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April 13, 2021

HEX Welcomes New Chief Learning Officer – Dr Katy McDevitt

Jeanette Cheah
HEX Welcomes New Chief Learning Officer – Dr Katy McDevitt

Katy is one of those extraordinary humans who combines deep professional expertise with insatiable curiosity and wonder. Among her many achievements, she's designed high-growth learning innovations for APAC at Pearson Australia, scaled digital learning to 750k+ global enrolments at Adelaide University (AdelaideX), and spearheaded micro-credentialing at Deakin University (DeakinCo).

Educated at the University of Oxford, where she earned first-class honours, a master’s degree, and a doctorate in English, Katy's experience spans publishing and editing, through to secondary, vocational, and higher education, all the way to organisational learning.

We are thrilled to have Katy on board as we build the future of education. So we thought we'd ask her why she's chosen to join HEX, and how she sees the broader education sector.

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Jeanette: Hello Katy! First of all – what on earth is a Chief Learning Officer, and what will you be doing at HEX?

Katy: I’m delighted that I can finally announce I’m joining HEX! My mission at HEX will be to develop a skilled, knowledgeable workforce for the future – both within the team internally, and as part of the programs we design for our fast-growing student community.

I'll iterate on the design of our world-class learning experience, help to productise HEX's learning IP that's been developed over the past few years, and prepare our internal talent to take this business to the next level.

My mission at HEX will be to develop a skilled, knowledgeable workforce for the future.

Jeanette: Why did you choose to join HEX – and why now?

Katy: 2020 has been a time of reflection for many of us, me included – questioning how we can best contribute to the world, how we can help each other cope or even thrive through the pandemic.

For me, I’ve emerged from this reflective time with a renewed purpose to help young people and professionals benefit from work-relevant learning opportunities, so that more of them can become not only participants in the economy, but actual influencers and shapers of what happens next.

I’ve emerged with a renewed purpose to help young people... become not only participants in the economy, but actual influencers and shapers of what happens next.

Jeanette: Tell us a bit about the challenge we're facing into? How urgent is it?

Katy: It’s been forecast that the skills gap in Australia alone could cost $10 billion over the next 4 years – and a report commissioned by AWS estimated we'll need 5.7 billion digital skill trainings in APAC over the next five years*.

At the same time, demand for talented people who can tackle complex problems using deeply fluent digital skills is rising fast. My sense is that to succeed, our education sectors need to do much more to meet demand for new, graduate-calibre value creators and business-builders. HEX is positioned strongly to help meet this need.

The skills gap in Australia alone could cost $10 billion over the next 4 years.

Jeanette: Can you tell us a bit about what you think is missing from the education sector today?

Katy: My experience from a decade leading fast-growth, digital learning innovations in higher education and corporates, suggests that no matter how fast our institutions seek to build programs, the content lag is real – meaning students aren't learning what's happening in real time in tech.

We also need to help students to build and demonstrate their skills long before graduation. We need to help them build their network and relationships early, so they can find mentors and investors who will champion their ongoing careers. HEX is already doing so much to help people find their path, and it's critical that we continue to nurture the HEX community – globally and internally.

No matter how fast institutions build programs, the content lag is real – meaning students aren't learning what's happening in real time in tech.

Jeanette: You talked about self-reflection being key to your career choice. How do you think this translates to the work we do at HEX?

Katy: For me, it’s about helping each individual to achieve their own unique potential – in other words, it’s about aligning to individual values and helping them deliver. Many young people want to know what they can do today to contribute to health, growth and sustainability in their own countries and globally.

Why wait to finish a degree to start doing that, when they have a great idea that could be developed now? How can they get on the road to giving back and paying it forward? How do they get support and recognition to build their business and their reputation?

Why wait to finish a degree to start contributing to health, growth and sustainability, when they have a great idea that could be developed now?

Jeanette: Do you think we can unleash both personal potential AND global scale?

Katy: Absolutely. The learning IP developed at HEX has incredible value for students around the world, and scaling this impact through digital delivery is going to be one of my key areas of focus as HEX’s first ever CLO.

Thank you! And welcome aboard.


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