B.C. post secondary institutions add 2,900 spaces in technology programs

The B.C. government announces $4.4 million to help fund new graduates in the growing tech sector.

Provincial startup funding of $4.4 million to help create new spots in classrooms

The B.C. government is contributing $4.4 million to help post secondary institutions create more spots for tech programs. (Jonathan Hayward/Canadian Press)

B.C. post secondary institutions are adding 2,900 spaces in technology related programs after the provincial government announced $4.4 million in new funding. 

The additional spaces are allocated for new and expanded tech programs at BCIT, SFU, UBC and Kwantlen campuses in the Lower Mainland.  In the Interior, Thompson Rivers University, UBC Okanagan and the University of Northern B.C. will also benefit from the new spaces.

In a news release, the University of British Columbia said the funding will create 624 undergraduate spaces for domestic students at its Vancouver campus for biomedical engineering, computer science and manufacturing engineering programs.

"We're grateful for this investment, which enables UBC to educate more students from B.C. and across Canada to deepen the talent pool for data scientists, software developers, biomedical researchers, and manufacturing innovators in B.C. companies," said a statement from UBC President Santa J. Ono.

At SFU Surrey, the funding will be used to create an additional 320 undergraduate and 120 graduate spaces. 

"The support provided to SFU, specifically, will create a program that will help position B.C. as a global leader in clean-tech and sustainable energy," stated SFU President Andrew Petter.

83,000 tech jobs expected by 2027

The funding will allow the British Columbia Institute of Technology to add 300 spaces to its computer information technology and new media design program. 

"When we talk about computing, we're talking about so much more than software development," said a statement from Bethany Edmunds, BCIT's associate dean in the school of computing and academic studies.

"Technology isn't just a sector — it's an integral part of every industry — which is why BCIT takes a multidisciplinary approach to technology education."

The need for computer programmers, information system analysts and software engineers is expected to grow over the next decade.

The B.C. government expects there will be 83,000 tech-related job openings in the province by 2027.

The total provincial funding will result in an additional 1,000 graduates overall per year by 2023, according to a government news release.