Computers and artificial intelligence have come along at an exponential rate over the past few decades, from being regarded as oversized adding machines to the point where they have played integral roles in some legitimately creative endeavours.
The Association for Data-driven Marketing and Advertising (ADMA) has launched a new initiative donating one free educational course from every sale across its IQ program to drive digital skills outside the industry.
The One For One Program sees the association join forces with Australia Post, Bupa, Optus, Stockland and Westpac to donate a free course to everyday Australians from its IQ curriculum. It expects to donate more than $2.5 million in training by the end of this year, with $500,000 worth initially distributed through the five foundation partners in May.
According to ADMA, the courses will be given to people outside the industry who could benefit from marketing, data and digital skills but may not be able to fund the training themselves. This list includes small businesses, startups, those out of work, regional and rural communities, and women wishing to enter the data sciences disciplines.
ADMA CEO, Jodie Sangster, said the association has been concerned about the lack of appropriately skilled marketers in Australia.
“We are now quite literally putting our money where our mouth is,” she said. “I’m proud that ADMA is taking direct action to help ensure Australia has the skills it needs for its digital future. The One For One Program will extend the reach of our education curriculum to individuals and businesses most in need of acquiring the tools necessary to remain competitive and relevant in a post-digital world.”
In a statement, Optus acting managing director of product and marketing, Ben White, said professional development was critical for the telco.
“This program will enable us to share the investment in our people with the broader business community,” he said.
ADMA noted that an annual survey by LinkedIn of jobs hottest in demand in Australia showed 18 of the 25 most in-demand skills were STEM, data and data-driven marketing areas.
In addition, a report by global IT outsourcer, Infosys, in January showed young Australians were less prepared for the digital world than comparable countries, ranking behind the likes of the US, UK, China and Germany.
ADMA launched its new-look marketing training program in February, aimed at helping address the data skills gap. The new curriculum stretches from entry level to advanced and covers analytics, creative, content, data, digital marketing, marketing technology, mobile, privacy and compliance, search marketing and social.