Dec 11, 2019


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Shannon van Leenen

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Workforce transformed through Bow Valley College micro-credentials

CALGARY — Bow Valley College is meeting evolving labour market needs in Calgary through a greater focus on micro-credentialing. Students can sign up now for courses in the upcoming winter and spring terms to earn digital credentials, which will help them to develop the skills needed to open doors to thousands of tech jobs in our city.

Learning and future employment are being reimagined through the college’s micro-credential and Pivot-Ed initiatives, focusing on competency-based education. Pivot-Ed responds to workforce disruption in a way that supports both employers and employees. “This gives employees a portfolio of skills and competencies that will help them to pivot in their career and meet the needs of the workforce,” says Dr. Misheck Mwaba, Vice-President Academic, Bow Valley College. “In Pivot-Ed, there is an assessment of skills, regardless of how they were acquired, and then formal recognition for those skills is given with a Bow Valley College micro-credential.”

While hard and soft skills are vital components of any resume, Bow Valley College micro-credentials help to back up those claims with validation from accredited post-secondary institutions. When a student receives a micro-credential, they can put it on their resume, or display it on social media such as their LinkedIn profile. Those micro-credentials will provide job candidates with the currency, clout, and backing that they need to get a leg-up on the competition.

“This is an idea that is quickly gaining traction,” says Dr. Mwaba. “Bow Valley College recently hosted vice presidents of academic affairs from institutions across Canada. The group is committed to developing standards for micro-credentials, and protocols of how they can be stacked to provide seamless pathways, and how to promote them to employers.”

Creating credentialing, which targets the changing roles in Calgary’s workforce, recognizes the need for people to upskill and reskill continuously. Pivot-Ed also helps employers to hire and retain the right talent and reduces the cost of on-going training. “We are reaching out to employer sectors to be part of the conversation so that they can take the lead in identifying the competencies that employers need to succeed,” says Dr. Mwaba.

A prime example of this initiative is in practice at Bow Valley College. Students can earn globally-recognized IBM credentials through the college - the first hub for the IBM Skills Academy in Canada. For anyone interested in pursuing a career in data analytics, cybersecurity, or application development, taking these courses is a great place to start.

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