June 21, 2021

UCalgary collaborates with Microsoft and RBC to deliver free AI certification program

Continuing Education course available for up to 6,000 students through the summer at no charge for students

Calgary, AB – The University of Calgary has collaborated with Microsoft Canada and the RBC to provide free training in fundamental aspects of artificial intelligence (AI) for up to 6,000 students.

Advancement in many areas has fast-tracked the development of AI – companies already use AI tools in a variety of ways and functions, and with this, skills to develop and manage AI are expected to broaden.

In the past 12 months, there were over 17,000 job postings in Canada that required skills related to artificial intelligence, big data, cloud computing, supervised learning (machine learning), natural language processing and computer vision, according to a Labour Insight report from Burning Glass Technologies.

The Microsoft Azure AI Fundamentals certification course is for individuals with both technical and non-technical backgrounds, who are interested in learning how to create AI and Machine Learning applications using Microsoft Azure

“This important collaboration is a positive development in the University of Calgary’s continuing efforts to develop the types of stackable credentials and certifications that support student success across emerging areas in industry such as AI. We seek to provide our students with a wide range of opportunities to gain the skills they need for careers today and into the future. We thank Microsoft Canada and RBC for so generously providing the opportunity for students of all backgrounds to take this course and rapidly earn a valuable certification.”

Teri Balser, Provost and Vice President (Academic) at the University of Calgary

The Azure AI Fundamentals course is now available for registration and will be offered through UCalgary’s Continuing Education department through September. The course is geared for anyone seeking to pursue tech careers such as AI engineers, data scientists and developers in the future, but does not require a technical background to enrol. At the end of the approximately seven-hour course, students can write the exam for AI-900 certification in Azure AI Fundamentals – at no cost as well. It is now open for registration to learners from across Canada who wish to learn the basics of how to create AI and machine learning (ML) applications using Microsoft Azure.

“The pandemic has accelerated digital transformation at unprecedented rates, making skills in AI more important than ever. As part of our collaboration with the University of Calgary and RBC, we are committed to creating an inclusive digital economy where every Canadian has access to acquire the skills they need to fuel innovation now and into the future.”

Kevin Peesker, President, Microsoft Canada

In addition to Microsoft, RBC has invested in this program in support of RBC Future Launch, a commitment to helping Canadians prepare for the jobs of tomorrow.

“As digital and machine technology advances, Canadians will need to refine and add to their skillset to keep pace with a world of work undergoing profound change. That’s what RBC Future Launch is all about, and through our collaboration with the University of Calgary’s Continuing Education and Microsoft Canada, we want to enable Canadians to identify, build and further develop their creative and collaborative skills.”

Jeff Boyd, RBC Regional President for AB and the Territories, RBC

For more information about Azure AI Fundamentals or to register for the course, click here.

Media inquiries

Sean Myers
Senior Communications Specialist, Media and Issues Management
University of Calgary

About the University of Calgary

The University of Calgary is a global intellectual hub located in Canada’s most enterprising city. In our spirited, high-quality learning environment, students thrive in programs made rich by research, hands-on experiences and entrepreneurial thinking. Our strategy drives us to be recognized as one of Canada’s top five research universities, engaging the communities we both serve and lead. This strategy is called Eyes High, inspired by the university's Gaelic motto, which translates as 'I will lift up my eyes.' For more information, visit ucalgary.ca/eyeshigh.

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