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Why tech skills aren’t the key to success in a digitalising workplace

Swinburne University director Dr Sean Gallagher. (Source: Yahoo Finance)
Swinburne University director Dr Sean Gallagher. (Source: Yahoo Finance)

More than half of Australian workers are concerned that artificial intelligence, or automation, will threaten their job.

And you might think that the way to protect yourself from that is to brush up on your technological or digital skills, or head back to school.

But this may not be what protects you at the end of the day, according to Swinburne University director Dr Sean Gallagher.

Speaking today at the Yahoo Finance All Markets Summit in Sydney, Gallagher said it’s your humanity that will see you get ahead – and you’ll learn more at work than you will in the classroom.

“In increasingly digital environments, we need to be increasingly human in order to be able to compete, and to work effectively,” Gallagher said.

How Aussie workers are adapting to digital technology

One way Australian employees are preparing themselves to adapt to digital technology is by learning on the job and turning their backs on formal education.

“When you think about it, it wasn't that long ago that if you wanted to change jobs, or maybe seek a promotion or to deal with a new circumstance, at work, we went back to college or to TAFE or even to university,” he said.

“But … All Australian workers, to prepare for the future of work, want to learn on the job.”

And the more disruption, the more these workers want to stick to their guns and learn on the job to prepare for the future, he added.

“When you think about it, it kind of makes sense. Work is where the disruption is happening. Not in the classroom.

“The classroom is becoming further away from that wayfront of disruption.”

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