University of Canberra offers the chance to upskill without the need for a full degree

Karyn Starmer 11 September 2020
Student on tablet device.

UC Pro courses offer university expertise with practical workforce skills. Photo: Supplied.

Canberrans can now take up university-level, skills-based training for new jobs or new challenges without the commitment of a full degree following the launch of a suite of short courses by the University of Canberra.

The new program, UC Pro, is aimed at professionals and organisations seeking to update skills and engage in job-ready training.

University of Canberra’s Pro-Vice Chancellor, Professor Lawrence Pratchett, said all UC Pro courses are designed to equip students with the skills most in demand by today’s workforce, backed by the expertise of the university.

“Until now, the knowledge and skills of our academic staff have only been accessible to people enrolled in longer award courses and degrees,” he said. “We had been looking at ways to utilise these resources and make them available as shorter courses, but when COVID-19 came along we could see that training and upskilling was going to be more important than ever.”

Professor Pratchett said the University of Canberra consulted with industry and designed the courses to specifically meet identified skill shortfalls, with digital skills particularly in demand.

The courses are scheduled for a set time period, usually around six weeks. They are completed via a mix of independent learning with supportive online learning materials and weekly webinars, with the guidance of teachers and mentors who are experts in their industry.

“All courses are backed by the university and have been designed to be completed while managing full-time work,” said Professor Pratchett.

University of Canberra Pro-Vice Chancellor Lawrence Pratchett.

University of Canberra Pro-Vice Chancellor Lawrence Pratchett. Photo: Supplied.

A range of courses are available in health, digital skills and creative industries. The digital skills courses on offer range from cloud computing to data analytics fundamentals, emerging technologies and salesforce administration.

Professor Pratchett said the University of Canberra is expecting a high take-up of the courses.

“There is a significant skills gap out there among people who have been working in their industry for years who may not have had a chance to update or upskill,” he said. “UC Pro courses will also provide an opportunity for those people looking to change jobs to add specific skills to their resume.

“Many organisations are dependent on cloud-based solutions, such as Amazon Web Services, to adapt to rapid technological changes. This means having a cloud skillset is fundamental to any successful career in IT.”

Upon completion of all UC Pro courses, students will earn a digital badge and certificate of completion from the University of Canberra that can be shared on their resume and LinkedIn profile. Professor Pratchett said in time the university hopes UC Pro courses will provide a pathway for students to longer award courses.

“The disruption of COVID-19 has highlighted how important it is to have up-to-date, relevant, professional skills,” he said. “By providing access to our university’s knowledge and resources, professionals, businesses and industries in the region can move into the new era with a workforce ready to meet new challenges.”

To learn more about short online courses for professionals, visit UC Pro.

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