Digital skills academy to address IT skills shortfall in South Africa

KPMG South Africa has signed an industry partner agreement with international educator Digital Skills Academy, in a move set to boost high-end practical IT skills among South African participants.

Aiming to help address the local IT skills shortfall, particularly the lack of hands-on experience, the partnership will see participants studying for Digital Skills Academy’s International BSc Honours Degree in Digital Skills gaining real life experience through collaboration with the Johannesburg office of KPMG.

Participants will work with cross-functional international teams of coders, managers, marketers, sales professionals and designers on industry partner projects proposed by KPMG.

The agreement will support the development of digital products and services including the development of mobile apps, websites and web services, software development, digital marketing and social media campaigns or prototype development.

Paul Dunne, CEO and founder of the Digital Skills Academy, said: “The partnership with KPMG is the first of a number similar arrangements we will be announcing in South Africa and illustrates our desire to work alongside globally recognised corporate brands so that we are able to offer the very best in cutting edge experience to our degree participants. It is a reflection of all the great things happening at the moment in South Africa’s tech scene and we look forward to being a part of its continuing success by helping to internationalise the country’s offering.”

Heidi Volschenk, Partner at KPMG South Africa in Johannesburg, said: “We aim to develop skillsets in the digital space in tandem with the Digital Skills Academy team, in the context of both the professional services environment and in terms of the more general international trends in the digital technology and digital business sectors.”

Digital Skills Academy’s pioneering International BSc programme incorporates industry engagement with organisations like KPMG in order to offer participants the opportunity to work on real world projects and to produce industry-optimised graduates.

The degree programmes are primarily aimed at corporates who want to up-skill staff, people currently employed in other fields looking to secure positions in the digital technology sector, and graduates who are looking to improve their career prospects. While a handful of similarly pioneering ‘on campus’ degrees exist, the Digital Skills Academy programme is the first of its kind to employ online eLearning delivery, making it available globally.

The one year, part-time and online course – the International BSc (Honours) in Digital Technology, Design and Innovation – is accredited by Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) and facilitates work in international teams on real world projects via virtual platforms.  With an emphasis on multidisciplinary teaching by respected industry leaders, participants have the opportunity to acquire a comprehensive understanding of modern digital business and in-demand digital technology skills.

Staff Writer