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'Internet of Things' micro-credential can save time, money and manpower

The BCIT program bridges the gap between tech theory and real-world execution

Picture it as a robust information system, not unlike an Excel spreadsheet on steroids that collects, interprets and makes use of data in real-time, from satellites in space to markers in the ocean and all points in between.

It may sound far-fetched at first blush, but similar concepts have been in place since the Voyager space launches of the late 1970s.

Enter the world of the Internet of Things (IoT), a process which collects data from the physical world around us, brings it to a central database and then analyzes it for any number of uses: fighting climate change, planning cities, managing hospitals or critical infrastructure, revolutionizing crop management and a myriad of other 21st century realities.

The BCIT IoT program gives business leaders, decision-makers and prospective students alike a masterclass in these areas through a micro-credentialed program that introduces the fundamentals of IoT, its useful applications and a practical workshop to enable learners to set up an IoT application.

These courses examine real-world case studies, providing decision-makers with examples and ideas about how they can utilize and implement this technology.

A comprehensive course that opens doors

“There’s such a wide need for IoT especially in the business communities across Canada and North America,” describes Jonathan Bassan, director of the BCIT Centre for Internet of Things. “These systems have been in place for years in Asia and Germany but we have been slow to adopt them.”

The IoT program augments numerous disciplines students are already learning at BCIT while preparing them for careers that will be in demand for decades: programming, data analytics, working with sensors, cellular and WiFi networks, artificial intelligence and cyber security.

“These are tools to help the transition from data from the physical world to the cloud, to the analysis stage,” Bassan explains.

Modern industry is evolving and channelling both funds and efforts towards IoT for their day-to-day work to make profitable business decisions – and they will be seeking skilled IoT professionals to help take advantage of this evolving technology.

Theoretical knowledge with real-world applications

Bassan points to a few key instances where IoT has already been used locally, resulting in lowered costs and far greater efficiency. BC Hydro’s move to smart meters is a case study in the power of IoT, with the switch now allowing the utility provider to monitor everything in its network while seamlessly and safely collecting data across the province.

Some of Bassan’s students have also partnered with YVR to monitor the watershed off Sea Island. This will improve the modelling of the airfield and provide diagnostics and predictive insight as part of the airport’s need to address climate change and rising sea levels. It’s a process that has uncovered the potential to reduce costs by six figures through the implementation of IoT.

And moving forward, IoT can help with some of B.C.’s most pressing and existential threats. This technology can track water levels, soil moisture and other variables to better understand wildfire behaviour. Alternatively, IoT can be a preventative resource in the face of flooding events like those seen throughout the Fraser Valley in 2021.

“Not many solutions have been implemented in B.C. and that’s what we’re trying to address,” Bassan says. “We need more of the decision-makers to have a look at our courses and try to better understand how the Internet of Things can help them.”

To learn more about the Internet of Things micro-credential, visit