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Where will high schoolers learn the digital skills needed for future jobs?

Telstra Careers Community

Posted on February 19, 2018

4 min read

From the classroom to the office, today’s high school graduates are expected to have more digital skills than previous generations. Christopher Smith, Executive Director Business Technology Services, takes a look at where young people can learn the digital know-how needed for their future careers.

Much has been written about the importance of developing STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) skills amongst high school students. In a world that is increasingly digital and where even CFOs and CEOs need a basic understanding of cloud or cyber security, this is becoming increasingly necessary.

Schools are adapting to this challenge but with 65 per cent of children expected to be doing work in the future that doesn’t yet exist,* this is an evolving task.

One way schools are tackling this issue is by bringing industry into the classroom through programs like the Australian Government’s P-TECH initiative. Telstra is a proud partner of this program and its goal to boost employment opportunities for high school students. As part of this program we have been working with McCarthy Catholic College in Western Sydney to contribute to the school’s technology curriculum and help students apply these lessons to real business scenarios.

Last week, some of our technology experts at Telstra visited McCarthy College to host a workshop on how technology could be used to ease traffic congestion around the school during peak periods.

The interactive session encouraged students to think about how traffic relates to the broader economy in terms of its impact on supply-chains, business costs and productivity.

Students explored ideas such as installing smart signals to maximise the movement of vehicles as well as the potential of evolving technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT) to improve traffic conditions through the provision of real-time data.

Experiences like this help students understand new technologies, develop their problem-solving skills and understand real-world applications.

But learning is an ongoing and immersive process, and beyond the classroom parents can encourage their kids to further develop these digital skills. Here are a few ideas on how this can be done.

1. Online tutorials

The web is a virtual goldmine of resources for high schoolers looking to advance their digital aptitudes. Websites like Codecademy and Code Wars make it possible to learn coding for free, while YouTube channels such as LearnCode.academy offer web-development focused videos and tutorials. Whether young people possess some existing knowledge or have never typed a line of code before, the possibilities to learn at any level are endless.

 2. Coding camps

A more intensive type of digital learning on the rise is holiday coding camps. Already popular in the United States and Europe, these intensive courses teach young people web development and coding skills. For some, learning these skills ahead of others and connecting with like-minded peers, will open the door to new career possibilities and even start-up collaborations down the track.

 3. Gaming

Video games can develop young people’s spatial thinking, reasoning, memory and problem-solving skills. For example, virtual world game Minecraft goes beyond entertainment to provide a 3D graphical interface that can help young people understand the basics of programming and telling a computer what to do, while the popular app Angry Birds has now evolved to encompass basic coding principles.

Educational games are also playing a role in the classroom. Telstra Kids, in partnership with Technology Will Save Us, has released a Digital Explorer kit for high-schoolers which allows young people to learn 12 weeks of physical and digital making with the BBC micro:bit (a mini computer). The kit guides users through how to construct physical circuits as well as learn to code three different robots.

Looking for your next career step? See where a career at Telstra could take you.

* Reference: Now You See It:  How the Brain Science of Attention Will Transform the Way We Live, Work, and Learn (Viking-Penguin, 2011).

These are the top skills we’re looking to hire in 2018

Telstra Careers Advice

Posted on January 15, 2018

5 min read

We’re on our way to becoming a world-class technology company that empowers people to connect.

To help us achieve this goal we’re actively working on building the networks of the future that’ll help people find better ways to communicate, learn, and do business.

Business is changing so we’re trying to move as fast as the industry around us, but success can only be achieved by having the right people doing extraordinary things.

We are trialling 5G technology, developing Internet of Things network capabilities and deploying optical transport technology in our transmission network.

Sqoop, Spark, Hive, Flume, Oozie, and NumPy may sound like band names to me, but on a serious note, I know that these are the kinds of tools and skills that our workforce of the future needs to help us be successful for our customers.

Even then, that only refers to a fraction of the talent we’re seeking. These are the biggest areas we’re looking to hire in, in 2018:

Data Analytics and Management

Data. It’s the thing I use to make informed decisions but the same can be said for any good business. The challenge is that there’s a lot of data out there and its growth rate is exponential, so we need talented data specialists to help us make sense of it all.

Whether your specialty is data analysis, architecture, or modelling there will be room for your skills at Telstra.

Learn more about where a role in Data Analytics could take you at Telstra.

 Telstra Labs working environments

Information and Cyber Security Specialists

As our networks get smarter, so too are the threats against it.

We’ve recently launched Security Operations Centres (SOCs) in Melbourne and Sydney giving our people the tools and environment they need to identify and neutralise threats before they happen.

This means you’ll get to work on a scale you won’t find anywhere else.

Learn more about where a role in Information and Cyber Security could take you at Telstra.

Solution Architects

A great customer experience doesn’t just happen, it’s designed. In order to build our capability in customer solutions, we’re seeking technical specialists with a broad range of expertise in user design. We’re particularly looking for people who have the customer journey front of mind, these skills will help us deliver products end-to-end.

