Calgary is a future-focused city where everyone can grow their careers. Graduates from the third cohort of EDGE UP 2.0: A Scaling Opportunity have joined Calgary’s tech talent pool with a unique hybrid skill set.
The recent cohort of mid-career individuals completed upskilling training in the Data Analytics with Cleantech Foundations program provided by Energy to Digital Growth Education and Upskilling Program's (EDGE UP) 2.0 partner, SAIT.
“Upskilling for work opportunities in the digital economy is critical for talent looking at sustainable career options,” said Jeanette Sutherland, Director, EDGE UP. “By providing in-demand tech skills aligned with foundational concepts in cleantech, the EDGE UP 2.0 program helps to develop adaptable and agile in-demand talent for Calgary’s new economy.”
EDGE UP supports displaced talent from the energy sector pivot to in-demand tech careers, which aligns with the priority to create adaptive learning opportunities in the economic strategy, Calgary in the New Economy.
On average, graduates have 14 years of prior professional experience paired with the digital skills training acquired through the intensive program.
EDGE UP grads bolster Calgary’s tech talent in the cleantech sector
The hybrid expertise of EDGE UP graduates echoes Calgary’s emergence as a leader in the global energy transition from its foundation as a centre of excellence in energy.
"The value that EDGE UP 2.0 graduates offer to the energy transition is the merging of our energy industry experience with our tech skills from the program,” said Steven Tran, graduate, EDGE UP 2.0. “EDGE UP graduates have the domain knowledge to put data into the proper context for making data-driven business decisions. We have proven experience in how to get things done in industry, deliver successful projects and thrive in multidisciplinary teams."
In Alberta, the global energy transition is estimated to create 170,000 jobs in the cleantech sector and contribute $61 billion to GDP in the province by 2050, according to the Alberta Energy Transition Study.
“Our region has become a concentration of future industrialization and fast-growing development in the energy transition,” said Oluwalonike Salawu, graduate, EDGE UP 2.0.
Program graduates are qualified for skilled positions in Calgary’s cleantech sector, an industry identified as a subsector strength in the city’s startup ecosystem in a 2023 Startup Genome report.
Employers are recognizing graduates’ unique skill sets, with 40 per cent of the third cohort employed within the first week following graduation. Since the pilot program launched in 2020, over 250 EDGE UP graduates are now employed or have gone on to pursue further training.
The evolution of the EDGE UP program is testament to the growth and diversification of Calgary’s tech talent pool. The city's tech talent job market has grown by 61 per cent between 2017 and 2022 and now ranks 21st among the Top 50 North American markets, says a recent CBRE report. Graduates of the program are prepared for a successful career transition and are eager to create solutions in the digital economy.
EDGE UP is led by Calgary Economic Development and funded by The Future Skills Centre and the Government of Canada. It is delivered in partnership with The Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC), University of Calgary Continuing Education, Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT), Mount Royal University, Bow Valley College, and Riipen.
Learn more about Calgary’s tech talent employment pathways in The Digital Talent Imperative: Calgary’s Economic Edge report.
Employers interested in learning more about the EDGE UP program or employing a graduate should learn more here.