The University of New Brunswick, its new McKenna Institute and TechImpact have announced two initiatives to help prepare New Brunswickers for the growing employment opportunities in information technology. 

The first is a new Coding Boot Camp. The program is a partnership between UNB’s College of Extended Learning for adults not interested in pursuing a four-year degree, the university’s McKenna Institute, which aims to propagate the use of digital technology in the New Brunswick economy, and TechImpact, the IT industry group.

UNB, the McKenna Institute and TechImpact have also teamed up with IBM Canada and Université de Moncton to increase access to the IBM SkillsBuild program. IBM SkillsBuild is a free, digital training program that prepares users for in-demand, entry-level IT and non-IT roles in many industries.

The Coding Boot Camp's course material will aim to prepare students for jobs as full-stack developers, software testers and web developers, among other in-demand roles, via hands-on training that will cover the basics of coding and data structures.

The Boot Camp is an example of the type of upskilling that several startup support organizations have recommended as a partial cure for Atlantic Canadian startups’ labour woes.

"This program opens the door for individuals in New Brunswick who may not have otherwise had the opportunity to participate in the digital economy and the digitally enabled workplace," said McKenna Institute executive director Adrienne O’Pray.

UNB’s creation of the Boot Camp is in response to a report from TechImpact and Moncton’s Jupia Consultants, commissioned by the province, called the NB IT Workforce Growth Plan.

”The report found critical steps were needed to ensure New Brunswick has the skilled digital workforce that the evolving economy needs,” said TechImpact CEO Cathy Simpson, who co-authored the Growth Plan.

“It also found that a wave of skilled IT positions needs to be filled in the coming years.”

In a press release, the university said the New Brunswick government is also offering funding for bother prospective students and employers, although it did not provide further details.

The university also has plans to launch similar boot camps for data analytics and cyber security.

Employers interested in hiring bootcamp graduates can learn more by emailing TechImpact Digital Skills Program Manager Jacob Dunnett at

As part of the SkillsBuild collaboration, the partners will work with students and community members and develop customized learning plans and modules, allowing them to work towards desired roles or competencies within the digital space.

The partners said more than 42 percent of all Canadian jobs in 2022 require new tech-focused skills like analytics or design thinking. However, the pandemic exacerbated an already glaring global skills gap that left many of these types of positions unfilled.

Tech Impact estimates that this amounts to more than 2,000 positions within the technology sector in New Brunswick over the next three to five years.

"The digital transformation we are living through is creating jobs that require new skills,” said IBM Canada President Dave McCann. “By collaborating with McKenna Institute and the University of New Brunswick through IBM SkillsBuild, we are helping address the skills gap, accelerating our talent pipeline in the province and providing the new generations of workers with tools they need to build a better future for themselves and society.”