The continued difficulties in Alberta’s energy sector are leading many industry workers to accept positions they’re overqualified for—or face extended unemployment. But for professionals willing to search outside the box, there’s another option: steering their career into the technology field.
A study by Calgary Economic Development and the Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC) suggests that many of the skills displaced workers honed in the oil and gas industry are easily transferrable to the tech industry. There’s usually minimal upgrading needed, and some businesses are offering to help pay for the courses or do the training themselves. On top of that, Alberta offers financial support to eligible applicants who want to upgrade their education.
Use What You Know
Taking the first step towards a new beginning may be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Calgary Economic Development and ICTC created an online tool that matches existing skills with in-demand opportunities. It highlights knowledge gaps that may arise when you transition from a career in oil and gas to one in tech, and it provides information on training and education programs available to fill those gaps. The tool is particularly helpful to residents of the Calgary area—most suggested courses take place in Calgary, although some are online—you can easily use the skills-gap information to find relevant education opportunities in your own city.
Upgrade Your Skills
Once you’ve plotted your education trajectory, check out some of the programs on offer. One option comes from Calgary-based RoboGarden, which has launched a coding boot camp to teach artificial intelligence, as well as full-stack app and web development, to adult learners. RoboGarden enjoyed early success as a platform for youths interested in developing coding skills in a game-based environment. Encouraged by that, RoboGarden has since signed a memorandum of understanding with the University of Calgary to expand its offerings to adults.
The company is currently piloting its first boot camp. The next nine-week boot camps—full-stack web and app development and machine learning and artificial intelligence—will be offered in Calgary and Edmonton in mid-July. APEGA members interested in expanding their technical horizons will receive a 40 per cent discount.
Access the Job Board
Members should also remember that APEGA’s job board gives them exclusive access to a range of postings around the globe, some them available only through the board. Active professional members, members-in-training, provisional licensees, professional licensees, and exam candidates—all are permitted to create a job-seeker account and see what’s available.