order to speak to prospective clients. Communications team members must think about how their organisation conveys trust and reliability in an age where one email can wreak havoc. And executives need to consider data governance as they develop business and growth strategies.  

It’s a challenging environment, but one rich with opportunity for individuals, businesses and the economy. To reap substantial and long-lasting benefits, and to mitigate the impact of the digital skills gap, it’s essential we invest in training and upskilling the entire workforce to be digitally literate.   

At RMIT Online, it’s our goal to make lifelong learning possible to help both businesses and individuals successfully navigate the future of work.  

I’m proud to say this year, we have continued to take positive steps forward in this goal.  

  • 105 courses across our entire portfolio ranging from cyber security, sustainability and social impact and artificial intelligence 
  • 70+ industry partners, including Salesforce, Adobe and Slack 
  • 29,401 enrolments supported in 2023 

It takes a village and we couldn’t do without the hard work of our passionate and purpose-driven team, and our industry partners who keep us alert on what’s changing on skills requirements.  
Thank you to the community of forward-thinking students and alumni who have battled through work and life commitments to upgrade their skills and embraced lifelong learning. You are shaping our future industries. 
Like Kuda who previously worked as a food technologist for two years and realised she wasn’t happy. She’d always had a desire to pivot into a tech-focused role, and discovered RMIT Online’s Business Analytics Future Skills short course which she enrolled herself into. Shortly after completion, she received a job offer as a Business Analyst at a national distribution business. 

Our continued partnership with the Victorian Government through the Digital Jobs program has also seen over almost 1500 learners re-skill with an RMIT Online course to enable them to move into digital jobs, with many of them securing a digital role afterwards. Well done, everyone!

As we head into 2024, I’m optimistic about the shifting perceptions towards learning and development from all sides.  

Workers are yearning for the chance to develop in their careers, businesses are pivoting their hiring practices to place greater importance on skills and the Government has put a national jobs and skills roadmap into place to activate Australia’s skills potential.  


This article was originally published on 11 December 2023