Lethbridge College will be one of three institutions to host a first of its kind event for Alberta. Hack and Seek Alberta XR Career Quest is a weekend event for high schoolers who are interested in technology and may want to explore a career in virtual reality.
It is a collaboration between Lethbridge College, Bow Valley College, NAIT, Alberta Innovates and Digital Alberta that will be competitive and focused on solving potential real-world problems with technology.
“What we are really hoping to do is open the eyes to the potential to high school students of XR or VR and AR as a career path,” says Mike McCready, industry liaison and research advisory in the START centre at Lethbridge college. “It’s going to allow these students to be exposed to new technology and new skills and connect with post secondaries and industry throughout Alberta because industry will be mentoring and judging the projects.”
Students will develop applications over the weekend of May 3-5 to use virtual reality for problem solving. McCready points to training as one application of the technology.
McCready says many opportunities in the industry are new and the college’s program is preparing to help fill a talent gap he predicts will come with increased demand.
“We are seeing more and more requests for training, for marketing, different types of industries that are looking for this virtual and augmented reality content and as we see this demand rise the need for content is going to increase,” he says. “Virtual and augmented reality, even though it has been around in a consumer fashion since 2016, is still a fairly new industry. We are seeing a lot of our grads in the virtual and augmented reality program at Lethbridge College starting their own companies.”
Students can apply to participate in the event on the college’s website.