The latest cohort of graduates from EDGE UP 2.0: A Scaling Opportunity are joining a fast-growing tech sector in Calgary that is taking on global challenges and changing long-standing perceptions of the city’s economy.
The more than 100 Calgarians who completed training in data analytics, IT project management and full stack software development in EDGE UP 2.0 are part of a focus on lifelong learning and upskilling that is a critical part of developing Calgary’s digital talent pipeline.
As the graduates were told, the country is increasingly aware that tech is driving innovation and economic diversification in Calgary.
“Look at what is happening across all sectors in the Canadian economy, technology is becoming the staple of success,” said program partner, Namir Anani, President and CEO of Information and Communications Technology Council. “Calgary and Alberta are becoming very exciting places to be. We see the ingenuity, innovation and dynamism that’s happening.”
EDGE UP 2.0 is a leading multi-stakeholder program that trains and supports professionals displaced from the oil and gas sector to pivot to careers in Calgary’s digital tech landscape.
The tech sector in Alberta is growing rapidly and there are now more than 3,000 tech companies in the province with almost 60 per cent based in Calgary. The growth in the sector is creating an enduring demand for tech talent with more than 4,500 tech positions currently open in the city.
The demand for tech talent is a long-term challenge for all cities that will persist through all phases of the economic cycle.
“Things go down, tech is important. Things go up, tech is important,” noted John Moura, Director, Software Development, for Calgary tech unicorn and EDGE UP employer Benevity. He praised the value of programs like EDGE UP 2.0. “That is what we need to accelerate because there is a huge gap in talent.”
Future Skills Centre, the funding partner for EDGE UP 2.0, works to find innovative ways to grow and shape talent to meet the demands of the new economy.
“There is a need to think about how we are going to innovate and make sure that Canadians have the skills and opportunities needed to thrive in this new world,” said Tricia Williams, Director, Research, Evaluation and Knowledge Mobilization, Future Skills Centre, another keynote speaker at the graduation ceremony.
“There is going to be a lot of hard transitions for people ahead and (the EDGE UP 2.0 grads) are really leading what that looks like.”
EDGE UP 2.0 is a key element of the work to fill Calgary’s digital tech talent pipeline. The program has grown to include training for product management with a specialization in digital product marketing, cyber security, data analytics, IT network management, full stack software development and AWS cloud computing. Participants currently in training are eager to enter the tech ecosystem.
For more information on how to engage with EDGE UP 2.0 and its hybrid talent pool visit EDGE UP’s website.
Calgary Economic Development delivers the EDGE UP 2.0 program in partnership with: Future Skills Centre, Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC), University of Calgary Continuing Education, SAIT, Mount Royal University, Bow Valley College, and Riipen. Funding for EDGE UP is through the Government of Canada’s Future Skills Program.