Education & Training

Industry / Sector-Specific Training in Burnaby

Simon Fraser University (SFU)

About SFU
Technology & Alternative Energy
Life Sciences & Biotechnology
Film, Television and Technology

British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT)

About BCIT
Digital Arts/Television/Video Production/Radio/Journalism
Biotech/Life Sciences
Alternative Energy

School District 41



About SFU

Boasting three distinctive campuses in Burnaby, Vancouver and Surrey, 30,000 students, 6,500 faculty and staff, and 130,000 alumni, Simon Fraser University (SFU) has matured into one of the world’s leading teaching and research universities.

SFU offers more than 145 undergraduate, graduate and professional programs to students, receives over 100 million in research grants annually, and is consistently ranked among Canada’s top comprehensive universities. Named to the Times Higher Education list of 100 world universities under 50, SFU is also the first Canadian member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association, the world’s largest college sports association. SFU’s vision is to be Canada’s leading “engaged university based on its dynamic integration of innovative education, cutting-edge research and far-reaching community engagement.”

More information:

Technology & Alternative Energy

Faculty of Applied Sciences

The Faculty of Applied Sciences at Simon Fraser University is the high-tech hub for education, and fundamental and applied research. The Faculty prepares its students to become technology leaders in computing science and engineering science using challenging areas of study complemented by unique learning experiences that foster a spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship, professional growth and leadership ability.

Applied Sciences has more than 3,000 undergraduate students, 400 graduate students and 100 faculty members in its schools of Computing Science, Engineering Science and Mechatronic Systems Engineering. Applied Sciences has a strong co-op component, placing more than 1000 students each year.

Computing Science

Ranked one of the world’s Top 50 computer science departments (Academic Ranking of World Universities), the School of Computing Science prepares its graduates to apply sophisticated strategies and logic to solve a variety of technical problems and develop leading-edge technology. The school provides a strong foundation in software development and emphasizes quantitative reasoning skills that ensure career success in a wide range of areas or excellent preparation for graduate school.

Research in computing science is world-renowned, with two Canada Research Chairs, a Sloan Fellow and a Steacie Fellow. Research covers the fields of databases, data mining and computational biology; artificial intelligence; graphics, multimedia and medical image analysis; algorithms and complexity theory; programming languages and software engineering; and networks and systems. Faculty members welcome research collaborations in order to apply their knowledge to business, organizational and government situations.

Engineering Science

Engineering Science at SFU focuses on innovative and personal instruction combined with a program emphasizing advanced technologies such as biomedical, micro-electronics, communications, signal processing, systems engineering, and computers. Core programs are challenging in order to prepare students to be innovators of tomorrow in a high-tech world.

All programs in the School of Engineering Science are fully accredited by the Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board and provide the necessary academic requirements for licensure as a professional engineer (P.Eng.).

Researchers in Engineering Science include two Canada Research Chairs and several endowed Chairs. Faculty members enjoy strong industry collaborations and their focus areas include:

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Communications
  • Microelectronics
  • Systems and Robotics
  • Engineering Physics
  • Computer Engineering

Mechatronic Systems Engineering

The School of Mechatronic Systems Engineering was one of the first in Canada to integrate three areas of engineering in its curriculum – mechanical, electrical and computer. It is fully accredited by the Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board.

Many faculty members in Mechatronic Systems Engineering have a background in industry and incorporate a high-level of corporate knowledge into their research. Among the faculty is a Canada Research Chair in Alternative Energy Conversion Systems.

All researchers have strong collaborations with industry and their focus areas include:

  • Energy Systems
  • Bio Mechatronics
  • Intelligent Systems and Control
  • Products and Systems Design
  • Micro and Nano Mechatronics
  • Computational Design and Engineering

More information:

Life Sciences & Biotechnology

Faculty of Health Sciences

SFU’s Faculty of Health Sciences offers one of Canada’s most comprehensive and integrated programs, and has a strong reputation for producing world-class innovative research. researchers and students from a broad spectrum of disciplines, spanning the humanities, social sciences, and life sciences work together in a unique, not-departmentalized environment to encourage the study of health and disease from “cell to society: and to apply this work in the context of population and public health.

Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences

The Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree in Health Sciences at SFU incorporates multidisciplinary approaches to the study of health, illness, and disease in communities and provides a focus on population and public health.

The BSc in Health Sciences will be of interest to students wishing to pursue careers that require detailed knowledge of the cellular, molecular and behavioural mechanisms that underlie health and disease, as well as to students who are considering post-graduate studies in applied health research and professional health programs.

