RED River College is expanding its offering of micro-credential training programs with three new information technology programs designed to fill the growing workforce gaps in the Manitoba digital economy.
And for the first time the college has partnered with IBM to deliver courses. While RRC’s continuing education program has delivered courses using third-party content in the past, for two of these courses the curriculum is produced 100 per cent by IBM and the accreditation will be from IBM, not from Red River College.
The new online courses — students can take them whenever they like so they can keep working at nine-to-five job if that’s the case — cover Android mobile app development, security intelligence, and predictive analytics modelling (the latter two are the IBM courses).
"Red River College’s strong ties with Manitoba’s fast-growing tech sector ensures we are creating more accessible, flexible learning options that channel homegrown talent into workforce gaps with speed and precision," says Dr. Christine Watson, vice-president academic and research at Red River College.
Steve Lawrence, the program manager for IT and professional studies at RRC’s continuing education department, said the courses are designed for undergraduate senior students from IT-related academic programs
"Typically students in these programs are looking to up-skill or switch into a new field," he said.
Steven Astorino, vice-president data and AI development and IBM Canada lab director, said, "These programs provide a skills-building pathway to in-demand IT career openings such as security intelligence and predictive analytics. Additionally, we’re giving faculty members a window into industry-relevant tools and skill sets to provide greater learning value to students."
Lawrence said that these IT-oriented micro-credential courses are needed for skills development in the ever more sophisticated IT world. In many cases, he said, employers are sponsoring or reimbursing students.
The security intelligence, and predictive analytics modelling courses cost $999 and the Android mobile app development is $509.
Lawrence is hoping for between 20 and 30 students for the courses which in some cases can be used as credit for other RRC certificates.
Watson said these kinds of offerings in support of the IT sector continue to position RRC as the go-to source for rapid, relevant programming that may take a little of the stress off the current tight labour market and the ever-growing needs for the right kind of skills in the IT industry.
Martin Cash has been writing a column and business news at the Free Press since 1989. Over those years he’s written through a number of business cycles and the rise and fall (and rise) in fortunes of many local businesses.