New postgraduate programs for jobs of the future

Tuesday, 3 July 2018


Three new postgraduate programs specially designed to prepare students for jobs of the future will be offered at the University of Newcastle (UON).

Students studying

The Graduate Certificate of Integrated STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics), Graduate Certificate of Data Science and Graduate Certificate of Data Analytics have been developed by Associate Professor Peter Howley in response to international reports suggesting an increased need for collaboration and data literacy within the future workforce.

“Research revealed that over 70 per cent of Australian employers identify STEM-skilled employees as being among the most innovativeand that 75 per cent of the fastest growing occupations require STEM skills,” he said of the Graduate Certificate of Integrated STEM.

The program, which is industry informed and directed, puts interdisciplinary collaboration at the forefront.

“It will equip our students with the essential professional and workplace skills and knowledge to understand and apply STEM expertise and nurture synergies through interdisciplinary knowledge and interaction – a key for successful collaboration,” Associate Professor Howley said.

“Critical thinking and problem solving, analytic capabilities, curiosity and imagination have all been identified as critical ‘survival skills’ in the workplace of the future.”

The new programs come at a pivotal time in the technology landscape.

“There has been an enormous explosion in the volume of data generated, with estimates of a 50-fold increase between 2011 and 2020,” he said.

This volume of available data has spawned an increasing demand for those skilled in collating, analysing and presenting data in concise and meaningful ways. The two new data-driven programs will equip students with the essential professional skills and knowledge to understand and engage with data from diverse industry and business settings.

“Research about industry expectations surrounding critically important new and emerging job categories and functions identified the job type ‘data analyst’ as a clear stand out due to the frequency and consistency with which it was mentioned across practically all industries and geographies,” Associate Professor Howley said.