The BSc in Health Sciences is unique in its interdisciplinary approach to the scientific and social determinants of health and disease, especially infectious and environmental diseases. Graduates will have laboratory skills comparable to those from basic biomedical science programs, and have strong interdisciplinary experience in social science settings. They will exhibit employable skills such as group problem solving, medical statistical and computational skills, communication and organizational skills, honed within the practical framework of knowledge and concepts in molecular biology, immunology, toxicology, epidemiology, and public and population health. Those desiring leadership roles or research positions in health will likely use the degree as a stepping-stone to further education. Goals might include research-based graduate programs at the Master’s and PhD level in any area of the biomedical sciences, focused graduate programs, professional development programs for teaching or higher education, or entry into medical schools and other health professions.

The Health Sciences undergraduate program is accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health.

Master of Public Health

The Masters of Public Health (MPH) program at SFU is a practice-based graduate degree that trains students in a breadth of research and practice intended to improve population health. The MPH program at SFU is the first Anglophone program in Canada to be accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (

This program is designed to meet core public health competencies – what the profession considers to be the essential knowledge and skills required for the successful application of public health. The program is organized into four core competencies including basic population health sciences, fundamentals of public health practice, the population health perspective and the organization of population and public health systems and services.

There are four areas of concentration within the MPH program including Environmental and Occupational Health, Global Health and Population Health Science.

The Environmental and Occupational concentration in the MPH program trains practitioners for practice, research, and leadership positions in environmental health. Environmental health sciences is a complex, multi-faceted field that is dedicated both to protecting communities and workers from environmental factors that adversely impact human health, and to maintaining the ecological balances essential to long-term human health and environmental quality. Environmental health is one of the largest areas of public health, comprising a large percentage of public health practitioners.

The Global Health concentration prepares professionals and graduates to adapt and apply the skills and knowledge of population and public health to work in resource-challenged contexts, with a commitment to promoting better and more equitable health worldwide. This knowledge includes strategies for promoting health and preventing disease in socially and culturally diverse settings characterized by serious health inequities; identifying and challenging the power structures that produce poverty, inequality, and disease; analyzing issues of ethics and human rights as these apply to health disparities worldwide; and developing programs and formulating policy to change and enhance the performance of health systems. Putting such knowledge into action is a critical dimension of the program. The program has been designed to provide students with skills, experiences, sensitivity, ethical principles, and insights to respond creatively to health challenges in an interconnected and globalized world.

The Population Health Science concentration provides opportunities for in-depth study on health policy and planning for health care delivery, health promotion and disease prevention, and applied methods for assessing population health. The Population Health concentration prepares established professionals and recent university graduates for positions of leadership in population and public health.

Master of Science

The master of science (MSc) program at the Faculty of Health Sciences prepares graduates for research careers in one of the signature areas that either have been developed or are currently under development within the faculty including: global health; environmental and occupational health; toxicology; maternal and child health; epidemiology and biostatistics; health promotion and disease prevention; infectious diseases; chronic diseases and aging; mental health and substance use; social inequities and health; adolescent and child development; reproductive health; and health policy. The available courses and directed research experiences available will cover health issues from the level of cells, organisms, systems, communities and populations, encompassing and transcending strictly individual or clinical perspectives.

PhD Program

The PhD program at the Faculty of Health Sciences is designed to train students in advanced research in health sciences, and to provide them with the skills, content area expertise, analytical and critical-thinking capabilities required to pursue original research relevant to health. Consistent with the mandate and objectives of the FHS mission, the PhD program will introduce students to interdisciplinary approaches to research that will encourage them to develop cross-disciplinary research skills. Areas of disciplinary emphasis in the Faculty include: social science, epidemiology, biostatistics, policy analysis, ethics and laboratory-based biomedical science.

Interdisciplinary research areas include Environmental Health and Toxicology, Maternal and Child Health, Epidemiology and Disease Prevention, Chronic and Infectious Diseases, and Adolescent and Child Development/ Reproductive Health.

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Faculty of Science

The Faculty of Science consists of eight departments that introduce students and the community to the wonders of the natural world, from infinitesimally small subatomic particles to the vast, uncharted universe. Students can choose their course of study from 30 programs that span the science spectrum, from global environmental systems to biotechnology, and everything else in between.

The Faculty of Science is a leader in research and education in traditional areas such as biomedical science, earth science, life sciences, physical sciences, and mathematical disciplines. It also embraces niche areas such as actuarial science, bioinformatics, and management and systems science.

Engaging Students

The Faculty of Science has a strong academic reputation that results in partnerships with premier educational and research institutions across the globe to provide experiential learning to undergraduate and graduate students. Opportunities include co-op work opportunities, graduate research internships, full-term to year-long exchanges, and field schools. These opportunities enrich classroom learning and provide glimpses into careers and research areas that change students’ lives.

