When a business takes the leap to expand to another country, like in our case, to the United States of America, rebranding is inevitable. And we are excited by both the expansion as well as the rebrand of our award winning South African online school, now known as Think Digital Academy.

Our CEO, Ms Janessa Leita, explains, “As Think Digital College continues to grow in South Africa, and online education gains further popularity under the circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic, we saw it prudent to spread our wings to the USA – a goal we have been working on for some time now.”

She elaborates further with, “The expansion to the United States of America has become a reality as we have now registered our first institution in the state of Florida.”

What happens when you open doors in a new country?

With the first phase of global expansion of any business, online schools are no exception, there must be evolution. In this case, cultural evolvement was necessary. Janessa explains, “Our international expansion has however, meant that we have had to change our name in the process, as the word ‘college’ refers to a tertiary institution in the USA. As a result, our exciting new name Think Digital Academy was birthed.”

When certain things change (like our name) others remain the same

Think Digital Academy is undoubtedly built on the vitally fundamental pillars of Think Digital College, that of quality, advancement, and integrity. This online school that was born and launched in South Africa, which recently scooped the international 2020/21 Corporate Livewire Prestige Award, has carried over its finest traits to the American market. While this growth has been taking place, and remaining true to our mission, we have not skipped a beat in serving the online students of South Africa in the process. The Prestige award was a great honour, one that drove home the message that all online students and stakeholders should be assured of exceptional service in a safe, online school environment. Now we aim to bring the same standard of online schooling to the United States of America.

Energised, excited and exhilarated

There is no better time to use some alliteration to express the sheer joy and passion we are moving forward with as a team and organisation. Think Digital Academy is an online schooling brand that we will grow from strength to strength, but never losing sight of our online students, ensuring they always have the best available education and service delivered to them.

“Our online students are our why, they are our purpose. And everything Think Digital Academy keeps striving to do, will have these fine, young people top of mind” emphasises Janessa.

You can find more information on our online school curricula or feel free to reach out to us with any questions you may have.

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It has been estimated that globally 50% of jobs currently in existence will not exist by 2030 and our children are not protected from this reality. The global transformation currently underway, called the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), entails the convergence of all digital, physical and biological technologies. It is predicted, that by 2020, 4IR will have brought us advances in robotics, artificial intelligence and machine learning, genetic engineering and virtual reality.

However, South Africa is already struggling to employ its youth. The country registered an unemployment rate of 29.1% in the fourth quarter of 2019 which is staggeringly high. The question is, can South Africa adapt quickly enough to adequately equip its young people with the skills required by 4IR?

The labour market of the future will require new skills including digital fluency, creative thinking, problem solving, collaboration, empathy and adaptability. Traditional thinking was that the more specialised a person became, the more economically valuable they would be. However, 4IR requires a person to be interdisciplinary – to have sufficient knowledge in other fields outside of their area of specialisation.

Considering that information and communications technologies is the fastest growing industry in South Africa, and that science, technology, engineering, and mathematics sectors are also achieving similar growth, skills in robotics and coding will future-proof our learners and equip them for the ‘jobs of the future’.

According to the World Economic Forum, the top ten emerging jobs are:

  1. Data analysts and scientists;
  2. Artificial Intelligence and machine learning specialists;
  3. General and operations managers;
  4. Software developers and analysts;
  5. Sales and marketing specialists;
  6. Big data specialists;
  7. Digital transformation specialists;
  8. New technology specialists;
  9. Organisational development specialists;
  10. Information technology services

The 4IR is no longer coming, it is upon us. The best we can do as parents, and educators, is to ensure that our students have the necessary skills for future job and labour markets, and have the ability to navigate the uncertain environment of a technology-driven economy. Our education system simply has to adapt, otherwise our children will be left behind.

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