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Mapping out careers for an AI-driven future

Deakin Business School gathered experts to share their vision of the career opportunities that will emerge as AI transforms business, popular culture and everyday life.

At Deakin Business School’s recent event, "The Rise of AI: Implications for Career Opportunities and Skill Development," students had the opportunity to explore the impact of Artificial Intelligence (AI) on the way that we live, entertain and work.

With AI set to have a significant impact on the job market and the knowledge and skills that will be increasingly required by business, our goal was to improve students' understanding of the impact that AI will have on their future careers and equip them with the knowledge, skills and tools to successfully transition into the workforce.

Held at Deakin's city corporate centre (Deakin Downtown), the event had an impressive turnout of industry experts, professionals, and aspiring students. This engaging gathering served as a platform to explore the transformative potential of artificial intelligence (AI) in shaping future career prospects.

The success of the event can be attributed to the invaluable participation and insights from Deakin Business School's industry partners. The exceptional lineup of leading organisations and industry partners included HUB24, Striver, CPA Australia, CAANZ, UniSuper, KPMG, Deloitte, the Financial Advice Association of Australia (FAAA), Shadforth Financial Group, The Australian Property Institute, Valuer-General Victoria and Herron Todd White. These organisations played a pivotal role in fostering discussions and providing expert perspectives on the implications of AI in various industries.

It became clear from the experts' presentations that while AI is transforming the landscape of industries, it cannot replace the need for human interaction and the development of essential skills. The panellists and speakers emphasised the significance of critical thinking, communication, and innovation skills for students entering the workforce.

As AI continues to evolve, these human-centric skills remain invaluable as AI lacks the ability to understand the nuances, context, personalities, and emotions involved in effective communication and decision-making.

Craig Apps, an esteemed AI expert and Chief Product and Innovation Officer at HUB24, delivered a captivating keynote speech that laid the foundation for the discussions. His insights shed light on the rapid advancements in AI technology and how it impacts career opportunities and skill development. Apps emphasised that despite the rise of AI, human qualities such as creativity, adaptability, and emotional intelligence will continue to play a crucial role in the workforce of the future.

The panel discussion, moderated by Dr. Peter Vuong from Deakin Business School, further delved into the intricacies of AI's implications for career development. Accompanied by industry professionals, which included Craig Apps, Sarah Petty, Robert Stopajnik and Dr Lei Pan, the panellists engaged in thought-provoking conversations, highlighting the critical need for individuals to continuously enhance their critical thinking, communication, and innovation skills. These skills enable professionals to harness the power of AI as a tool, rather than being overshadowed or replaced by it.

Sarah Petty, Head of Finance Control at Target and member of the Accounting Advisory Board at Deakin University, emphasised the importance of effective communication and human interaction in the age of AI. She stated, "While AI can automate certain processes and enhance efficiency, it is the human touch that truly connects people. Understanding the nuances, context, and emotions behind communication and decision-making is something that AI cannot replicate."

Dr Lei Pan warns however, that with rapid adoption of AI, come a series of risks that need to be carefully considered such as a lack of understanding in how AI technology works if allowed to automate tasks leading to unwanted outcomes, server-side cyber-attacks, or unwarranted 3rd pay invasion of privacy.

The event also featured inspiring career journeys from a range of different professions, including Janice Gu, Mitchel Harrison, Defne Duran, Ashlee Singleton, Jason Stevens, and Zac Tomaino. These individuals shared their personal experiences and highlighted the significance of combining technical skills with essential human qualities to thrive in the evolving landscape of AI-driven industries. Their stories left a lasting impression on the attendees, inspiring them to embrace the opportunities that arise from AI while developing and honing their human-centric skills.

The participation and insights of our key industry partners played a vital role in making "The Rise of AI" event a resounding success, leaving our students equipped with a deeper understanding of the potential of AI, future career opportunities and the critical role that humans will continue to play in the digital era.

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