Engaging Research

The Faculty enjoys an international reputation as a centre for interdisciplinary scientific inquiry. Professors, graduate students and even undergraduate students collaborate in projects with scientists at institutions such as CERN, BC Cancer Agency, Genome BC, TRIUMF, Providence Healthcare and BC Women’s and Children’s Hospital. SFU is also home to Canada’s only civilian hypo/hyperbaric chamber. With public and private partners, the chamber is used to conduct experiments in hypoxia, diving physiology (including decompression illness and nitrogen narcosis), along with research into hyperbaric oxygen therapy in potential medical treatments such as Autism, traumatic brain injury, and sudden idiopathic sensory neural hearing loss.

Engaging Communities

The Faculty of Science is unique in its commitment to engaging families, school children and the general public through its 20-plus community programs. These free programs include workshops for school children, lectures and Café Scientifique events. The newly built Trottier Observatory and Science Courtyard allows the public to discover worlds beyond our own, through the Starry Nights @ SFU program. The telescope, among the largest in the province, provides a digital feed that can be remotely accessed and deployed by community groups and schools across Canada and internationally.

More information:

Film, Television and Technology

Faculty of Communication, Art and Technology

The Faculty of Communication, Art and Technology (FCAT) is the intersection of science, art, technology and design. We are an innovative, multidisciplinary faculty that brings scholars and artists together to look at the world from a unique perspective. Our faculty and students engage in real-world projects responsive to society’s needs and interests in the creative economy.

FCAT comprises three schools and two professional programs:
• School of Communication
• School of Interactive Arts and Technology
• School for the Contemporary Arts
• Publishing
• Master of Digital Media

School of Communication –

The School of Communication (CMNS) offers a dynamic, interdisciplinary examination of the ways in which media messages, institutions and technologies operate within a wide range of social and cultural contexts.

Communication students graduate with a Bachelor of Arts degree, equipped with in-demand critical thinking skills and an understanding of how our media-saturated world functions at social, cultural and ideological levels. The CMNS Co-op Program links many of our students to exciting options for learning as they work in local, national and international organizations.

Areas of research and study include Media and Culture, Technology and Society, and Political Economy and Policy.

School of Interactive Arts and Technology (SIAT) –

SIAT combines applied computing, analysis of media, art and culture, and the implementation of new technologies. In a world where technology shapes our lives, the SIAT focus is essential in understanding the relationships between people and technologies. Students work in both applied and conceptual ways, in design studios where cross-functional teams collaboratively work with interactive applications and new media.

Graduates have wide-ranging career options, working with companies like: IDEO, IBM, Blackberry, Siemens, SAP, Blast Radius, and EA, or continuing to further research and post-doctoral studies in top-tier industrial research laboratories and universities.

School for the Contemporary Arts –

Combines all the benefits of a small, intimate arts school with the advantages of a large university. Students receive ample attention from professors and interact closely with classmates, while having access to a vast array of courses. Our studio classes in dance, film, music, theatre and visual art are all taught by practicing artists. In addition, our scholars engage students with the historical, philosophical, and political contexts of the arts to provide a foundation for developing critical and contemporary thinking. We are considered unique in North America for our interdisciplinary approach.

Publishing Programs –

The Master of Publishing (mpub) program is an innovative, full-time 16-month program. A select cohort of candidates learns practical skills from faculty and guest industry professionals, within a rigorous academic environment.
The Minor in Print and Digital Publishing provides the foundation for students to pursue advanced professional education, or to take jobs in publishing or adjacent cultural industries.

Master of Digital Media (this was taken from the BCIT write-up, but should also be referenced in SFU’s FCAT section as it is jointly offered by several insitutions).

The Master of Digital Media is Canada’s first professional graduate program in digital media. Offered at the Centre for Digital Media in Vancouver, this intensive program with internship engages students in real world projects and coursework that provides valuable leadership experience, training, and top industry connections. The program is a 12-month-plus-internship, full-time, professional master’s degree program. The program’s curriculum is uniquely designed to meet new and expanding digital media markets. Guided by top-level faculty and industry mentors, students work closely with clients and peers on team-based, industry-supported projects. The Master of Digital Media is conferred by The University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, Emily Carr University of Art + Design, and the British Columbia Institute of Technology. Grads are alumni of all four institutions.

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About BCIT

The British Columbia Institute of Technology is a public post-secondary institution with just under 48,000 students enrolled into approximately 350 programs annually.

