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FOL SAIT Heather Magotiaux

Heather Magotiaux is the vice-president of external relations at SAIT. Photo credit: Christina Ryan © Postmedia Network Inc.

Joel Schlesinger © Postmedia Network Inc.

Artificial intelligence, data analytics and robotics aren’t just buzzwords. They’re revolutionizing technologies that will affect every aspect of society and the economy in the coming decade.

And ensuring workers are able to apply these new technologies to solving industry problems is why SAIT will soon open a new school of advanced digital technology.

“Thanks to a generous contribution from David Bissett of $30 million, we have the opportunity to create this new school to prepare our students to solve the problems of today and tomorrow for industries across the province,” says Heather Magotiaux, vice-president of external relations at SAIT.

Founded in 1916, SAIT has long worked closely with industry and government to ensure graduates are job-ready and, more importantly, have the know-how to be at the forefront of innovation and economic growth.

“And what we’ve heard from industry is the skills our graduates need to have to be successful in the new economy are changing,” she says. “There’s a lot of digital disruption that is taking place in absolutely every industry we serve, whether it’s construction, transportation or health.”

That’s what the generous gift from Bissett, who helped build Calgary’s well-respected financial services industry, aims to support. Magotiaux notes Bissett has long appreciated SAIT’s strength in designing programs that nurture highly skilled workers who can rise to the challenges of rapid technological change.

“He’s very much a forward-thinking person.”

She adds his gift will only further strengthen learning opportunities at the school.

“More and more companies are looking at, for example, how to apply machine learning to make their organization better,” she says.

Magotiaux adds that the new school will facilitate the growth of new program offerings throughout SAIT, including in data analytics.

“That type of learning relies on having cutting-edge computing power and related technologies for our students — and that’s what this funding will help us to do.”

The school continues to work hand in glove with industry to help students build careers and, equally important, the future of the province.

“We’re always in touch with our industry partners to ensure what we’re doing today will help the city’s and province’s economy thrive in the new economy.”

This feature was created by Content Works, Postmedia’s commercial content division, on behalf of Calgary Economic Development.

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