DreamSpark: Preparing the next-gen workforce

DreamSPark logo

I have been thinking a lot lately about the IT skills shortage. According to the Information and Communications Technology Council, from 2008 to 2015, Canadian employers will need to recruit as many as 178,800 technology workers. But based on their projections we’ll likely fall short of hiring requirements in a number of areas.

This is true outside of Canada as well, so it was great to hear Bill Gates today announce the expansion of the DreamSpark program.


If you haven’t already heard of DreamSpark, it's all about giving students access to Microsoft developer and design tools at no charge. The best part is that, as of today, more students than ever can take advantage - originally geared to college and university students, we just made DreamSpark available for high school students as well.

Over the years I’ve seen my share of Imagine Cups and other locally sponsored code awards, and seen students develop some amazing stuff. They have the smarts, the passion and the drive, and DreamSpark is really about giving them the resources they need to take their skills to the next level.

If you read my blog you know that I believe that we all need to step it up when it comes to innovation, an area where despite some impressive examples, Canada still tends to lag. This makes initiatives like DreamSpark even more important because the next generation of innovators are critical to ensuring the strength of local software economies across Canada.


To learn more or sign-up a school, visit the DreamSpark site. Looking forward to seeing students get a head start on their careers, especially given the increasingly competitive environment the recession has created. But that’s a whole other discussion.

(If you are a high school student doing something cool with our development tools, please leave a comment and tell me about it!)

Here is some press from today -

And here is a video of BillG discussing Dreamspark & students from Channel8 -