As students across Calgary head back to school – at every level from elementary to post secondary – STEM-focused courses and tech-student-filled classrooms are increasingly common-place.

The tech ecosystem that is focused in large part on industrial sectors– from cyber security and autonomous vehicles to the industrial internet of things and robotics – is evolving and driving Calgary’s economic future.

It is also reshaping the workforce. The unprecedented wave of innovation and automation in all industries is transforming businesses and new technologies will require new skills.

“With the wave of innovation transforming all sectors of the economy, Alberta is moving in the right direction by boosting education and training for workers in critically important tech fields,” says Court Ellingson, vice-president of Research and Strategy for Calgary Economic Development. “Innovation and talent are key components of our long-term economic strategy for Calgary and this investment in the development of a world-class workforce will help ensure we have the right people with the right skills to lead our economy.”

At the city’s colleges, universities, and beyond; there are a number of new options for students, or former students, seeking to advance their knowledge or enhance their workplace skills for the digital economy.

University of Calgary Master’s of Software Engineering

This September, the first cohort of 40 students will complete the highly-focused, fast-track master’s degree in software engineering.  Students in this hands-on, course-based program can be completed in as little as eight months.

Creative Technologies, Data Management and Analytics

Two new, innovative programs announced by Bow Valley College this year reflect the current and future demand in creative technology. The Digital Design Diploma focuses on the digital aspects of design and production, and the Data Management and Analytics Post-Baccalaureate Certificate prepares graduates for data requirements, life cycle, modeling, gathering and interpreting results.

Chemistry major at Mount Royal University

Starting in September 2018, the four-year Bachelor of Science – Chemistry major at Mount Royal University was designed to ensure students gain critical knowledge and hands-on experience in a space designed with new technology and smaller-than-average class size.

Cyber Security for Control Systems at SAIT

Focusing on cyber security training to protect systems that run critical infrastructure in networked environments, this newly-announced program runs for 26 weeks in the winter and fall of 2019.

Lighthouse Labs Bootcamps

Impressing the importance of code in the classroom, Lighthouse Labs partnered to bring Code Create Teach courses for K-12 educators across Canada. In Calgary, their full-time Web Development Bootcamp programs and part time Intro to Web Development Courses development classes are open for applicants.  

EvolveU pivots towards jobs in tech

Rainforest Alberta, Calgary Economic Development and the Hunter Family Foundation launched EvolveU this year for people looking to pivot their careers. Offering opportunities to learn in-demand skills across data, design, business and technology, the program combines a practical curriculum with onsite mentoring, peer-to-peer learning experiences, and personalized career coaching.

Now time to hit the (digital) books.

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