Alberta post-secondaries offering smart opportunities in artificial intelligence
EDMONTON – Four Alberta post-secondary institutions are making careers in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) accessible and available right here in Alberta.
The AI Pathways Partnership (AIPP), a consortium made up of NorQuest College, Athabasca University, Concordia University of Edmonton, and Bow Valley College, in collaboration with Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute and made possible through funding provided by Western Economic Diversification Canada, have joined together with industry partners to train learners and retain graduates for Alberta’s dynamic AI and ML industry.
Alberta is home to several world class and globally recognized AI and ML research hubs. The AIPP helps connect learners to flexible, career-focused education from high school to post-secondary and graduate level credit and non-credit programs. Any Albertan who wants to start a career in AI will be able to do so right from high school, or build on learning and skills they have acquired through other post-secondary programs or work experience in a way that suits their needs, aspirations, and timelines.
Programs begin in 2021 and include technical, business, and professional interpersonal skills: competencies identified as being crucial for success by employers and industry organizations. Additionally, this project will also create support and opportunities for AI entrepreneurs and innovators in collaboration with Alberta AI industry partners and support organizations.
“Alberta is rapidly establishing itself as a global leader in the field of artificial intelligence and machine learning, thanks in part to its leading-edge firms and post-secondary institutions,” says the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, and Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada. “This collaboration between Western Economic Diversification Canada and the AI Pathways Partnership will lead to dynamic new learning opportunities for students entering this field, while also creating a pipeline of highly qualified personnel to further bolster this emerging high-tech sector.”
“This partnership is a great example of Alberta’s post-secondary institutions doing what they do best- putting student success first,” says Demetrios Nicolaides, Minister of Advanced Education. “These programs will give students the skills and training they need for promising careers right here at home.”
“At Athabasca University, partnerships like the AIPP help us to support Alberta learners in reaching their educational goals,” says Matthew Prineas, Provost and Vice President Academic. “Whether they take a course, a certificate, or an entire degree with us, we want our learners to be able to bring their existing knowledge to AU and gain a higher education that will give them the skills to thrive in Alberta’s rapidly evolving workforce.”
“Bow Valley College is proud to be a part of this consortium creating pathways to new, exciting careers for Albertans in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning,” says Paulette Hanna, Vice President, Academic at Bow Valley College. She goes on to say, “Rapid upskilling in emerging technologies like AI will be critical as our province looks to diversify its economy and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.”
“Our collective success relies on the diversification of our economy,” says Manfred Zeuch, Vice President, External Affairs and International Relations at Concordia University of Edmonton. “The AI Pathways Partnership provides an opportunity for Albertans to build skills and advance the application of artificial intelligence across industries. We are proud to be part of this consortium and look forward to connecting with students and partners across the province.”
“We prepare students for the future of work, where flexible and fast education is a necessity,” says Norma Schneider, Vice President, Academic at NorQuest College. “The Pathways Partnership seizes on the outstanding opportunity for AI in Alberta with multiple entry and exit points for learners—regardless of where they to begin or where they want to go.”