Funding brings more tech spaces to UVic and Camosun

  • Jan. 18, 2018 10:00 a.m.

Students can look forward to the addition of hundreds of tech-related seats in Victoria, which will provide them with the relevant education and training needed to succeed in B.C.’s rapidly growing tech sector.

“People throughout B.C. will have increased access to good-paying jobs in the booming tech sector with our government’s investment in tech seats throughout the province,” said Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training Melanie Mark. “Victoria is a great place to thrive in a tech career and by funding a range of engineering, computer science and information technology programs, we are opening doors for people to reach their full potential.”

The University of Victoria will receive $400,000 in startup funding in 2017-18 to expand its undergraduate computer science and engineering degree programs. Prospective UVic students can look forward to an additional 500 undergraduate degree spaces in computer science and engineering – including electrical, computer, software, civil, mechanical and biomedical – by 2022-23. This is expected to result in 125 additional tech graduates per year by 2023.

“UVic’s engineering and computer science programs are well known for being a destination for B.C. high school grads and college transfer students, providing a great education with lots of hands-on learning, and a pathway to personal success and good jobs upon graduation,” said Jamie Cassels, president of UVic. “Adding tech seats to the undergraduate engineering and computer science programs is a huge benefit to students from Vancouver Island and throughout B.C. A big thanks to the ministry for supporting 500 additional spaces, allowing us to increase capacity in these programs.”

Camosun College will receive $200,000 in startup funding in 2017-18 to support increased access to technology-related certificate programs in web technologies programming and engineering graphics, to get to a total of 40 new spaces by 2019-20. With continued government funding, Camosun will produce an additional 40 graduates per year by 2020.

“Victoria has a vibrant, rapidly growing and diverse tech sector,” said Sherri Bell, president of Camosun College. “Students will be thrilled to know that there will be more spaces in tech, so they’re able to get the tech jobs that are in high demand.”

Of the 83,400 job openings in tech-related fields in the next decade, 10,700 will occur in the Vancouver Island/Coast region. This provides opportunities closer to home for graduates of the expanded tech programs at UVic and Camosun, should they choose to stay.

“Victoria has a lively, robust and burgeoning tech sector,” said Dan Gunn, executive director, Victoria Innovation, Advanced Technology and Entrepreneurship Council (VIATEC). “Access to qualified and talented people is mission critical. Expanding tech programs at UVic and Camosun will support the rapidly growing tech sector that is helping to drive a strong 21st-century economy.”

These spaces are part of the investment in approximately 2,900 additional seats in tech programs at colleges, universities and institutes throughout the province, announced by Mark earlier today. Total startup funding this year is $4.4 million, and is expected to increase to $42 million as programs ramp up over the next several years.

Quick Facts:

* About 83,400 tech-related job openings in B.C. are expected by 2027. Of those, 10,700 will be in the Vancouver Island/Coast region – jobs like computer programmers, information system analysts and software engineers.

* The tech sector in B.C. is one of the fastest-growing sectors of the B.C. economy, generating approximately $29 billion in revenue. The tech sector supports over 106,000 good-paying jobs and is home to more than 10,200 businesses.

* Tech-sector workers earn weekly average salaries almost 85% higher than the average wage in B.C.

* Post-secondary institutions in B.C. award more than 10,000 credentials annually in programs that support the tech sector: science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

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