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Concordia Continuing Education designs a new training program for the digital industry sector

The project’s funding comes from the City of Montreal’s Accélérer les talents initiative
January 27, 2021
By Leslie Goldstein

Once again, the City of Montreal’s Accélérer les talents initiative has awarded funding to Concordia Continuing Education (CCE).

Last year, CCE received $244,100 in funding to support its new Cyber Resilience Diploma program, launched in fall 2020, which came in part as a response to the city’s Accélérer Montréal initiative.

Accélérer Montréal defines the city’s development strategies and goals for 2018 to 2022. In particular, it outlines some of the knowledge and skills — locally and globally — to promote public economic interests and technological goals.

Its strategy also emphasizes the importance of innovation and the digital shift in the continued growth and development of Montreal’s economic initiatives.

With $212,000 in new funding awarded in December 2020, CCE will begin developing a training program in the IT sector with a specific focus on user experience and user interface (UX-UI) design. Like the cyber-resilience program, the new training program aligns with the city’s strategic sector focus on the digital industry.

‘For working professionals and lifelong learners’

Isabel Dunnigan, associate vice-president of lifelong learning and executive director of CCE, says the UX-UI design training program will help fill the gaps where talent from a qualified workforce is required in this emerging sector.

“CCE will be working with organizations and industry partners within Montreal’s ecosystem,” she explains. “The training program is conceived for working professionals and lifelong learners who are looking to either upgrade their current skills, cross-train to add skills to their current role or reskill in order to transition into a new role.”

Dunnigan says she is excited about the hands-on approach to learning and doing that the new training program will provide.

“Students will acquire technical competencies and develop the business acumen, critical thinking and communication skills to thrive in the field.”

CCE’s 100-hour training program will focus on the conceptual, technical and human skills that comprise some of the expertise required in UX-UI design.

Learn by prototyping

The IT-sector program is intended to drive a pathway to employment. Through project- and portfolio-based learning, students will be building their professional skills and online profiles to showcase their work to potential employers.

The program is currently in its needs assessment phase of development. The CCE program team is conducting primary and secondary research that will help establish the required building blocks. They will be speaking with a community of stakeholders, including CCE instructional designers, experienced UX-UI instructors, workplace practitioners and employers in need of a skilled workforce.

As the development progresses, the program team will establish an advisory committee comprised of these key contributors.

Sherry Blok, director of programs at CCE, says the training program will be delivered entirely online. “The project-based structure of the program will allow participants to learn by prototyping and working on assigned projects,” she notes.

Another important component will be personalized career mentorship. First introduced through the cyber-resilience online program, mentorship will help participants build their portfolios and maintain online profiles through which they can continue to market themselves.

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