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Closing The Tech Skills Gap With Innovation And Collaboration

The number of local technology graduates over the next several years will not even come close to satisfying demand. According to the Deloitte Access Economics ACS Australia’s Digital Pulse 2019 Report, Australian universities produce fewer than 6000 technology graduates per year but more than 160,000 ICT qualifications will be needed by 2024 to meet demand.

Research firm IDC’s 2017 forecast said in Australia alone, more than 79,000 new jobs will be created  in Salesforce’s ecosystem of customers and partners by 2022.

There’s a serious challenge in the gap between tech graduate numbers and forecast demand. Even now, 79% of IT leaders say acquiring good IT talent has never been harder. So, we’re working with industry partners and 23 universities to increase the technology skills among recent graduates across all disciplines.

Recently our first Marketing Cloud Boot Camp, for example, was held in partnership with Datarati and the University of New South Wales, and attended by UNSW graduates from business, marketing, advertising and computer science, providing valuable and practical real-world skills.

Specialist areas of learning included customer experience vision development, strategy building and customer journey mapping.

Why such growth?

As businesses have transformed and grown, they have developed a different image of the Salesforce ecosystem and what it can offer them in their endless drive to be closer to their customers.

Customers’ understanding of what Salesforce can do has evolved, with the businesses we work with embracing the breadth of capabilities on the Salesforce Customer Success Platform. It might include sales, service and marketing, with a layer of analytics across the top. We’re seeing more partners and customers implementing the complete Salesforce platform rather than individual products.

With more stakeholders in the business and a greater array of customer experiences requiring change, making it all work has become more complex – it requires more people with a greater understanding of the unique requirements of each department. These experts come from Salesforce, from our partners, and from within the customer’s businesses.

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As the role of the CIO, COO or CTO has broadened to become business-wide and strategic in its focus, so too have the platforms that they manage. No longer can a business be satisfied with single solutions that are not integrated.

We see the demand for talent continuing to increase dramatically.

The opportunity: Benefits for all

The UNSW and Datarati story is an important example of what has been achieved so far in preparing for the increased demand. We now have 23 universities signed up to run Boot Camps, and we’re also speaking with other tertiary educators such as TAFE colleges. In total, we’re working with more than 50 educational institutions.

Right now, we’re training around 5000 new individuals annually. But the focus is not just on the certification. It’s about providing qualified people from many backgrounds and specialisations who are able to immediately add value.

For instance, we’re seeing students graduating with legal, economics and agricultural degrees, using Salesforce certifications to find work in areas they might not have studied for. This is increasing university job placement ratios, which is an important measure of universities’ success.

By working very closely with Trailhead and our own Customer Success Group (CSG), we’re also working closely with our partners to take them on a journey from certified to qualified. 

We’re taking the knowledge the CSG has gathered from many thousands of implementations, as well as its specialist skills, and understanding how we can share this with our partners so they can provide the very best consultation services and customer experience. This alignment between our partners and CSG is unprecedented. It’s a win for our partners and their customers, too.

Turning our attention to the students attending the Boot Camps, it adds excitement to the employment journey. There’s a possibility of adding new job-ready skills and walking into a level of employment they probably hadn’t considered. It encourages students to look at what’s available for them outside of their traditional degrees, offering more choice for the students and greater relevance for the universities.

We’re now rolling this approach out in other countries around the Asia Pacific and the globe, and are in discussions with Indigenous groups in Australia and New Zealand to understand how we can form similar relationships to deliver new employment opportunities.

I’m excited by all of this and, as we spread the journey through Southeast Asia and India, we’re turning the challenge of a talent shortage into an opportunity for businesses, universities and individuals.

In Australia, the Salesforce Economy will drive over 79,000 new direct and indirect jobs by 2022. Keen to build your Salesforce skills? Check out Trailhead – it’s the fun way to learn Salesforce!

41% of IT leaders say IT learning and development is a high priority, but only 24% have a defined strategy for it. Find out more about the trends driving tech forward and the opportunities to get ahead of the game – download the Enterprise Technology Trends report.

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Salesforce Staff

The 360 Blog from Salesforce teaches readers how to improve work outcomes and professional relationships. Our content explores the mindset shifts, organisational hurdles, and people behind business evolution. We also cover the tactics, ethics, products, and thought leadership that make growth a meaningful and positive experience.

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