Charbel Zeaiter from Academy Xi and I got to spend a bit of time together a few weeks back and like him I see that industry is moving rapidly compared to government, universities and traditional learning schools

On today’s vlog we discuss some of those rapid changes and how Academy Xi is making big plays to address the changes.

Academy Xi‘s vision is to change the world by educating the next wave of digital change-makers… I dig it!

Academy Xi |  CoursesTeam Training


Tobi Skovron: And we’re back.

Chadon: Hey Tobi.

Tobi Skovron: How are you?

Chadon: Very well. How are you?

Tobi Skovron: Chadon. I’m amazing. Thanks for coming on.

Chadon: Thank you.

Tobi Skovron: Chado from XI Academy.

Chadon: Academy XI. And everyone says that, it’s really funny. Yeah, thank you.

Tobi Skovron: Tell us about it.

Chadon: Yeah well we, God, we’ve been around for two years now.

Tobi Skovron: Yeah.

Chadon: Looked at where the market is right now and there’s a chronic shortage of skills in the market, around the new way of design which is experience design. You know, UX service design. And also looking at the wave of technology about to hit us which is VR, AI and Blockchain.

Tobi Skovron: Yeah.

Chadon: So we’re rapidly trying to train people. Well, we are training them into these new and emerging fields.

Tobi Skovron: So courses?

Chadon: Courses. Yeah we’ve got part time courses, we’ve launched our full-time courses as well in UX now next year as well as marketing. And towards the end of the year, we’ll start shifting things a little. And we’re working on online. So by March we’ll have our online courses.

Tobi Skovron: So people come to you and say, “Hey I have an idea for this new product, new design.” Maybe it’s currency, maybe it’s whatever. And they want to learn the skills to create it? Or are they like, “Hey I’m just interested in creating or learning the skill set, I don’t know what I’m gonna create”?

Chadon: Yes. It’s a mix of both. Sometimes it’s … Mostly, it’s people who are seeing all these jobs appearing and they are amazing jobs like UX and service design are the big ones.

Tobi Skovron: Yeah, yeah.

Chadon: And they either want to upskill or reskill into these fields. So it’s people who want to shift their careers and also we do get a lot of startups coming in, wanting to learn specific skills and in that growth marketing, which is digital marketing, much more mature than that.

Chadon: We do get mostly startups and work around the product that they want to work on.

Tobi Skovron: Yeah.

Chadon: But for us, same question that we asked ourselves, what problem are we solving? Is usually the question we ask in pretty much every program we teach.

Tobi Skovron: I love it. I read a statistic the other day. I’m not sure if it’s a statistic or a headline that universities are gonna go bankrupt in the next 10-20 years because there’s companies and organizations like yourself that are sort of eating … The traditional courses are kind of like, they’ve had their time. Can you comment or …?

Chadon: Yeah. Oh you know, I like that sort of drama.

Tobi Skovron: Yeah.

Chadon: It’s … Some things are. That’s absolutely true. One of the stats I’m now saying in that is that people who go to university now, about 40% of them won’t have a job to go to in three years time. By the time they finish their degree. Unis will still have a place. They’ve got to, absolutely. I mean there’s not a question.

Chadon: I was speaking with a local uni here about integrating our courses with them. And she said to me, “Well good luck on trying to get a change happening within four years.” And for us, things change every three months. So we’re adapting every three months.

Tobi Skovron: Very interesting.

Chadon: Yeah so we think that with unis, it’s like some, like obviously doctors are going to attend their course. That’s a reality. And whether doctors are relevant in five years time, I don’t know.

Tobi Skovron: So that’s very interesting. I’m sure we’re steering way off course here.  My father was an auto mechanic, auto industry.

Chadon: Yeah.

Tobi Skovron: Was a raging entrepreneur. Surprise, surprise. People ask me where I got it from.

And something really cool happened. I actually got a text message from the mechanic at the dealership and he took me on a tour with a virtual like I was basically, I clicked on a link and he’s like, “Hey Toby, thanks for joining. I just want to let you know, the tires over here, they’re in perfect condition. Over here we found this little issue here but really more than compliant dah dah dah dah dah.” You know and basically tutorialed me through my car experience.

