COLLABORATION

Boosting Edmonton’s tech industry one bootcamp at a time

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The University of Alberta's digital bootcamps aim to address the digital skills gap and help keep Edmonton's tech sector growing.

Edmonton, Canada is a blossoming tech hub that is growing faster than the talent pool can keep up with. There are now almost 400 tech companies in a city of only 980,000. Of those, 94 percent are homegrown and developed in Edmonton. For a city dominated by the industry, they need people to keep it growing.

So far they’ve done a good job, both getting locals and bringing people in from outside. Tech talent in the city has increased by 26 percent in the last five years, employing 28,400 workers in the sector in 2018. But there remains a major opportunity for anyone looking to transition into the sector – one that is growing the world over.

Whether it’s professionals looking for a career change or graduates looking to top up their skillset in this ever-evolving industry, the University of Alberta at Edmonton has the answer.

Taking digital learning to the masses, their latest collaboration with RED Academy provides short-term programmes that give students all of the information they need in just 12 weeks.

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These digital bootcamps aim to address the digital skills gap and help keep Edmonton’s tech sector growing. To give students the most realistic training possible, the programme puts them to work on real-world projects with real clients.

RED believes the best way to learn is by doing, and so bases their education model on creating an authentic agency and startup experience. The idea being that graduates will easily be able to transition into a new career without missing a beat.

“The Faculty of Extension is an Edmonton leader in continuing and professional education, and has always sought to support Albertans in their career development through relevant and high-quality programming,” Christie Schultz, Assistant Dean Academic at the Faculty of Extension, said in a press release when the collaboration was announced.

“The collaboration with RED Academy is a very welcome addition to our course catalogue, as it builds on the University of Alberta’s commitment to strengthening Alberta’s future through learning and addresses the digital skills gap during a pivotal time in our economic climate.”

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The courses on offer are designed to cover some of the most in-demand areas of Edmonton’s tech industry. Subjects include UX Designer, giving students the skills needed to build seamless human-centric experiences.

It also offers UI Design, that provides students with in-depth practical experience and relevant skills to succeed in a user interface and visual design-related field. The web development course enables students to develop the necessary skills to succeed in a career as a junior front-end web developer. And the digital marketing course teaches all aspects of a digital marketing strategy and gives hands-on experience building a portfolio with real clients.

All programmes feature networking, field trips, interactive learning, and industry guest speakers. The next cohort is signing up now for January 2020.