Accelerating students' career growth through digital skillsright-arrow
read-time5 mins
by Charter Hall

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Digital technology, data and innovation are reshaping the commercial real estate industry, cultivating work and workplaces that are more engaging, intuitive and insightful, and creating opportunities for the built world to be more efficient, sustainable and resilient.

We're in a time of rapid change. And we’re not slowing down. It’s so important that as an industry we’re at the forefront of these innovations to unearth the needs of our people, customers and communities and co-create solutions to solve our most pressing challenges.

At Charter Hall, we not only want to equip our people with these skills, but tomorrow’s leaders – partnering with leading universities to deliver a range of initiatives including our scholarship program and speciality courses.

Charter Hall’s Chief Information & Technology Officer Sheridan Ware is the creator and lecturer of the new University of Technology Sydney (UTS) course, Proptech Applications and Delivery.

A highly interactive course, students learn about the world of proptech and are taught human-centred design and agile delivery techniques to help bring ideas and innovation to life and accelerate their career growth through digital skills.

It’s something Sheridan is deeply passionate about, as she shares below.

What made you want to create the course? We really wanted to equip our industry’s future leaders with the skills and understanding to make meaningful and sustainable change and help them ideate, experiment and innovate.

What does the course explore? We look deeply at the types of technology that are changing the industry – the internet of things, automation, artificial intelligence, virtual and augmented reality, blockchain - and then specific examples of how these technologies are changing roles, experiences and outcomes across the real estate lifecycle. Students also get the opportunity to network and learn from several start-ups and scale-ups, and together we look at the future of the industry and ask: what’s next?

What is the biggest takeaway for students from this course? That they are the future of our industry and with the right tools, techniques and templates they have everything they need to go about creating meaningful change.

At Charter Hall we care about creating better futures for the people coming into the industry and nurturing new talent. How does the course deliver this? The course is very practical and students get the opportunity to network and create connections in the proptech industry, so that they can ask the right questions and action ideas from the outset of their careers.

Why is innovation so important in the technology space? With world-class technology we can improve people’s lives, optimise operations of companies and buildings, reduce our carbon footprints and create better insights so people can make faster and more uniformed decisions. This course allows students to get a broad understanding of all the ways that technology can drive innovation, and they get a practical toolkit to go and make those changes themselves.

How is Charter Hall leading the way? We’re integrating different technology and data into our business and our property portfolio, such as automation, touchless entry, smart lighting, waste management systems and our workplace app Charli. We see a massive upside in the ability to use digital technology and data for our employees, as well as our customers, our building communities and our planet.

You are a member of the UTS Property Economic Industry Advisory Committee – what does this involve? It’s about industry leaders coming together and partnering with UTS to review and continually evolve the Bachelor of Property Economics programs so it maintains its relevance and ensures graduates are equipped with all the skills and knowledge they need to hit the ground running. 55% of the program’s content is taught by industry professionals and I think that partnership between academia and industry is so critical to ensuring Australia’s property talent remains best in class globally.

We’ve recently discussed how we’re equipping graduates to make the best use of digital technology and data and how we’re equipping them to understand and respond to emerging areas such as sustainability and pandemic-related risks. I think it’s incredibly important that the industry helps keep education current and helps build students awareness and resilience. We’re going through rapid change and a solid partnership will ensure graduates are comfortable and confident to progress their careers in ways that are meaningful.