According to recent research put out by Canada’s Information and Communications Technology Council, by 2020 there will be close to 215,000 information communication technology (ICT) jobs that will need to be filled. The company’s research report, Digital Talent: Road to 2020 and Beyond notes that these numbers will likely increase as emerging fields such as advanced manufacturing, robotics, and virtual reality expand.

Humber College’s School of Applied Technology (SAT)  is working to address the shortages by training the nation’s future top engineers, technologists, and technicians through innovative programming and real-world experience.

At Humber, the field of engineering encompasses three sectors—the built environment, advanced manufacturing, and ICT. “These clusters include education in robotics, automation, artificial intelligence, computer engineering, information technology, civil engineering, and industrial design,” says Farzad Rayegani, Dean of Humber’s School of Applied Technology. “The beauty of a polytechnic education like that offered at Humber is that it addresses emerging technologies.”

Keeping up with evolving technologies

“We work closely with our industry partners to shape and develop our programs,” explains Rayegani. This connection ensures the school stays on top of new advancements in engineering technology.
Humber’s engineering environment is designed to meet the needs of students and the industry. “Students work on the same equipment that they would find in a real-world work environment,” Rayegani says. “Everything in our classrooms is industrial-grade.” And to solidify the school’s commitment to the future of engineering education, Humber employs professors who are industry professionals.

“They are masters in their fields, from the perspective of applied technology, and are up-to-the-minute in their knowledge,” he adds.

Key to student success is the ability to learn real-life solutions in class. As Rayegani explains, “we don’t say, ‘You need to learn all of the theory and fundamentals first and then, after three or four years, we’ll let you play.’ Our students work with the technology from the first day.”

The future is engineering

Almost all of the global challenges today need engineering solutions. “Cybersecurity, drinkable water, renewable energy, advanced health care systems—all of these concerns are engineering issues,” says Rayegani. Students are encouraged to enter competitions at various levels and locations to hone their engineering and critical thinking skills. In the fall of 2017, Avery Bird and Theo Willert, two Electromechanical Engineering Technology graduates, won a bronze medal and the best in nation award in the WorldSkills competition in Abu Dhabi.

“We encourage our students to enter local, national, and international competitions,” says Rayegani. “For a company to be competitive globally, it has to have technological readiness. To do that, it has to have a skilled and job-ready force. This is the element that our grads bring. They give companies a competitive edge because they have the aptitude to win.”