As Canada’s premier polytechnic institute, BCIT has been integral to building the economic, social, and environmental prosperity of British Columbia since 1964, producing more than 155,000 career-ready graduates in that time.

Known for graduates that possess a combination of theoretical and hands-on knowledge, BCIT’s applied learning model uses work-integrated learning such as co-op programs, internships, and apprenticeships to provide real-life opportunities for students to learn on the job, and local business with skilled talent.

BCIT offers credentials that are highly valued by employers: certificates, apprenticeships, diplomas, undergraduate degrees, and master’s degrees developed in consultation with industry advisory committees and aligned with the needs of industry and the economy. Compared to a provincial average of 80%, 95% of degree graduates are working within six months of graduating.

BCIT is held in high regard for its broad accessibility and varied pathways to learning, providing learners with relevant skills in a range of industries, including health care, business, high-tech, and engineering.  BCIT provides the majority of apprenticeship training in the province of British Columbia.

BCIT has five campuses, including its main campus in Burnaby, which is home to a full-equipped radio and television studio, broadcasting Evolution 107.9 FM; an automated manufacturing robotics lab; the Centre for Energy Education and Research; and a Technology Centre dedicated to applied research and development.

In 2008, BCIT was named one of Canada’s greenest campuses and, in 2010, one of Canada’s greenest employers.


Computing at BCIT

As the largest provider of computing graduates from applied diploma and bachelor’s degree programs in the province, BCIT’s School of Computing and Academic Studies plays a significant role in supporting BC’s high-tech sector. Working with industry and subject matter experts, BCIT has developed 30 different applied programs that lead to a range of credentials. BCIT also offers the most extensive part-time computing programs in BC, including fast-in-fast-out options for professionals who require upgraded skills. The bachelor’s degree program focus on game development and network security, two niches that are unique in BC. Learn more about computing at BCIT.

Industry Sponsored Student Projects

The Industry Sponsored Student Projects (ISSP) program provides BCIT students with experience working on IT or computing projects directly from industry. Projects include software development, database design, network administration and security, web and mobile applications, cloud computing, computer games, and more. Industry sponsors get effective assistance from students who apply their knowledge and skills to create viable IT or software solutions. Learn more about Industry Sponsored Student Projects.

The Centre of Excellence in Analytics

The BCIT Centre of Excellence in Analytics is a joint initiative between the School of Business and the School of Computing and Academic Studies to promote the field of analytics through education, applied research, industry projects, commercialization, and industry collaboration. One of the Centre’s primary goals is to bring together the analytics community for collaboration, idea generation, and sharing best practices to support and grow the sector here in BC. The Centre is developing new analytics credentials at the graduate and undergraduate level delivered through part-time studies. It also provides flexible and customized corporate training, and supports organizations through student projects and applied research. Learn more.

Digital Arts/Television/Video Production/Radio/Journalism

BCIT Broadcast and Media Communications programs have been starting careers off on the right foot for almost five decades. More than 200 radio voices, journalists and television personalities in the Greater Vancouver area got their start with broadcast training at BCIT.

Many more of our 2,700+ grads work behind the scenes in radio, television, and video production; and in film, and audio and video production houses; as well as media relations throughout British Columbia, across Canada, and around the world.

BCIT Digital Arts offers specialized training in 3D animation, graphic design, and web design, giving students a dramatic head start in exciting, dynamic and successful careers. Using the latest technology and current hardware and software, Digital Arts students are provided with the education and training necessary to obtain employment in the industries requiring skills in multimedia design and production, as well as the fields of graphic communications, digital animation, interactive computer graphics, interface design and web design.

Master of Digital Media

The Master of Digital Media is Canada’s first professional graduate program in digital media. Offered at the Centre for Digital Media in Vancouver, this intensive program with internship engages students in real world projects and coursework that provides valuable leadership experience, training, and top industry connections. The program is a 12-month-plus-internship, full-time, professional master’s degree program. The program’s curriculum is uniquely designed to meet new and expanding digital media markets. Guided by top-level faculty and industry mentors, students work closely with clients and peers on team-based, industry-supported projects. The Master of Digital Media is conferred by The University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, Emily Carr University of Art + Design, and the British Columbia Institute of Technology. Grads  are alumni of all four institutions.

Biotech/Life Sciences

The BCIT School of Health Sciences is a primary contributor of health science professionals to the British Columbia health system, providing instruction to approximately 2,100 students across 31 health-related programs, including the largest Nursing program in the province.