Our Solutions Architects will have a critical role in helping us digitise our network of the future and enhance how our customers engage with us in better ways.

Learn more about where a role in Solution Architecture could take you at Telstra.

Security operations specialist Roxanne speaks to her colleagues about a recent innovation

Infrastructure Designers and Engineers

Find yourself at home in a DevOps and Agile environment? Comfortable coding in Python and looking at better ways to deploy automation? You’ll find yourself among friends with our Infrastructure Designers and Engineers then.

This area of growth is an exciting space particularly because of the types of work you’ll have access to. It’ll also make it easy for people to adopt and use our technology, which will help to enrich their lives.

Learn more about where a role in Infrastructure Design and Engineering could take you at Telstra.

Innovation lab - west wing

Network Engineers

As Australia’s largest telecommunications and technology provider, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that we’d be looking for network engineers. But it’s the kinds of networks you’ll be working that makes our business so unique.

In 2017, we launched our Cat M1 network to better accelerate growth of IoT based business and applications across the country as well as laying the groundwork for the national rollout of 5G technology.

Did you know we’re going to be testing 5G technology on the Gold Coast in 2018? It’s exciting projects like this that you may be able to work on.

Learn more about where a role in Network Engineering could take you at Telstra.

Product and Service Designers

As our new projects and technologies transform from ideas to viable products for our customers, we’re going to need the right people with the right skills to ensure they’re designed to world-class standards.

We put the customer at the heart of everything we do, so we’ll be looking for designers of products, digital experiences, app developers and more to join our dynamic teams.

Learn more about where a role in Product and Service Design could take you at Telstra.

Innovation Lab - east wing

Software Engineers

Our Software Engineers will need to be ambitious, curious, and ready for a challenge.

A job with us will give you the opportunity to work on projects that have real impact on our customers and society.

You’ll need to be familiar with APIs for leading technology platforms and integrations, work in an Agile manner (typically Scrum), and have a willingness to apply data to make informed decisions that deliver results. Better still, your skills could be deployed right around our business so you’ll have no trouble keeping busy.

Learn more about where a role in Software Engineering could take you at Telstra.

It’s a new year filled with new opportunities. I hope this list has presented you with more insight into what we’re looking for and perhaps offered you a glimpse into your future career with us.

We work collaboratively as a team, as one Telstra, and I look forward to you joining us.

Start up your engines – the lessons we learned from Silicon Valley

Telstra Careers Community

Posted on August 22, 2017

3 min read

As a member of the Telstra Graduate Association, I helped organise our inter-grad event after asking our new cohort what they wanted to get out of the program the most. Their answer? To better network with grads at other businesses.

We got in touch with our friends in other businesses who were interested in being part of the event and before long we had over 80 grads from five companies join us in our Sydney office for a night hosted by muru-D, our startup accelerator which also recently opened in Melbourne.

We were joined by guest speaker Ben Sand, an entrepreneur and founder of many different businesses, including a foray into augmented reality technologies. Ben also happens to be the Sydney Entrepreneur-in-Residence for muru-D.

 

He spoke about his vast experience and how he brought his business ideas to life. I think a big takeaway for all of us from his speech was not to take other people’s success at face value. There’s a lot of hard work that goes on behind the scenes before any successful venture takes off.

I also learnt that if you’re working toward something, you’ve got to want it, you’ve got to make it a success and be willing to do as much as you can to make it happen.

Ben demonstrated this when he and his co-founder prototyped their augmented reality device in the car while driving to a meeting to pitch it and get funding. They used the time to quickly write some code and then test it, as the tools were readily available to him.

“If you want to do something and you know you’re the right person to do it, stick to it and in time you can succeed.”

Afterward, we all got involved in a group activity where we were mixed into teams and given three words, generated at random by all of us grads. We then used the words to form a company, talk about its service and think about how we would test our idea in the next 24 hours.

This activity taught us that if you come up with a good idea, don’t spend all your time planning and start testing it out as soon as you can.

To round out the evening, Telstra’s current muru-D participants joined us having recently returned from Silicon Valley, where they honed their three minute pitch.

I’m already looking forward to our next event.

Learn more about student and graduate career opportunities at Telstra and find your edge with us.

It’s like ‘The Voice’ for tech startup founders

Telstra Careers muru-D

Posted on August 4, 2017

4 min read

If your tech startup has a product and is ready for the next stage, the next step towards becoming a global technology success is most likely joining an accelerator.

muru-D is the startup accelerator backed by Telstra, and so far it has accelerated 77 startups with world-changing technology businesses.

So we caught up with the head of muru-D, Julie Trell, to find out what advice she would give to any budding technology entrepreneur who is looking for acceleration.

How would you describe a startup accelerator to a first-time founder?

