The University of Waterloo is launching WatSPEED, a new unit that aims to transform lifelong learning and professional education to support the workforce of the future.  

WatSPEED will provide non-credit professional education that enables industry professionals to keep pace with emerging technologies and understand their impact on businesses, economies, the environment and societies. Through made-by-Waterloo programs, businesses, corporations and institutions will be able to retain, upskill and prepare their workforce for a dynamic and disruptive future. 

This work will help support Canada’s economic recovery and the sustainability of Canada’s workplaces. With WatSPEED, Waterloo will be at the forefront of a new approach to lifelong learning, helping the leaders of today and tomorrow navigate an ever-changing environment. 

"With WatSPEED, organizations can partner with the University of Waterloo to create custom professional development content to equip their workforce to stay competitive and continuously evolve to keep pace with technological, societal, economic and environmental disruption," said Sanjeev Gill, associate vice-president, innovation and executive director, WatSPEED at the University of Waterloo.

"WatSPEED is a unique approach to providing relevant education that will prepare professionals for a complex future. It will build on Waterloo’s foundation of academic excellence and strong ties to industry to help create a future-proof workforce." 

Waterloo’s expertise will be at the forefront of WatSPEED’s programming, with content developed and delivered by Waterloo faculty members. These programs will extend the educational impact of the university beyond its traditional boundaries to reach learners in the working world. In particular, WatSPEED will draw upon Waterloo’s strengths to provide a unique education at the intersection of business and technology, targeted at segments of the workforce that need upskilling and training the most. 

WatSPEED’s programming will be developed in partnership with industry, emphasizing the critical skills that are necessary for mid-career professionals and executives to remain relevant and thrive. Industry partners bring valuable knowledge and insight about skills gaps in the market, and they will help promote and deliver these programs to the workforce. In turn, WatSPEED will help organizations future-proof mid-career professionals and business leaders so they can adapt, compete and thrive through change. 

In partnership with CPA Ontario, WatSPEED is launching its inaugural certificate this October, the Digital Certificate in Predictive Analytics for CPAs. This course combines the expertise of Waterloo’s School of Accounting and Finance, with the professional standards of CPA Ontario, and is customized to meet the specific needs of the CPA.  

“This partnership with Waterloo gives our members the opportunity to access learning to further develop the skills to meet the demands in a disrupted and fast-changing environment,” says Craig Smith, Executive Vice-President of Member and Student Services, CPA Ontario. “And with the creation of this unique digital certificate in partnership with SAF and WatSPEED, we will better prepare our profession for the next frontier of business.” 

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