SFU Beedie and KPMG introduce new tech-focused micro-credential graduate program

Nov 18, 2021

Simon Fraser University’s (SFU) Beedie School of Business and KPMG in Canada announced today a new innovative data analytics and visualization micro-credential program.

Simon Fraser University’s (SFU) Beedie School of Business and KPMG in Canada announced today a new innovative data analytics and visualization micro-credential program. The program, co-created by SFU Beedie and KPMG, is designed to meet the increasing demand for analytics and visualization skills for KPMG’s practitioners, ensuring they have the skills to remain at the forefront of the consulting industry and can offer the most innovative end-to-end services to clients.

“The need for a tech-savvy and digitally capable workforce has increased exponentially,” says Silvia Montefiore, a Canadian Managing Partner and Chief Operating Officer for KPMG in Canada. “This new micro-credentialling program aligns with our firm’s strategy to invest in upskilling our people’s digital capabilities and enabling them to deliver greater value and data-enabled insights to our clients.”

KPMG and SFU Beedie are well-known for creating market-leading and innovative learning collaborations. In 2018, the pair teamed up to build a first-of-its-kind upskilling program in Canada for its Audit professionals, now called KPMG Digital Academy. “Given the success of our previous collaboration, SFU Beedie was a natural fit to design a custom program to advance learning through technology-driven and industry-tailored solutions in a way that is flexible for our people and tailored to accelerate the desired data capabilities across our entire organization,” says Ms. Montefiore.

The program was intentional about selecting content areas and instructional activities that were aligned to evolving market and client needs, as well as skills appropriate for a micro-credential model. “Our goal in designing the program was to create bite-sized pieces of skills-based education that could have an immediate impact,” says Dr. Andrew Gemino, Associate Dean at the SFU Beedie School of Business. “We wanted it to be relevant, accessible and useful and we wanted to include the opportunity to recognize the education through graduate credit.”

This unique, market-leading learning experience is designed to be completed in 15-20 hours, spaced over six to eight weeks. Participants develop their skills in data collection, cleansing, analyzing, and visualizing to bring data-derived insights to life for their clients. The curriculum and teaching style are designed to be immediately applicable to employees’ roles and is held virtually, making it available to national employees.

“Part of what makes this micro-credential experience so effective is that learning is integrated with our peoples’ work,” explains Nathan Walsh, Senior Manager of Digital Learning and program architect for KPMG. “Program participants apply the skills they acquire in context, through a customized, hands-on, mini-case study. This means that on their next engagement, they’ll have already integrated these new skills into their practice, enabling them to immediately apply them to their work and deliver greater value to our clients.

“We engaged in a deeply collaborative process with subject matter experts from within the business, and across functions and service lines, to co-create this component in partnership with the instructors and instructional design team at SFU Beedie.”

The KPMG Data Analytics and Visualization Micro-credential program is the first time SFU has offered a graduate-level, micro-learning experience for credit. “This is a glimpse into the future of business education,” explains Jennifer Beale, Executive Director, Executive Education, SFU Beedie. “We combine elements of traditional business graduate education with executive education-style training and measure success by the impact we see as participants use their knowledge and skills in the workplace.”

Qualifying KPMG employees who complete the credential can apply the credits gained toward completing a Graduate Certificate in Business Analytics.

About a third (30 per cent) of Canadians in a recent KPMG in Canada survey said they plan to enroll in a micro-credential or rapid training program to upgrade their work skills. KPMG surveyed 1,000 Canadians aged 18+ on Delvinia’s AskingCanadians panel through its Methodify platform between November 1 and 4.