500,000 reasons to upskill
Journeyman Auto Body Mechanic Alex Marin (’03) doesn’t want to be left behind.
Marin is one of nearly 700 SAIT alumni who jumped at the chance to benefit from an alumni-exclusive bursary, allowing SAIT graduates an opportunity to continue their education at SAIT through the new Centre for Continuing Education and Professional Studies (CCEPS). He enrolled in the Blockchain Architecture course intending to learn how to better store data and track transactions.
“Personal growth is very important to me and knowing how fast-paced technology is, I don’t want to be left in the dust,” says Marin.
Instead, he took advantage of the Alumni for Alumni Bursary, established by SAIT Alumni and Development to commemorate the welcoming of SAIT’s 250,000 th graduate. The $250,000 funding was made available through SAIT’s alumni TD Insurance Meloche Monnex affinity partnership — a program grown by alumni — to allow returning SAIT students to grow their skills with more than 1000 continuing education course offerings. The Government of Alberta matched the funds, bringing the one-time bursary to $500,000.
“It’s heartening to see alumni from the past three decades from all programs taking advantage of the opportunity to continue their education. We are honoured to be a part of their journey,” says Tania Brandstorm, Associate Director of Development and Advancement Services at SAIT. “People come from all over the world to SAIT to learn and be inspired, and we’re always very happy to welcome alumni back for their next steps.”
The demand for the bursary was immediate — within two months of the bursary being announced, the entirety of the funds were claimed by alumni looking to explore new skills and strengthen their careers.
From keeping up with advancements in technology to cultural shifts to personal growth —upskilling is critical, regardless of industry.
"With the current economic situation, digital disruption and the COVID-19 pandemic, people are experiencing an unprecedented and pivotal moment. Industries and jobs are evolving very quickly, and workers need to keep on top of those changes with upskilling and retooling,” says Vis Naidoo, Director of CCEPS.
“By working closely with industry, we’re able to ensure the courses and programs that we offer are flexible and meet the skills needs of learners and organizations right now and in the future.”
That edge is what students like Marin are looking for.
“I’m confident the Blockchain Architecture course is the perfect step to avoid becoming stagnant in my career,” he says.
“I’m looking forward to acquiring new skills so I can apply new methods and technologies in my work now and in the future.”