In today’s race to place qualified hires, companies are sharply aware of the need for employees with technology skills – and with the career-ready workplace insights and experience to complement those skills. As just one example, the cloud-based software company Salesforce is investing $2.5 billion in its Canadian business through 2022. That initiative alone will translate to at least 28,208 new jobs.
So here’s the challenge: in our rapidly evolving, ever-intensifying information age, will Canada be ready to fill all these demanding, dynamic positions? For most educational institutions, it will be a challenge. For British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) School of Business graduates, however, the answer is a resounding yes – in 3D tech-generated personalized packaging, if you want it.
Technology has affected marketing, media, sales and other professions in ways we couldn’t have expected 10 years ago, says Wayne Collins, program head of the school’s Graphic Communications Technology Management diploma. “Where you looked up running shoes in a catalogue, now you search for a certain shoe online. The next time you order your coffee, the sleeve around it may feature a personalized ad for that shoe.”
Graphic Communications Technology, a.k.a. GTEC, students learn digital imaging, inkjet printing and all related skills. “A major strength of BCIT Business is our commitment to having industry professionals teach courses in their area of expertise. On top of that, students meet at least 20 business owners, 15 managers and 12 years of alumni they can connect to,” Collins explains.
Further, unlike other institutions that shunt a student from one vast lecture hall to another with different students each time, BCIT has a solid cohort system. “Students learn with the same 25 classmates. They do projects together; they consult and help each other. All this networking of cohorts, instructors, alumni and industry is what keeps us current. Today’s managers solve problems every day by fully utilizing their professional networks – and our graduates enter the workplace with a terrific network intact.”
BCIT Business grads take the initiative
As Kevin Murray, director of marketing and alliances at the Salesforce consulting and implementation firm Traction on Demand, relates, “A big piece of all BCIT programs is learning to take the initiative. Where other grads show up determined to help you strategize how to run your business, BCIT grads aren’t ego-driven. They jump right in and don’t need hand holding. They’ve gone through two years of intensive research, of hands-on experience.
Murray should know. He’s a BCIT Business grad himself, in Marketing Management. After obtaining a bachelor of arts in history at the University of British Columbia, then travelling, he was ready to get serious about working. Theory is fine, Murray says – but it can’t replace the grit and reward of the real-world experience he got with BCIT Business.
For Martina Carstairs, a second-year Professional Sales student, the focus on empowering students with “the latest in technology and other hard skills relevant to industry” made BCIT the slam-dunk choice for study. “BCIT grads have the reputation of being skilled and valuable assets, which is why they’re in such high demand. BCIT Business offers a wide range of coursework, clubs and competitions. This gives students lots of experience applying learned skills, so they are prepared to succeed as they transition to the workforce.”
To those thinking of applying to BCIT Business, Carstairs cautions that the intensity of combined learning and application isn’t for the faint-hearted. What makes BCIT Business grads so attractive to employers is their “commitment and passion for work. There aren’t a lot of programs that demand that. BCIT does.”
For more information about the Graphic Communications Technology Management program at the BCIT School of Business, visit www.bcit.ca/6180dipma. For more information about the school’s Marketing Management programs, visit www.bcit.ca/business/marketing/.