Continuing education programs are helping people upskill and reskill to successfully keep up with evolving industry norms.
Since its inception, the University of Victoria (UVic)’s Division of Continuing Studies has been an integral component of the institution. Partnering with other UVic faculties and community associates to build the most comprehensive programming, it’s a national leader in continuing education.
Whether learners are local, international, professionals, or simply learning for personal interest, the division provides high-quality courses that are easily transferrable to real-world situations. Its wide-ranging programs include humanities, science, environment, arts, business, and technology. The division offers flexible delivery options like micro-credentials, certifications, diplomas, degrees, certificates, and more.
Continuing education is ever-increasingly important for all working professionals. In a rapidly paced, globally connected world, standards are shifting regularly — 56.1 per cent of Canadian businesses claim to experience employee skill gaps.1 Upskilling is necessary to ensure companies transition smoothly from one trend to another.
Staying ahead of the curve
As technology continues to update, workers need to quickly learn how to manage new programming. In the same vein, there’s a demand for proficient high-order thinking skills, like creative and critical thinking, problem-solving, and analytic interpretation.
Staying current with industry standards is imperative not only for professionals but for the education institutions responsible for building upskilling courses. “What’s unique about UVic is that we take an innovative, integrative approach,” says Jo-Anne Clarke, Dean of UVic’s Division of Continuing Studies. “Our students want to learn today and be able to apply it tomorrow.”
To help companies avoid major technology disruptions, the continuing studies program offers technical upskilling curriculum including administration, data analytics, creative technologies, and more.
The division also embeds necessary tools like Microsoft certifications right into courses instead of teaching them separately, giving students a more practical understanding of new skills.
Preparing global-ready professionals
Students learn to better manage big, complex problems through programs that are focused on high-order thinking skills like innovative analysis and independent critical thinking. The school is set to launch a new Transformative Climate Action micro-credential, which will teach professionals how to address and tackle climate change.
“We apply our personal values around equity, diversity, and inclusion into our teachings,” says Clarke. “With Canada’s large-scale future immigration plans, we want student to understand that a diverse workplace is a richer one.”
The Canadian job market is culturally vast — and that’s why professional development in intercultural competencies is increasingly necessary. In a country that economically relies on immigration, businesses are prioritizing inclusion and celebrating diversity.
The school’s expert courses include international programming, Indigenous reconciliation, English language skills, and an upcoming micro-credential in . The curriculum helps students to develop self-reflective, anti-racist competencies that can shift company culture and make them more inclusive spaces.
A supportive learning environment
Ongoing, university-level professional development is the key to success in today’s business climate. UVic provides workers, community lifelong learners, and newcomers to Canada with the chance to upskill or reskill through experience-based learning based on current research.
Visit continuingstudies.uvic.ca to learn more.
1. Fissuh, E., Gbenyo, K.-K., & Ogilvie, A. (2022, November 4). Using data from the survey of employers on workers’ skills, the paper examines the link between firm characteristics and the prevalence of skills gaps in the workplace and recruitment difficulties in Canada. Determinants of skill gaps in the workplace and recruitment difficulties in Canada. Retrieved February 20, 2023, from https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/pub/18-001-x/18-001-x2022002-eng.htm