By RON FANFAIR
Ryerson University is set to launch a part-time education program that will deliver targeted business skills training to video game and digital media entrepreneurs.
The G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education is partnering with Interactive Ontario – a non-profit trade organization committed to the growth of the province’s interactive digital content industry – on the pilot that will be launched later this year.
The goal of the new Education for Digital and Games Entrepreneurs (EDGE) program is to help grow the interactive digital media industry by providing extensive business knowledge to video game entrepreneurs. EDGE will provide the training needed to make key business decisions and will teach entrepreneurs training, leadership and administrative skills.
“Ontario is rapidly becoming viewed as a leader in digital media and gaming,” said G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education Dean Dr. Gervan Fearon. “Recognizing this growing market, the Chang School is pleased to be a partner with Interactive Ontario to offer programming to help prepare the next generation of leaders in this innovative industry.”
Interactive Ontario president and chief executive officer Ian Kelso said the program will be of huge value to digital entrepreneurs because the key to being a successful creator or innovator lies in the ability to navigate an ever-changing business environment.
“Ryerson is uniquely positioned to combine world class business training, a solid digital media focus and an embedded entrepreneurial spirit which will ensure this program will add tremendous advantage to everyone trying to grow an interactive digital media business,” he said.
The program will specialize in areas relevant to the business aspect of the digital media sector, including courses on business strategy and tactics, human and labour relations, project management, finance and marketing. It will also feature industry experts from Canada and around the world and provide opportunities to network and forge select business relationships.
Peter Monkhouse, acting strategic development and operations director of the G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education told Share that Interactive Ontario approached Ryerson to see if the university could help them fill a void in the gaming industry with some basic business courses.
“We at the Chang School were glad to help as we had noted the same gap but wanted to work with a partner to address the need,” he said. “At the Chang School, we are listening to our students and they are telling us that they need new modes of delivery in order to balance their learning with the rest of their busy lives. As we talked to Interactive Ontario, it became clear it was important for this group that we offer programs designed for the gaming industry and in different formats with flexible schedules.”