BC government investing $4.4 million in creating more STEM grads

university of victoria

The BC government is investing $4.4 million into its postsecondary institutions to increase the number of STEM students in the province.

The University of Victoria will receive $400,000 in startup funding to expand its undergraduate computer science and engineering degree programs. The plan is to create 500 undergraduate degree spaces in computer science and engineering – including electrical, computer, software, civil, mechanical, and biomedical – by 2022 to 2023.

The goal is to fill a need for the expected 83,400 tech-related job openings in BC by 2027.

“People throughout BC 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 Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training. “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.”

Camosun College will receive $200,000 in funding to support increased access to technology-related certificate programs in web technologies programming and engineering graphics, to create a total of 40 new spaces by 2019 to 2020.

The goal is to fill a need for the expected 83,400 tech-related job openings in BC — such as computer programmers, information system analysts and software engineers — by 2027. Currently, the tech sector in BC consists of over 10,200 businesses generating $29 billion in revenue and employing over 106,000 people.

BC also plans to add about 2,900 tech-related spaces that are expected to result in 1,000 additional grads per year by 2023. These include:

  • 440 spaces in undergraduate and graduate-level sustainable-energy engineering degrees at Simon Fraser University.
  • 624 spaces in computer science and biomedical and manufacturing engineering degrees at the University of British Columbia (Vancouver campus)
  • 300 spaces in information-technology diplomas in cybersecurity, tech arts, and new media at British Columbia Institute of Technology
  • 40 spaces in a mechatronics and advanced manufacturing-technology diploma at Kwantlen Polytechnic University

“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.”

Jessica Galang

Jessica Galang

Freelance tech writer. Former BetaKit News Editor.

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