Sally Browner, General Manager of The Left Bank and Coder Academy shares her thoughts on the recent findings that Universities may not be equipping you with the skills you need for the media and marketing industries.


An interesting article in Adnews recently outlined how Universities are struggling to equip students with the skills they need to be immediately effective in the marketing and media industries. This is a trend that is being seen across a number of sectors and an issue that requires serious consideration.

At the same time, there are private sector colleges that are providing incredibly relevant, industry and job-focused courses. This sector of the educational market is able to be much more agile and therefore it can keep pace with the rapidly changing needs of employers.

Universities control over 90% of the higher education market. Parents, schools and students persist in viewing University as somehow superior and more credible than other tertiary education options. Yet recent reports show that:

  • Up to 40% of University degrees will soon be obsolete.
  • Employers are placing less emphasis on a degree as they look to increase diversity and recognise the value of alternative pathways

I have personally spent a lot of time at University. I have always liked structured study with its well-curated schedules and assessments. I have completed 3 degrees and with each one, I gained some terrific theoretical knowledge.

I found the lectures with 700 people rather a waste of time and preferred to get the recordings. I loved the tutorials where I had a genuine opportunity to interact with my peers and my teachers.

Interestingly in all of my different careers, I found the theory that I had learnt at University was of little use when I hit the workforce!

I now work as the General Manager for a private education provider. We provide courses that offer disruptive alternatives or additions to the traditional model. Coder Academy runs the only accredited coding bootcamp in Australia and The Left Bank has been running online industry led Digital Marketing courses since 2015. The Left Bank is just about to launch new on campus, industry intensive, digital media courses in Sydney and Melbourne.

A few private sector colleges have sadly given the whole sector a questionable reputation and yet when I look at the 5:1 ratio of students to teacher in our GenTech Bootcamp or the employment statistics and feedback for our Fast Track Bootcamp I know that we are providing an incredibly high-quality product that equips students to be immediately effective but also to develop the mindset of lifelong learning.

Our courses are designed in conjunction with industry. They are based on agile methodologies and demand students get hands-on from day 1.

University is designed to educate massive amounts of students at once, over a long period of time. Our courses are bespoke, targeted, short and intensive. I think University will always have an important place in our society, however, I think the time has come for its dominance to be seriously challenged.


The Left Bank is an Australian online education provider that specialises in delivering a range of unique high-quality courses that teach how to understand and apply emerging digital technologies. The Left Bank is a division of the highly regarded Academy of Information Technology.

Sydney Intensive Digital Marketing On Campus Course – starts 5th June – 10 weeks (2 evenings per week)

Melbourne Intensive Digital Marketing On Campus Course – starts 25th June – 1 week (5 full days)



Coder Academy has a mission to drive innovation and reduce inequality via high-quality technology training. Coder Academy delivers a wide range of courses in Coding, Robotics, Game Design, UX Design, AR & VR to both the K-12 and Tertiary sectors.

GenTech Bootcamp (Ages 18-24) – Designed to help school leavers or recent university graduates future-proof their careers. Next intake Sydney and Melbourne March 2019.

Fast Track Bootcamp (Ages 25+) – Designed to help those wishing to upskill quickly and transition into a career as a junior developer. Next intake Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane August 2018.

Cyber Security Bootcamp (launching soon)