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NEWS: Australia first partnership with global tech education leader Udacity

RMIT today announces an Australia-first partnership with global education provider Udacity to equip Australians with skills

RMIT today announces an Australia-first partnership with global education provider Udacity to equip Australians with skills for today, tomorrow and the future of work while also providing a credit pathway into degree programs. 

Leading online learning provider Udacity, which has collaborated with Silicon Valley powerhouses including Google, Facebook and NVIDIA, gives students skills to advance their careers through a series of online courses in hands-on technologies in high-demand subjects, from self-driving cars to data science.

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) in particular. 

To address these skills shortages and help fill these growing job vacancies, education providers must take the lead in upskilling and reskilling Australians for the modern, digital workplace.

The unique collaboration between Udacity and RMIT Online 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. Students will enjoy the world-class learning experience developed in Silicon Valley by Udacity,  combined with personalised support from experts drawn from local industry partners and employers including Holden, GitHub, Culture Amp, Kapsch, Accenture and more while earning a University-backed credential and credit pathways towards a degree.

According to Infoholic Research, the 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, the dedicated online autonomous vehicles program was developed to take students beyond the hype and headlines 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 will have a profound impact on the employment landscape over the coming years. At RMIT Online, 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. Recognising strong parallels in Udacity’s vision, we are thrilled to collaborate to bring the Silicon Valley mindset to Australia’s workforce and beyond.
Founder of Udacity and Google’s self-driving car project, Sebastian Thrun, said: “We are excited to be combining 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.
Intro to Self-Driving Cars is one of the courses in the wider partnership announcement, with RMIT and Udacity collaborating on a suite of offerings sitting at the nexus of technology and design. Additional courses to come include AI Programming with Python, Robotics Software Engineer, and Front End Web Developer. All courses are expected to open for enrolment from 2 October. 

Brett Vivian, GM Holden Executive Director of Engineering says “we cannot ignore the role that autonomous vehicles will play in the future of transport and mobility. We’re already seeing this revolution unfold across the world, with industry leaders investing heavily in talent skilled in self-driving car technology. We are thrilled to join RMIT and Udacity in driving innovation in an area to which we are so committed. On the path towards a driverless future - with safer roads and fewer crashes - we see education as critical to building the technical know-how and developing the soft skills beyond automotive engineering experience that will drive us to the forefront of the industry.”

Want to read more?  Check out the coverage in The Australian, SBS News and ZDNet.

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This article was originally published on 1 October 2018