The BCIT Honours in Biotechnology program is delivered in partnership with the University of British Columbia’s department of Microbiology and Immunology to offer a unique and comprehensive learning experience, combining UBC’s theoretical and research expertise with BCIT’s hands-on laboratory training and high-calibre foundational courses. Biotechnology faculty deliver advanced training in a variety of life science disciplines, including microbiology, immunology, molecular genetics, protein biochemistry, process systems, and animal and plant cell biology. Biotechnology research areas include biomarker discovery, inflammation in human disease, applied health genomics, and biofuels.

Phytoanalytics research

Dr. Paula Brown, Canada Research Chair, Phytoanalytics, is dedicated to improving the quality of standards of natural health products manufactured, prescribed, and consumed in Canada. From the Ministry of Agriculture to Health Canada, Dr. Brown has worked with agencies across the country to standardize the approach taken when testing products for potency, strength, and efficacy. She also collaborates with researchers at universities around the world to constantly find new ways to improve agricultural management practices, advance laboratory testing of products, support development of novel therapeutics, and effect policy in the regulation of natural health products.

Inflammation in human disease

A major focus for Biotechnology research faculty is identifying the role of inflammation in the development and progression of chronic human diseases, such as cancer, Type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. With a grant awarded from the BCIT Institute Research Funds, Dr. Sarah McLeod is investigating the role of inflammation-promoting immune cells, known as tumour-associated macrophages (TAMs), in breast cancer progression. Specifically, she is investigating the role of the secreted chitinase-like proteins, YKL-40 and YKL-39, in the interactions that occur between TAMs and breast cancer cells. These interactions appear to drive breast tumour progression, and finding ways to disrupt them may provide novel approaches to breast cancer treatment.

Alternative Energy

BCIT is involved in several projects related to alternative energy, from biofuel research to the development of a smart microgrid at the Burnaby Campus. The BCIT School of Energy is focused on producing graduates that are well-equipped to address current energy challenges by increasing energy efficiencies in industrial processes and the use of cost-effective alternative energy sources. The School is committed to education and research in energy management through its Centre of Energy Education and Research (CEER) and by collaborating with local industries that are developing products to save energy or obtain energy from alternate sources.

Smart Microgrid

Canada’s electric power utilities are facing a serious crisis. Aging infrastructure, rising demand for electricity, and environmental concerns have made it crucially important to improve how the electrical grid manages both the distribution and intake of electricity. BCIT’s Dr. Hassan Farhangi and smart microgrids have an integral role to play in solving this problem. The BCIT Burnaby Campus is home to Canada’s first campus-wide smart microgrid: developed in collaboration with BC Hydro, the BCIT smart microgrid is a modern, small-scale version of the electricity system that incorporates variable electricity generation such as wind and photovoltaic solar and uses forecasting, sensing, and communication technologies to more closely match demand and available generation. Dr. Farhangi is studying BCIT’s smart microgrid in an effort to better understand what will work with existing grids.

BCIT’s smart microgrid provides much-needed opportunities for electrical utility companies, technology providers, and researchers to work together to develop architecture, protocols, configurations, and models of the evolving smart grid. The work done at BCIT enables researchers to develop and validate technologies required to meet Canada’s growing electricity needs.


School District 41 Overview

Quality public education has been a community expectation since the first meeting of the Burnaby School Board in 1906. The legacy of quality education and lifelong learning in Burnaby, which began with the amalgamation of early one-room schoolhouses continues today in 41 elementary schools and 8 secondary schools. (For more details of district history click here)

The district enrols 24,000 students (K-12) and employs 4,000 dedicated employees who are committed to providing all students with a wide variety of innovative, high-quality programs to ensure student achievement in areas that include academics, athletics, trades training, visual and performing arts, social responsibility and leadership. The District also provides lifelong learning opportunities to more than 16,000 adult learners through an established Community & Continuing Education Program.

Our schools reflect the increasingly global nature of the Burnaby community with 4,000 students enrolled in English Language Learning programs. A recent survey of languages spoken in Burnaby homes indicates that more than 75 languages (other than English) are spoken in the homes of Burnaby students. Such diversity has brought rich cultural benefits to Burnaby’s communities and schools. The district continues to promote the ideals of multi-culturalism through its policies and school-based initiatives which promote cultural respect and understanding.

We’re proud of our vibrant neighborhood schools, diverse programs and services and most importantly student achievement. Whether you are a parent with a child in the district, a district employee, a community member or partner or one of our district students, we invite you to take some time to learn what makes Burnaby schools unique with its numerous learning opportunities.

Burnaby School District – where all roads are a pathway to success.

School District 41 celebrated its centennial anniversary in 2006. See a comprehensive historical overview.

Mission Statement

To prepare and support an inclusive, caring community of learners for the challenges of a changing tomorrow.