Alberta’s premier, minister of advanced education, and faculty, researchers, and students gathered at the University of Alberta Thursday morning to celebrate the province’s growing technology sector.

This month, thousands of post-secondary students will return to school. Because of a five-year, $50 million investment by the provincial government, there are 400 more seats across the province for those who want to enter the technology sector.

“This investment helps us ensure that we have a well-educated, talented workforce to help us diversify and build an economy that lasts,” said Premier Rachel Notley Thursday morning.

The increase in number of student spaces was announced mid-August. Of the 400 seats, 169 are located in Edmonton at the University of Alberta, NAIT, and Concordia.

Calgary and Lethbridge received 216 and 21 seats, respectively.

The province plans on adding a total of 3,000 technology-related spots by 2023.

“Alberta’s tech sector is growing quickly, and we have to prepare students with the expertise and skills to work in a modern and diverse economy,” said Marlin Schmidt, minister of advanced education.

The funding announcement followed news of the creation of the Talent Advisory Council on Technology (TACT) in August. The 16-person group is tasked with advising the Alberta government on growing the technology industry.

Both the funding and TACT were implemented as part of Bill 2, the Growth and Diversification Act, which is aimed at strengthening the economy’s different sectors.

Alberta expects a labour shortage of computer and information systems professionals by 2025, including software designers, programmers and developers.