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Ontario Tech acknowledges the lands and people of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation.

We are thankful to be welcome on these lands in friendship. The lands we are situated on are covered by the Williams Treaties and are the traditional territory of the Mississaugas, a branch of the greater Anishinaabeg Nation, including Algonquin, Ojibway, Odawa and Pottawatomi. These lands remain home to many Indigenous nations and peoples.

We acknowledge this land out of respect for the Indigenous nations who have cared for Turtle Island, also called North America, from before the arrival of settler peoples until this day. Most importantly, we acknowledge that the history of these lands has been tainted by poor treatment and a lack of friendship with the First Nations who call them home.

This history is something we are all affected by because we are all treaty people in Canada. We all have a shared history to reflect on, and each of us is affected by this history in different ways. Our past defines our present, but if we move forward as friends and allies, then it does not have to define our future.

Learn more about Indigenous Education and Cultural Services

If you need a career, Alberta needs you!

May 3, 2022

Alberta’s economy is booming as per predictions that projected a 4.7 % increase in 2022.

Knowing this we couldn’t contain our excitement and had to speak with the Ministry of Jobs, Economy and Innovation, Doug Schweitzer!

Amanpreet, a Digital Community Assistant had the pleasure of interviewing Doug and here’s what he has to share with Ontario Tech University.

Doug: I’m a lawyer by training. Originally I was the Justice Ministry for Alberta. But in the middle of the pandemic with a whole bunch of economic uncertainty, the Premier asked me to take on the recovery plan for Alberta. So really focusing on diversification, job opportunities and what the future of Alberta needs to be in 2030 and 2040. So that’s my job and we got lots to talk about in many different industries.

We would like to know what are your thoughts on Alberta as a place for students and graduates to consider for their careers.

Economic Growth

Doug: Right now, Alberta is the place to be in Canada. If you’re a young person in Canada and looking for opportunities, you want to take a hard look at coming to Alberta. The reason that I say that is I moved to Alberta in the mid-2000s. Alberta has gone through a few cycles, ups and downs economically. We’re about to go on a very unique positive run in this province economically. The conventional economic drivers of Alberta: the energy industry, agricultural sector, and the forestry industry (that's been the bread and butter of Alberta for decades) have been going exceptionally well in our province is generating an immense amount of revenue. Alberta has a balanced budget; we’re forecasting some surpluses along the way here. Not only that but we’re also seeing some surpluses along the way here. Our strategy has been, that we have a strong foundation but how do we diversify Alberta?

Some of Many Growing Industries

Doug: The film and television industry-we’ve doubled that in the last couple of years. We went to the tech and innovation space and now we’ve got significant resources (i.e. artificial intelligence, machine learning, quantum technologies). We’re seeing the venture capital investment in Alberta going from early stages (2015 to 2016 time) to now where we are seeing a record number of series A financing, and venture capital investments in Alberta. So, you’re really seeing these stages of companies grow and expand. We have thousands of positions to fill in Alberta right now. We’re starting to see the major national players, RBC is setting up an innovation hub, Rogers is setting up an engineering hub, we’re seeing major international players establish their headquarters. There are lots of career opportunities in our province but we need the talent to satisfy those growth opportunities.


Doug: When you factor in affordability, you can afford to live in Alberta. I’ve been to Toronto and Vancouver recently. The cost of living is a big issue! You can still get a house in the suburbs of Calgary for half a million bucks, that's a detached home, 2000 square feet which is a relatively reasonable price from a Canadian market perspective. Condos for 200,000, this is different affordability and quality of life that we’re seeing in Alberta.

What skills (technical or human) are advantageous to have as a student seeking these opportunities?

Tech & Innovation Space

Doug: For tech and innovation, it’s the full range of everything from high-end machine learning expertise (Ph.D. 's) to entry-level (staking) work on data sets. The career opportunities here in Alberta are plentiful in our province right now

With a competitive labour market, what can students do to prepare themselves while they are in school (i.e., ECs, researching potential companies etc.)?

Doug: Reach out to Alberta companies! They are more than willing to have those conversations. Alberta Innovates is the research and development arm of the province, they hold various conferences like Inventures which is a big global conference. There’s artificial intelligence week coming up in Edmonton, so there are lots of opportunities to come and network. A lot of it can be virtually as well, people are more used to Zoom etc. Lots of opportunities to learn what’s happening underground in Alberta, and build those relationships, we’re looking to do. Innovate Edmonton, Platform Calgary are the innovation tech spaces in our province as well. So, reach out and they will gladly connect you! Alberta is hungry and we want talent coming. We’d love to see what we can do with young talented people in Alberta.

Final Remarks?

Doug: I think the biggest thing is that…come check out Alberta! It’s amazing what I’ve seen in my time here for 20 years. It’s so different and changed so much from before when you had one tech and innovation company, a bunch of energy companies and a lot of people were attracted here for the energy industry. But now we got so many unicorns here, we got big players here. When it really comes to opportunities in tech you’re going to have a ton of opportunities in Alberta. On top of that, if you look at your quality of life, you have major international airports, and the most visited national parks in Canada: Banff and Jasper-multiple national parks. Come check it out and I think you will be blown away by the opportunities and what you can personally achieve in Alberta!

Some other questions:

What does Alberta have to offer for other fields like general sciences, business etc.?

Doug: Alberta has opportunities across all fields and we encourage students and graduates to look at opportunities in the province regardless of which sector they’re in.

Where do you see Alberta in 10 years?

Doug: When it comes to Alberta opportunities in the next few years, Alberta is really just beginning its economic recovery and the future is bright. Major banks and think tanks are projecting that Alberta will lead the country in GDP growth this year and some even into next year. We’re about to go on a pretty amazing economic run this decade, it’s the right time to get into Alberta. With the diversification that’s been happening in our province over the past several years, there’s opportunity across sectors and industries.

 That's it, folks! I think it's pretty simple: Alberta is flourishing with opportunity! I highly encourage you all to reach out to these companies and get connected in jumpstarting your careers! We are thankful to Doug Schweitzer for his time and valuable input!

If any further questions arise, please feel free to reach out to @otstudentlife on Instagram!