Digital Nova Scotia teams up with StFX to increase AI adoption across N.S. through innovative microcredential program

StFX digital

Digital Nova Scotia (DNS) has partnered with St. Francis Xavier University to develop and deliver a new microcredential program that will equip professionals across various industries in Nova Scotia with essential skills in using artificial intelligence (AI) tools for their work.

The Practical AI Utilization Microcredential program is generously funded through the Department of Labour, Skills & Immigration’s Microcredentials Initiative Innovation Fund and is aimed at enhancing digital skills across the provincial workforce. Given the significant impact AI will have on many jobs—both now and in the future—harnessing its potential is essential to boost productivity and minimize job displacement. This program will also alleviate fear associated with this evolving technology and its adoption, all while enhancing the digital skill set of Nova Scotians. 

“We’re thrilled to announce the launch of this innovative AI program. As AI continues to transform industries worldwide—and right here at home—it’s imperative that we equip our workforce with the knowledge and skills to harness its powers effectively and responsibly,” said DNS CEO Owen Sagness. “Through this initiative, we’re not only preparing our workforce for the future, but also positioning Nova Scotians at the forefront of innovation, productivity and ethical AI adoption.”

DNS industry partners will work collaboratively with StFX’s Department of Computer Science and Centre for Online Learning & Professional Studies to design the curriculum, incorporating prompt engineering, problem-solving, ethical considerations, and AI tool applications. The program will ensure that learners acquire skills that are immediately applicable and highly valued in the workforce. 

"St. Francis Xavier University is excited to embark on this innovative partnership with Digital Nova Scotia to introduce our first microcredential. This initiative represents a significant step towards empowering Nova Scotia's workforce with cutting-edge artificial intelligence skills and methodologies. By combining our expertise in online learning and professional studies with the practical needs of the industry, we aim to enhance the digital proficiency of our community and pave the way for a future-ready Nova Scotia," said Fred Allen, Manager, Professional Studies, StFX Online.

Four microcredentials will be offered through this program, including Practical AI Utilization for Manufacturing, Practical AI Utilization for Project Management, Practical AI Utilization for Marketing and Communications and Practical AI Utilization for Developers and Programmers. Each program will be four weeks in length and will include both asynchronous and synchronous elements. The program is planned to launch and be available to Nova Scotians by September 2024.