Reason #88 of '101 Reasons Why I Heart Edmonton'

Northern Alberta Institute of Technology

By Emil Tiedemann

There is a large banner hanging from a pedway at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) that reads “We are essential to Alberta.” That couldn’t be more true! 

Tens of thousands of part-time and full-time students from nearly 90 countries study any number of 120 credit programs essential for Alberta’s technical and knowledge-based industries, including everything from petroleum engineering and business administration to hospitality and interior design. 

That’s a far cry from the very beginnings of NAIT, when 326 students graduated at the first graduation ceremony in 1965, two years after the school first opened. Over the years, NAIT (Edmonton’s equivalent to Calgary’s SAIT) has rapidly expanded, with the construction of numerous additions and extensions, and there are more plans for the near future. 

In a province like Alberta, trades people are always in demand, and NAIT just so happens to specialize in trades education, allowing the institute to grow into one of the largest and most respected schools in the province. 

Some of the most notable NAIT alumni includes Oilers President & CEO Patrick LaForge, Olympian curler Kevin Martin, Food Network chef Corbin Tomaszeski, TSN anchor Bryan Mudryk, former St. Albert Mayor Nolan Crouse, chemist & author Robert Barefoot, Gemini-winning filmmaker Gil Cardinal (North of 60), digital effects master Bruce Woloshyn (28 Weeks Later), and MLAs Percy Wickman, Ian McClelland, and Vince Steen. #nait


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