Chadon: Amazing.

Tobi Skovron: Now back in the day, my Dad used to come home like covered in grease and like clothes stained but this mechanic in the showroom was like … It’s become more of a computer than it has a combustion engine.

Chadon: Yeah, absolutely. And that’s the representation of the changes that are coming. You know and there’s no more question about what automation is going to do. There’s no question about how many jobs will become irrelevant.

Chadon: So these mechanics aren’t mechanics. They’re engineers now.

Tobi Skovron: Yeah.

Chadon: And that’s a massive, massive shift from what was a trade into what is now a discipline.

Tobi Skovron: Amazing, right?

Chadon: And that’s the whole thing. It’s just all problem solvers, they’ve got to be able to investigate a problem and find a solution. Which is exactly what designers do these days. So it’s an interesting shift. And it’s kind of terrifying and exciting. Especially when we start to see the wave of you know, you’ve experienced VR and it’s immature now. And we’re preparing towards that for happen.

Chadon: So you have all these people that are training, moving into these new fields. All these new technologies are coming. All these people are gonna move over here and then we’re gonna have this vacuum happening.

Tobi Skovron: I see it. I see it. Actually, you know, you made a very good point before. You know, I was out for dinner a few weeks back with the Australian government.

I don’t know how I got invited with the government, I really just have no idea. But I was sitting there and partly bored out of my brain but I came back from that and there was a conversation here that was going on about how industry is moving so rapidly that government is trying to keep up but because they’re so large and so legislative, there’s so much red tape. It’s just … It’s just not even a consideration for some of these small businesses anymore.

Tobi Skovron: Like Grants and all this sort of stuff. Now they have their place. All I’m saying is, governments and potentially, universities, are just not moving as fast as industry.

Chadon: Yeah.

Tobi Skovron: Which is creating a massive gap.

Chadon: Yeah. It is and this is interesting. We were at a lunch about a month ago with the British High Commission and we were talking about education. And one of the questions was around small schools. We’re small, considered small.

Tobi Skovron: Sure.

Chadon: Coming in and supplementing the curriculum at the school level.

Tobi Skovron: Yeah.

Chadon: And the comment was, “Well why don’t we just copy you?” And I said, “Well good luck.” ‘Cause what I was saying before is that by the time you’ve organized and thought about it, we’ve already changed.

Tobi Skovron: Yeah and I think the curriculum historically was so like … I’ve said this before. I think I actually shared with you. I was not the best student at school.

Chadon: Yeah.

Tobi Skovron: Like they tried to squeeze this round head into a small hole and it just didn’t work. I wasn’t rebellious or anything stupid like that, I just sat. Like it just wasn’t for me. And so, I think what’s happening is like things are moving so fast. Like technology, right? I just got the new iPhone X.

Chadon: Mm-hmm.

Tobi Skovron: Not a bragging job but last year I had the iPhone 7 Plus.

Chadon: Yeah.

Tobi Skovron: The phone was in immaculate condition but Apple messed with me so bad, as in like they told me how amazing the new phone is but it was outdated and I basically gave away a very good … Not gave away. I had to give it back to Telstra but gave it back for a brand new phone and paid $150 because that’s my plan.

Tobi Skovron: The point of the conversation is, that things are moving at such a rapid rate that there’s almost like another market that’s being created here in preference to going and getting a degree in whatever it is.

Chadon: And that’s the thing.

Tobi Skovron: Or in addition too. Hey, if you’re a wannabe university student, stick to the game. I’m not trying to belittle or talk down to it but I think that what we are articulating here or identifying is that industry is moving at such a rapid rate because of technology. Like the mechanic as an example, he’s not a mechanic. Like you said. He’s an engineer.

Chadon: Yeah.

Tobi Skovron: Right? And so the guys that have done … I mean hopefully the old school guys are now being educated and caught up, otherwise it creates a massive unemployment hold.

Chadon: Yes. Well yeah. That will happen. And that is going to be unavoidable. It’s going to be pretty awful.

