We designed this program for those interested in making a positive impact in their communities. This field involves helping small businesses grow and working with the government.

Jobs in community economic development include roles like economic development specialists or coordinators, community liaisons, and non-profit managers. Our practical courses will give you the skills you need to make a difference in both urban and rural communities.

In this program, you’ll:

  • discover how to create partnerships between businesses and government to support community growth
  • improve your communication skills, which are essential for working with others 
  • learn how to plan, execute, and report on projects that benefit your community and acquire the skills needed to lead and manage teams 
  • learn how to understand,  read and interpret financial statements, a crucial skill for managing money in community projects
  • develop the ability to research and write business plans and project proposals that support diversification and economic growth
  • acquire the fundamentals of starting and growing businesses and the skills to recommend resources and solutions for business challenges 
  • discover how to find and create economic opportunities and capital for your community 
  • learn how to bring people and organizations together to work toward a common goal and understand how politics and community factors can influence decisions and solutions. 

You can take this program entirely online and study from anywhere.

This program is for you if you want to make a positive change in your community or help small businesses grow.

Those who work in community economic development tend to be directive, innovative, and social.

You need: 

  • an energetic and engaging personality 
  • strong interest in the business community 
  • critical thinking and problem-solving skills 
  • advanced research skills 
  • a strategic mindset 
  • the ability to analyze and condense information in a logical way 
  • confidence in presenting concepts 
  • communication skills 
  • the ability to give clear, concise advice and recommendations 
  • relationship-building skills 
  • the ability to manage complex projects 
  • the ability to work under pressure and juggle different agendas 
  • leadership skills

You should enjoy working with people, finding new ways to handle problems, and conducting research.

This certificate provides you with options to advance your education.

Graduates can receive credit for up to 10 courses required for the Business Administration diploma or Bachelor of Business Administration degree (varies by major). Additional admission requirements apply.

Upon successfully completing this program, you’ll earn a SAIT Community Economic Development certificate.

Download program info

Careers and opportunities

Our graduates may work in the following occupations. Some careers require additional experience and education.

Associated National Occupational Classification (NOC) codes: 40011, 41402, 21202, 41403, 42201.


Career counselling and support

Unsure which career path is for you? SAIT offers career planning services to help you decide your future.

You can also get started by taking our online career finder quiz, which can help you narrow down your search based on your current skills and interests.

Finally, you can also head to Alberta alis for various tools and resources, including additional quizzes and labour market information to help you narrow down a career path.


The Community Economic Development certificate requires 30 credits (10 courses) to complete.

The program spans 30 weeks.

Course Credits

This course provides an introduction to financial accounting from the perspective of the user who makes decisions based on financial information. The course includes an introduction to the accounting framework, generally accepted accounting principles and financial statements. Accounting concepts such as accounting for cash, accounts receivable, assets, liabilities, sales and inventories, are covered in the context of how they are applied to decision making. Decision analysis regarding corporate ownership and application of financial ratios will also be studied.

  • ACCT 1010

Communication and Presentation Skills provides you with the foundational knowledge and skills needed to compose business documents and give engaging, formal presentations. You will learn how to effectively communicate in a professional environment and consider different aspects of spoken, written and nonverbal communication (e.g., channel, content, organization, style, tone, format and mechanics) in order to share clear and concise messages with your audience. You will be required to work in both individual and collaborative settings.

  • COMM 1030
  • COMM 1070

Macroeconomics introduces you to the operation of the Canadian economy. You will apply economic principles to analyze a national economy. Topics include measuring and analyzing demand and supply, economic performance, and unemployment and inflation, government fiscal, trade, and monetary policies are explored.

  • ECON 1110

Economic development is the process of increasing prosperity within a community or region. This course provides an overview of economic development and the roles of economic development professionals. The course examines community advantages and disadvantages, economic development planning, funding of economic development projects and implementation strategies. The student will develop an economic development plan for a case study community throughout the course.

  • ECON 2355

Entrepreneurship is a course offering you insights and experience into the dynamic environment of entrepreneurial thinking and innovation. Working individually through guided content and discoveries, you will evaluate yourself and case studies to identify mindset and career opportunities. In teams, you will work through the development and presentation of an applied business plan to explore the many integrated facets of business in entrepreneurial ventures. Your research, self discovery, application and collaboration skills will be developed and reinforced as you progress through the journey of entrepreneurship and innovation.

  • ACCT 210 or ACCT 215
  • MKTG 205 or MKTG 260 or MKTG 265
  • ENTR 2350

Business Leadership will take you on a journey of self-discovery and an inside look at current leadership perspectives today. We all take on leadership roles in our lives. In business, success is often attributed to outstanding leadership. However, today, in business, this role has evolved, as has the business environment. Teamwork is an essential component of an organization’s efficiency and effectiveness. Occasionally, you may be called upon to take on a leadership role for your workgroup, even without a title. Throughout this course, you will gain the knowledge and skills to help you fulfill your leadership role through your understanding of personal and organizational leadership.

  • MGMT 254 or MNGT 250
  • LDSH 3050
  • LDSH 405

Marketing Essentials is an introductory course offering you a solid foundation in marketing principles. Working individually and in teams, you will research and discover how marketing decisions are made and identify the components of sustainable marketing programs. Your research, content application and teamwork skills will be developed and reinforced as you progress through the course.

