Transforming how we see digital careers across the APS

Our Building Digital Capability team and the Australian Public Service Commission are developing a new way for APS employees to explore their career potential.

A group of public servants discussing a diagram on a whiteboard

The Digital Career Pathways being developed are a world-leading innovative approach based on the Skills Framework for the Information Age. It’s a highly data-driven methodology to help to show the skill and knowledge pathways between common roles and disciplines across government.

How can I use my existing skills in other roles?

The Digital Career Pathways help Australian Public Service (APS) employees discover how to use their existing skills in other roles, and what new skills they might need to excel in those roles. The approach provides clarity and understanding of the pathways between roles and disciplines. This makes it easy to identify skills gaps.

As well as movement between roles within the digital profession, the career pathways model helps people interested in transitioning from non-digital roles to digital roles. It also shows the specific skills they need to develop. For example, people who know how to draft or read legislation will usually have a good appreciation for how to write and read rules, which is a core foundation for developing software code.

How can I find the training I need?

The knowledge gained through an understanding of career pathways can help connect APS staff with the most relevant training or opportunities they need to develop their careers. This process can create a lot more freedom and flexibility for career choices within the APS.

The digital career pathways will help people to understand the different roles in the various disciplines. For example, what is the difference between a Technology Architect and a Solution Architect? The digital career pathways show that Solution Architects do a few things that Technology Architects don’t, for example, designing software and helping businesses change their processes.

This process can also help with workforce planning by identifying potential skills deficiencies and suggesting areas for future skill development across the APS. This helps to plan and source the training needed for digital transformation to continue.

We believe working with both agencies on the career pathways is a truly collaborative partnership model. It helps to keep both organisations coordinated, informed, and working for the benefit of the whole APS.

The Building Digital Capability program, of which the digital career pathways is just one component, seeks to attract, build and retain the skills of Australian Public Servants to assist with digital transformation. The added benefit of staff who are realising their potential is that government services will continue to become simpler, clearer and faster.

How to get involved in digital career pathways

There are two ways for people to contribute to this project.

Workshops to define digital roles and build capability

The Australian Public Service Commission and DTA are inviting people to attend a workshop to define the typical APS roles in their digital disciplines. These include the disciplines of data science, cyber security, enterprise architecture, performance analysis, content ops, design ops and many more.

If you have direct experience in one or other of these fields, please come along to a free workshop. Details are on our Eventbrite page

User research into digital roles

We’re also conducting user research on how people find, explore and pursue digital roles in the APS. We’re looking for people in all stages of their career. This includes people who aren’t yet in a digital role but are considering a move in that direction.

This research will help us design or find a tool that will help you explore your digital career options. The research interviews take an hour, and you don’t need to leave your workplace – though it can be more fun if you do.

Contact and questions

If you can help out with research, or have any questions about the digital career pathways, please contact the team at capability@dta.gov.au

Steve is a content designer and Grant is a digital skills subject-matter expert at the DTA