Talking with Elon Musk and talking to people that are talking, like Bill Gates, speaking about the universal basic income because that is going to be a reality. You know, a lot of people that are doing what is considered traditional jobs now, won’t be doing those jobs in almost no time.

Tobi Skovron: I see that.

Chadon: And there’s a whole lot of people who will train up. It’s a bit disturbing because it has the risk of creating this real divided society.

Tobi Skovron: Sure.

Chadon: Those who are digital, those who are not. It’s less about money because the opportunities are there but it’s just this divide is gonna be around technology.

So those with access to technology are the ones who are gonna be separated from those who don’t have technology. Which is you know … And that’s one of those reality is that work on digital has become currency.

The currency for your degree, currency for … Yes, it’s also a type of currency. Which is kind of crazy.

Tobi Skovron: Yeah I’ve had a texting storm with my friends in Los Angeles about Bitcoin and get on, get on, get on it. Leave me. I’m gonna be left in the dust.

Chadon: I’ve looked in a tiny bit and I’ve seen what it’s done and you know, that’s one of those things that’s like …

Tobi Skovron: Yeah, well. It’s just it feels to me like, I’m sure it feels to other people that are not tech savvy but it feels to me like it’s just too much of a learning curve. And too much to get. And then what worries me is, is it a ponzi scheme?

Chadon: I won’t say anything. Wait till we do our Blockchain course next year. Come on it.

Tobi Skovron: Yeah, no. So I think there’s a great industry there.

Chadon: Yeah.

Tobi Skovron: I don’t know enough. So I can’t say … I just don’t know enough so I’m bullish on trying to have a crack.

Chadon: Yeah. And the thing is that you’ve got to know enough about the things that you love. Because you want to have a view of what the space is and that’s what your good effort, look at what you’re doing, that’s amazing. It’s what you focus on. You can’t know everything.

Tobi Skovron: Yeah, yeah.

Chadon: But it’s just knowing what the technology is doing because what will change, the workforce will change to all of a sudden … You know, there’s a book. I can’t remember the name but from the ’70s that predicted this concept of seven billion corporations in one (Ed: The Population Bomb). Which effectively was predicting the freelance society. All the small team shift in the workforce, which is what’s happening now.

Tobi Skovron: Totally.

Chadon: Even with the growth of co-working.

Tobi Skovron: Yeah.

Chadon: That isn’t necessarily what anyone would have predicted but you look at what’s happening in technology, and that’s all of a sudden freed people up. So from the corporate structure to go and do their own thing. Which is what you’re doing.

Tobi Skovron: Yeah. Agile workplaces like private corporations have started shifting to, “Hey if you’re connected to the net in a safe and secure way, either VPN or whatever, or maybe new sort of digital connectivity that supersedes the internet but as long as you’re connected, you’re working.”

Chadon: Yeah. Yeah.

Tobi Skovron: And so if you feel comfortable at Creative Cubes, go to Creative Cubes. If you feel more comfortable in your house, go to your house.

Chadon: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Tobi Skovron: So very interesting. So Academy XI.com?

Chadon: That’s it.

Tobi Skovron: .com?

Chadon: Yeah.

Tobi Skovron: No, .au?

Chadon: No. Well you can have that but yeah just go .com.

Tobi Skovron: I’ll link it in the description below. Mate, thank you so much for coming on.

Chadon: Thank you. Thanks for having me.

Tobi Skovron: Good luck with everything. I’d love to circle back with you once you start doing your BlockChain courses.

Chadon: Yeah, yeah that would be hopefully April.

Tobi Skovron: April 18, yeah. So maybe we’ll get an update on that and sort of like some new learnings that are going on.

Chadon: Yeah amazing. That would be great.

Tobi Skovron: Chadon, everyone. All right. This is the awkward part, you stay here, I go to turn off the iPad. But we’re still livestreaming so I don’t know, maybe tell a joke or something.

Chadon: I actually don’t know any jokes. I do but yeah the problem is that they’re kind of my age and I’m in Dad joke territory now. And they’re not funny so … Thank you.

Tobi Skovron

Author Tobi Skovron

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