  • MKTG 1060

This introductory course provides an overview of human behaviour in organizations at the individual, group, and organizational level and the effect of each on organizational effectiveness. Topics include: individual differences, motivation, communication, teams, power and politics, conflict and negotiation, leadership, organizational culture, and change management.

  • MNGT 2250

Project Management introduces you to the standards and best practices of the Project Management Institute. We will cover both the technical and sociocultural components of project management at an introductory level, including project definition, work breakdown structures, cost and scheduling techniques, and an introduction to earned value concepts. Stakeholder communications, risk management, project leadership, and project closure round out the topic coverage.

  • MNGT 2321

Municipal Structure and Governance introduces you to the economic development roles and responsibilities of the municipal, provincial and federal government. Additionally, you will assess various economic development delivery models. The role of land, infrastructure, and government policy and regulation will be assessed. The unique challenges, role and relationship with Indigenous communities will also be addressed.

  • MNGT 2367


You must attain a PGPA and/or a CGPA of 2.0 or better each semester and pass the prerequisite courses to progress through the program.

To qualify for graduation, you must pass all courses, attain a CGPA of 2.0 or better and complete course requirements within the prescribed timelines.

Review our grading and progression procedure >


Explore your options!

Some courses in this program are available through Open Studies. You can complete courses via Open Studies to get a head start on your education, reduce your course load once accepted into a credentialed program, or determine which career path best suits you before you fully commit. 

You may also take courses for general interest or personal and professional development.

Admission requirements

Applicants educated in Canada

All applicants must demonstrate English language proficiency.

There are no further requirements to enter this program.

All applicants who were educated outside of Canada must demonstrate English Language proficiency and provide proof they meet the program admission requirements with an international document assessment. Find out what educational documents are accepted and assessment options.

SAIT may also accept courses completed at certain international post-secondary institutions.


Academic Upgrading

Missing an admission requirement for this program? Upgrade your prior education to help you receive admission into one of SAIT's career programs.


English language proficiency

All applicants must demonstrate English language proficiency prior to admission, including students educated in Canada.

Transfer agreements

At SAIT, we evaluate post-secondary credit you have previously earned and apply it to your SAIT credential. Explore our formal transfer agreements available for this program.

We can evaluate your prior education, even if we don't have a formal agreement in place.

Submit a transfer credit application

There are no formal transfer agreements currently in place for this program.

Transfer options for graduates

Build on the knowledge you’ve learned at SAIT. The opportunity to advance your education at an accredited post-secondary institution may be available.

🔗 Visit Transfer Alberta search tool for a full list of transfer opportunities within the province.

Available intakes

Fall 2024

Start dates:

Domestic students: Open
  • Application deadline: Extended

Winter 2025

Start dates:

Domestic students: Open
  • Application deadline: Oct. 25, 2024

Spring 2025

Start dates:

Domestic students: Open
  • Application deadline: April 30, 2025


2024/25 tuition and fees

The following estimated costs are effective as of July 1, 2024.

Domestic students

The estimated total cost of tuition and fees for domestic students is based on the recommended course load per year.
Year Number of semesters Tuition fees Additional fees Total per year
1 2 $5,910 $1,608 $7,518
Total cost:

Books and supplies are approximately $1,000 - $1,500 per full-time year.

This is a bring-your-own-device program with a standard computer hardware and software requirement. See the specific requirements on our computers and laptops page.

Find your booklist on the SAIT Bookstore's website. The booklist will be available closer to the program start date. Can’t find your program or course? The bookstore didn't receive a textbook list. Contact your program directly to determine if they’re still refining course details or if you're in luck; no textbook purchase is required this term.


Financial aid

Paying for your education may feel overwhelming, but we have resources and programs that can help, including information about payment options, student loans, grants and scholarships.

Canada Alberta Job Grant icon

This program is eligible for Canada Alberta Job Grant funding.

Application process

Ready to apply?

Follow our step-by-step guide to submitting a successful application.

Learn how to apply

Communication during admission

Email is the primary source of communication during the selection process. Ensure your personal email account is managed appropriately to receive our emails, files and communications. 

We recommend you add the business.advising@sait.ca domain to your safe senders' list or you risk missing critical email messages.


Begin your application

Apply now using the online application portal. 

Ensure you have a valid Visa or Mastercard to pay the non-refundable application fee of $120 for domestic applicants.

Information sessions

Prepare for a strong start in your chosen program or get the details you need to decide your future path.

Our expert staff and faculty are ready to answer your questions and provide information about the following:

  • What sets SAIT apart
  • An introduction to the program and area of study
  • Admission requirements
  • Future career paths
  • Information on the earning potential and graduate employment rates.

Contact us

School of Business Advising

a view of the moutains and stream in between

Oki, Âba wathtech, Danit'ada, Tawnshi, Hello.

SAIT is located on the traditional territories of the Niitsitapi (Blackfoot) and the people of Treaty 7 which includes the Siksika, the Piikani, the Kainai, the Tsuut’ina and the Îyârhe Nakoda of Bearspaw, Chiniki and Goodstoney.

We are situated in an area the Blackfoot tribes traditionally called Moh’kinsstis, where the Bow River meets the Elbow River. We now call it the city of Calgary, which is also home to the Métis Nation of Alberta, Region 3.