More than $27 million for training and upskilling in N.L. tech sector
A federal government investment will support technology training and upskilling education in Newfoundland and Labrador.
The Find Your Future in Tech program, funded with $27,172,355, will be administered by TechNL, a not-for-profit industry association.
Private and public sectors, together with Memorial University and other educational institutions, are collaborating to offer meaningful opportunities to continue to build and reinforce a robust technology sector in the province.
Memorial is benefiting from the program in several ways.
Funding will cover 20 tuition vouchers for students in several graduate-level, tech-based degree programs – the master of artificial intelligence, master of data science and the master of applied science in software engineering – and 10 undergraduate computer science programs; the Office of Career Development will promote training opportunities being offered by Keyin College to specific cohorts of graduating students and alumni; the Faculty of Business Administration, in partnership with the Husky Centre and the Office of Student Life, is leading a project focused on connecting students with opportunities and training in the tech sector; and ACENet is launching an advanced computing training program.
Master of artificial intelligence degree
Dua Fatima is enrolled in Memorial’s master of artificial intelligence degree program.
During her high school years in Pakistan, her passion for interdisciplinary science encouraged her to pursue a bachelor degree in BSI bioinformatics, which combined her interests in computer science and biology. Her goal is to build biomedical software to help humanity in the future.
“I have been exposed to a lot of biological data that required techniques and tools to handle it. My experience with this program has opened new ways and techniques to solve problems efficiently and accurately using intelligent machines.”
Master of data science degree
Raheel Virani holds a bachelor of commerce from Concordia University and is enrolled in Memorial’s master of data science degree program.
“It’s a challenging and rewarding program and my experience has been beyond great,” he said. “The one-year, course-based program is perfect for people looking to get into this field or to upskill after their undergraduate program.
“The demand for data scientists far outstrips supply and Memorial is one of the first to offer such a program,” he continued. “It is a very rapidly evolving field and a program that takes that into account, such as Memorial’s, will ultimately be the one to distinguish themselves.”
Master of applied science in software engineering degree
Matti Ur Rehman says Memorial’s master of applied science in software engineering degree program provides a platform for students to gain practical experience and build skills in the industry.
“The program’s emphasis on experiential learning has helped me to apply my theoretical knowledge to real-world situations,” he said.
He says he’s had the privilege of learning from highly qualified teachers who have a wealth of experience in the field. This has allowed him to acquire new knowledge and skills, which, he believes, are essential to excel in the software engineering industry.
“I plan to start my own software house in Newfoundland and Labrador,” he said. “The experience at Memorial has exceeded my expectations, and I would highly recommend this program to anyone who is passionate about software engineering and seeking a transformative learning experience.”
Memorial, Keyin College collaboration
Also as part of the program, the Office of Career Development at Memorial is raising awareness about opportunities in the tech sector by promoting training opportunities to graduating students and alumni.
Keyin College is offering a two-year software development program, covered under the Find Your Future in Tech funding, with seats for 240 students.
Keyin College representatives will be at Memorial’s St. John’s campus on Tuesday, March 7, to give an information session on its Social Development Scholarship Program, as part of Career Week.
Virtual and in-person events will be held from March 6-10 for students to learn about careers and other opportunities in technology and many other sectors.
In addition, as part of the announcement, a tech sector employability co-ordinator will be tasked with finding and promoting placements to support the digital workforce at the Faculty of Business Administration.
The co-ordinator will work with TechNL and local tech companies to understand skills gaps, as well as help develop and deliver technical skills training workshops for all Memorial students.
The goal is to equip students with content, approaches and tools developed by local tech companies in order for students and graduates to be primed to meet the needs of the tech sector.
“The partnership with TechNL will help us prepare graduates who are ready to meet the current and future demands for skilled technology practitioners in the working world,” said Dr. Travor Brown, interim dean of the business faculty. “The tech sector evolves rapidly, and it’s critical that we respond to prepare students to enter that world. Through this new program, we’ll be enhancing Memorial’s capacity to contribute to the success of the province’s technology sector.”
Certificate in advanced computing
ACENET, Atlantic Canada’s not-for-profit organization for academic and industry supercomputing needs, is launching an advanced computing training program in partnership with the Find Your Future in Tech initiative.
Memorial is the lead institution and head office for ACENET. Dr. Tana Allen, acting vice-president (research) at Memorial, is the chair of its board of directors.
The online program includes both introductory and intermediate level workshops designed to enable positions with industry in sectors that require advanced computing technology talent.
It will incorporate approximately 130 hours of workshops in areas such as programming languages; data analytics and visualization; advanced computing techniques; AI; and cybersecurity.
The program will be available free of charge to anyone in Newfoundland and Labrador with the goal of creating a pool of tech-ready job applicants for companies in the province.
techNL is working with 11 partners, including Keyin College, Memorial University, ACENET, Ethree Consulting, Get-Coding, The Leap Method, Women in Resource Development Corporation, CoLab, Genoa Design and SEM Ltd.
Anyone interested in learning more, including the eligibility requirements from each of the partner organizations, can visit online.