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All posts tagged 'Alberta'

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Include oil & gas, and Edmonton is a hotbed of new technology - originally published in HIcks on Biz column of the Edmonton Sun, April 14, 2012

There’s a default position in Canadian business that goes unchallenged.Canadians aren’t innovative. Canadians aren’t productive. Canadians aren’t inventive.The mantra is repeated in northern Alberta. Our economy doesn’t “do” research and development. We’re scared of risk and the fear of failure associated with new technology, new processes. We’re too used to the easy life produced by an endless gusher of oil and gas.I’ve had the opportunity to explore this intriguing topic, working a few days a week as an adviser to TEC Edmonton, an incubator and accelerator of technology-intensive startup businesses.The business gurus have got it all wrong. This city and region should proclaim itself just as techno-savvy as “knowledge-based” cities like Boulder, San Antonio or Kitchener-Waterloo.Four events will counter the perception of Edmonton being ho-hum in “conventional” technology — the Analytics, Big Data and the Cloud conference, April 23 to 25 (abtech.ca), the 10th annual TEC VenturePrize Awards and Dinner (venture ...

Big Bucks for young Albertans: Hicks on Biz column originally published in the Edmonton Sun, Friday, March 9, 2012

A friend of mine had a kid finishing high school. He was a smart, practical young man with a good attitude, but he didn’t have a clue what he wanted to do. They made a practical decision. They looked at the projected earnings for grads from NAIT’s technology programs. Off he went to enroll in the course with the highest earning potential. Good decision. Three to four years after graduation, he’s an electrical engineering technologist. Now 24, this young man is pulling down $100,000 a year in base salary, half that again in overtime. Plus benefits. Welcome to Alberta, 2012, where young adults – with the right diploma and a willingness to work – are often making $100,000 a year. There’s cause for concern – too much money, too fast, too young, unrealistic expectations, and so on. But as long as the building boom continues in the oilsands (and it will continue, with $20 billion being spent on construction alone in 2012) , skilled ...