A new program at North Island College will give students the skills to land good-paying jobs in the booming tech industry, announced Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training.
“The reality is that the last significant investment in tech programming was more than a decade ago,” said Mark. “We are moving forward on our plan to create thousands more tech seats around the province. Funding additional student spaces in a new tech program at North Island College is an investment in an innovative, sustainable, 21st-century economy that works for people.”
The Province is providing the college with $100,000 to support planning for 40 spaces in a new certificate program. This program will provide people on Vancouver Island with the hands-on skills to work with computer information systems.
“The technology and innovation engine of B.C.’s booming economy requires access to skilled tech talent, and tech companies are hungry for good people,” said Bruce Ralston, Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology. “These new tech spaces at North Island College will help up-and-coming innovators find good jobs, while helping local companies get their products to market.”
“To obtain well-paid jobs, people need access to affordable, relevant education and training,” said Claire Trevena, MLA for North Island. “Funding a new tech program at North Island College will open doors to opportunities in the tech sectors for more students in the region, and across Vancouver Island.”
“Our government is committed to investing in people, so they can get the skills to succeed,” said Ronna-Rae Leonard, MLA for Courtenay-Comox. “Graduates of this program will not only have the chance to find good-paying jobs in a growing sector, they will also help spark innovation locally and across the province.”
The college is consulting with industry and employers in the program’s development stages to ensure students graduate with the basic knowledge and skills to meet the needs of businesses in the region. The certificate is designed to help people start working as IT professionals in less than a year, and could feed into NIC’s existing interactive media and web design programs.
As planning continues, the program's location, tuition and curriculum details will be confirmed.
“North Island College prides itself in offering high-quality, relevant programs that support the local economy,” said NIC president John Bowman. “The provincial funding is greatly appreciated. It will allow us to remain responsive, and keep up with demand for homegrown talent in a dynamic sector that supports many local employers.”
Spaces in the certificate program are expected to become available in 2019-20, and ramp up to full capacity with 40 spaces in 2020-21. Once the spaces are fully implemented, funding is expected to increase to $400,000 annually.
"Technology development and use in smaller centres is far more dynamic, and far less industry sector-based than we might realize. As larger employers strive to progress or maintain legacy systems, a new world of opportunity is presenting itself with cloud and mobile computing,” said Graham Truax, executive in residence at Innovation Island. “NIC has been very diligent in seeking feedback from industry and tech-based enterprises in their curriculum development. They are mindful of where the puck is at, and where it is going."
- The Province is adding 2,900 tech-related spaces throughout B.C. to produce 1,000 additional tech grads a year by 2023. This includes the 40 new tech-spaces at North Island College.
- Over 83,400 tech-related jobs openings are expected by 2027, including jobs like computer programmers, engineers, information system analysts, digital designers and software designers.
- The tech sector is one of the fastest-growing sectors of the B.C. economy, generating approximately $29 billion in revenue a year, and supporting over 106,000 good-paying jobs. B.C.’s tech sector is home to more than 10,200 businesses.
In partnership with its Crown agency, the BC Innovation Council, the British Columbia government is hosting the province’s third #BCTECH Summit, May 14-16, 2018. This is the largest technology conference in Western Canada, showcasing cutting-edge innovation and the latest tech solutions. The summit will provide networking, investment and career opportunities in B.C.’s thriving tech sector. To register or learn more, go to: https://bctechsummit.ca