As Annie Parker, one of the co-founders of muru-D, describes it, it’s like The Voice or Australian Idol for founders who have great ideas and seek the support of experts who have ‘been there done that’.

You present your idea and what you hope to build or how you plan on changing the world and or solving a problem. These experts choose to work with you and provide coaching and tools that will help your team find success.

At the end of the program there is one ‘performance’ where everyone wins. Rather than growing their fans and followers, they gain investors and customers. And the journey begins.

How would you know if your startup is ready for an accelerator?  

If you are looking for support, connections, coaching and you are ready to ask for help, then you’re ready for an accelerator. No founder or company is the same and not all accelerators are the same. Do your homework on what accelerator programs can do you for you.

What questions do you need to ask yourself?

Figure out what it is you need – is it access to capital? Connection to mentors? Getting educated on the ins-and-outs of running a start-up? Legal advice? Marketing? Sales? Pricing? Do you want to be with other startups eager to receive coaching and share similar struggles?

Or do you need more practice with soft skills like communications, leadership styles, or motivation? Do you need to sharpen your EQ (emotional quotient)? Then find the accelerators or programs that will address those needs.

How do you find an accelerator?

Simple answer: Google “accelerator” or “incubator” for startups and hundreds will appear. You can get a feel for what kinds of accelerators are out there, where they are located, what their requirements are, and what their focus is.

F6S and Angellist also have databases of all things startups including accelerator programs around the globe. It’s not a bad idea to have a profile on either of those platforms if you are looking for an accelerator, mentors, investors and/or a community of startups.

What should you do once you have found the right accelerator?

Once you do your homework and get a feel for a few accelerators that resonate with you, reach out to the portfolio companies who have been through the program. Contact them (tweet, email, LinkedIn etc.) and ask what their experience was like and if they recommend it and why. Recognise if their needs were the same as yours and evaluate accordingly.

It’s also important to understand how the accelerator engages with founders and companies after the program finishes. Is there an alumni community that you can reach out to for questions, connections, or just to unload? What is the ongoing support?

What is the best way to apply to an accelerator?

Once you get an idea of the right accelerator for you, the timing and location of the program, then you can apply online. Many applications will require a short video of you as a founder or your product or service, and what problem you are solving. Don’t worry if you don’t have a polished or professional video, often times the simplest short authentic videos work best.

Interested in a pursuing a career in technology at Telstra? Find the right career path for you.

Why a good mentor is important to your career

Telstra Careers Inspiration

Posted on July 25, 2017

3 min read

Julie Trell is our Head of muru-D, which is the start-up accelerator backed by Telstra, and her role is to help talented entrepreneurs take their businesses to the next level.

She is passionate about the technology industry and helping the next generation of female leaders fulfill their potential.

So we asked Julie what advice she has for someone who is looking for a mentor, and how to make the most out of the relationship.

Here is what she told us:

Why are you so passionate about mentoring?

One of the reasons I went into teaching was because I loved being the catalyst for helping someone learn something. Seeing when the lightbulb went on and they experienced that ‘aha’ moment is incredibly rewarding. With mentoring, for me the only difference is that there are no tests and no grading of homework.

I also recognise how powerful mentoring can be when your role or job might be isolated and you need an objective person to provide insight to something you may be missing. Through mentoring, both the mentor and mentee can gain valuable insights and perspectives. It’s a mutually beneficial experience.

Do you think it’s important for someone to get a mentor early on in their career?

Absolutely! Asking for help and taking advice is a muscle we all need to strengthen. It’s hard at first – regardless of gender – but with practice and starting young, it becomes a more natural exercise.

Are there any particular qualities people should look for in a potential mentor before approaching them?

Yes, first find someone in your immediate or extended network as you are more likely able to find more commonalities to kick off the relationship. Find people who are willing to share their skills, knowledge, and experience.

A good storyteller doesn’t hurt either. A good mentor is someone willing to take the time and truly listen – and not tell you what to do or what you want to hear. A good mentor is someone who has empathy and understands what it’s like to start out in a career or take on a new responsibility.

What do you think is the best way to approach a potential mentor?

Do your homework. Send a personalised concise email (or ask for an intro from a mutual friend as that has some built in credibility).

Customise your request. If it’s someone you don’t know too well, find similarities or commonalities. “I see you went to X university, I was also a student there from XXXX-XXXX”. Or “I just read your article on Y and it resonated with me and here’s how”. Be very specific in your ask: “Would you be interested in helping me <make this career leap> <Allow me to share what I’ve been working on to grow my team and get some feedback>”

How can you make the most out of a mentoring relationship?

Listen. Be respectful with your and their time. Check in to make sure it’s a mutually beneficial relationship – a two-way street.

Hear from Julie Trell at this week’s Vogue Codes Summit in Sydney. She’ll be part of a panel discussion speaking on the importance of mentoring and role models in the workplace.
Find out more.

Learn more about where a career at Telstra could take you.