NANAIMO – Vancouver Island University (VIU) has developed two new Faculty of Management graduate programs to meet the needs of the Island’s rapidly growing economy.

“As a regional university, we are constantly assessing the needs of the industries in the communities we serve,” says Joanna Hesketh, VIU Graduate Business Studies Director.

“These two programs support the growing need for these skill sets and will expand our students’ capacity to find employment upon graduation.” 

Both theGraduate Diploma in International Trade (GDIT) and Graduate Diploma in Project Management (GDPM) are 12-month programs that start this September,

Last fall the Island was officially designated as a Foreign Trade Zone by the Federal government.

With that designation, local organizations like the Vancouver Island Economic Alliance (VIEA) are focused on increasing the visibility of the Island’s diverse economy and strategic location. Combining international exporting sectors like aquaculture and manufacturing with a high level of accessibility via airports, and multiple deep-water ports puts the region in a highly competitive position.

This translates into more opportunities for new businesses and a demand for employees with training and skills within international trade. 

Students of the GDIT program will learn important management principles as they relate to international business and trade. Upon competition of the program, graduates will be eligible to pursue the Certified International Trade Professional designation. 

GDPM program students are provided with the opportunity to receive the designation of Certified Associate in Project Management and Project Management Professional upon completion of further exams. 

“Students in this specialization will be set up to get their certification and have their fees paid for to become part of the Project Management Institute (PMI) and gain their valuable resources,” says Hesketh. 

PMI is a global organization for project management professionals, providing certifications, resources, academic research and professional development courses to its 550,000 members.

According to the organization, through 2027, the project management-oriented labour force is expected to grow by 33 per cent, almost 22 million new jobs. 

“If you do a quick job search on Vancouver Island, you will see that a large majority of jobs are requiring those project management skills,” says Amber McMillan, President of the Project Management Institute – Vancouver Island Chapter.

“If you attend school for project management, there will be a job waiting for you at graduation. There is a huge need for these skills and demand is only increasing.”

Both the GDIT and GDPM program are currently accepting applications for enrolment in September 2019.