Sheridan moves to close the skills gap

A new partnership with Digital Adlab and Google Canada aims to arm students with digital buying and selling skills before they enter the workforce.

The challenge of filling key digital trading positions with high turnover rates has been on the industry’s radar for some time now. But agencies will likely be encouraged by news that 20 of this season’s graduates will be able to slip into entry-level roles with the ability to trade digitally on one of the industry’s most-used platforms.

A new program called “Digital AdLab Student Digital Accelerator Program” has been born out of a partnership among Toronto-based digital advertising company Digital AdLab, Sheridan’s Pilon School of Business and Google Canada.

The program trains students on DoubleClick’s widely-used buying and selling platform and responds to the growing demand for people skilled in the business of digital advertising. Some 20 students have signed up for the intensive six-week program that starts on May 17.

Topics covered will include programmatic buying, RTB, audience targeting, and data management. The students will learn these skills across the suite of DoubleClick platforms, which include DoubleClick Campaign Manager, DoubleClick Bid Manager, DoubleClick for Publishers and the DoubleClick AdExchange.

Raymond Reid, founder of Digital AdLab, created his digital advertising education business to respond to the skills gap. As someone whose industry experience spans the agency, published and tech sides of the business, Reid has been promoting his company’s ability to provide businesses with integrated learning experiences and continued training. Those were two reasons why he set up Digital AdLab in July last year specifically to address this problem. With this partnership, Reid is moving the focus onto early education by ensuring that college and university students get the skills they need to jump into their roles immediately. 

“Our goal is to work with the schools to both educate the faculty and bring them up to speed and then enable the faculty to deliver the training for the program,” explained Reid.

In a press release, the Pilon School of Business’ dean Syvlia Lowndes echoed these sentiments, stating the program was designed to bring more value to students while also complementing the school’s “strategic and practical approach to business education.” Digital advertising is expected to continue to grow both globally and in Canada. Last year some $3.5 billion of ad revenue came from investments in the digital space, more than on any other medium.

Reid told MiC a program such as this will give students the requisite skills to complete in this growing digital economy. In addition to working with Sheridan is company is in discussion with 10 other colleges and universities across Ontario, British Columbia and Alberta.

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