Growing your digital skills

The COVID-19 restrictions have certainly disrupted our lives. It has also triggered an interest in gardening, sourdough and DIY. While you’re tending to your personal life, you also need to remember to tend your professional skills.

Person at a computer screen with a plant and teacup on the desk
Caption: Use this time to grow your digital skills

Our time working remotely has highlighted the importance of digital skills. Regardless of the type of work you do, this is a great chance to brush up and improve your digital capability.

APS staff are only a few weeks away from end-of-cycle performance conversations. Now is the time to start planning the development options you have to share with your managers.

Self-assessing your needs

You have likely learned a lot about yourself during this change in working style. For example:

  • What do you need to be most productive?
  • What are the skills, aptitudes and preferences you didn’t know you had?
  • What are the areas you need to develop?

It is important to take the time to review where you are, where you want to go, and the gap between those the two places. You can assess yourself using the profiles in the Work Level Standards.

This will help you work out if you:

  • have the skills or capabilities for your current level
  • need to develop your skills to move to a higher level

Professionals Australia also have a blog on assessing your development needs with some helpful questions that can help you identify your own gaps.

Start learning now

Once you know what you want to develop, there are plenty of no-cost learning and development options available. Discuss options and time commitments with your manager, so they can support you.

What the APSC offers

The APSC’s Centre for Leadership and Learning has translated a lot of their face-to-face courses into online courses and launched the APS Online Learning Catalogue. The catalogue contains courses that will take you across core skills and also leadership capability.

Courses you can take through the catalogue that directly relate to digital capability include; data literacy, creative thinking at work, dealing with change, managing remote teams, planning and managing change, SFIA (Skills Framework for the Information Age) and transitioning to remote work.

The Leading in the Digital Age program is designed for SES to develop their knowledge and understanding of digital and increase their leadership capability to guide the development of better digital services. The program is run as part of the Building Digital Capability program. You can book via the catalogue.

There is also a GovTeams section of the catalogue where you can access resources so you can learn at your own pace and in your own way, rather than sign up for the courses.

The APSC website has a range of information about L&D (Learning and Development) opportunities, including how to access amazing development such as the JAWUN APS Secondment Program. They have developed a guide to learning on the job, to help you consider your development needs.

What the DTA offers

We have many ways you can develop your digital skills. Here are some we recommend:

  • We have recently launched the Digital Professional Stream – for digital practitioners in the APS. Sign up to the professional stream, get involved in its development, and access opportunities such as helping test our new career pathways tool.
  • Have you read the Digital Service Standard? Educate yourself on the Standard, what it means and how to assess your services. The Standard team are ready to answer any questions you have.
  • The Little Book of Digital is your digital transformation 101 guide. It aligns our language around digital transformation and ways of working. And gives practical tips and tricks on how to think and work digitally.
  • Several digital disciplines have developed Communities of Practice to share ideas, ask questions and get solutions. If your discipline isn’t there, contact us for advice about setting up your own.
  • We are planning the 2020 Digital Summit. This year it will be a virtual event so it will be even easier to attend, develop your digital knowledge and skills, learn from experts and connect with your fellow practitioners. Email summit@dta.gov.au if you want to be added to the list to be notified when we are announcing the summit.
  • We publish news items and blog posts to inform you about how we do digital transformation. Sign up to receive notification when we publish a blog.
  • We run events and workshops. This involves developing digital skills such as user research, content design, service design, data analysis and more. Follow our DTA Eventbrite page so you don’t miss out.
  • We publish updates and links to information on social media. You can find us on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Follow us on your favourite platform to keep up to date.

Learnhub

Learnhub is the Australian Government’s online learning and development platform for the APS. The resources available on Learnhub help you develop your knowledge and skills. Check your agency intranet or contact your HR team to find out how to access Learnhub in your agency.

LinkedIn Learning

LinkedIn Learning, previously known as Lynda.com, has an external library of video tutorials you can access through Learnhub.

Through LinkedIn Learning you can:

  • access courses in business, tech, and creative
  • develop your own list of recommended courses
  • access and watch at your own pace

Commit to 30 minutes a week and get started on a range of learning opportunities.

The LinkedIn Learning Mobile App is also free to download from the Apple Store and Google Play Store.

External learning

Some face-to-face external courses are now delivered online. Take some time to look at what is available and find out if there is an opportunity in the next financial year to meet your identified skills gap.

Conferences are another way to learn and develop new skills, with many now online. That dream conference you could never attend might now be an option.

Don’t forget to put your name down for information about Digital Summit 2020 (note: if you attended last year, we will be in touch to let you know).

Contact your manager to find out how to access these opportunities in your agency.

Plan for your future

Your performance agreement is a perfect opportunity to highlight the skills and capabilities you know you need. The world is increasingly digital, so developing your digital skills helps you make the most of your career at every stage.

Make a plan and go into your performance meeting with a clear idea of what you want to develop and how you plan to develop in that area.

We’re here to help

Our Building Digital Capability team are here to help get you and your team to where you would like to be. To find out more, please contact capability@dta.gov.au