We know new computer science graduates struggle finding meaningful employment in the software industry due to lack of programming skills, experience working with professional software development teams, or having more theoretical knowledge than hands-on practice. That’s why, in 2016, we launched our first work-integrated learning program, Dev Degree, as part of our commitment to bridging the gap that currently exists between higher education and the workplace.
Today, we’re excited to share that Shopify’s first Dev Degree cohort at Carleton University has graduated, with 88% of the students having found full-time roles at Shopify as Web Developers, User Experience Developers, or Data Scientists. Over the last four years, these graduates applied curriculum theory to real-world problems, learned essential development skills and new technologies, and received mentorship from leaders at Shopify. And with the goal of helping students meaningfully impact Canada’s economy faster, our graduates are entering the workforce one year earlier than they would have through a traditional 5-year co-op program.
Dev Degree takes a unique approach to talent investment by starting with undergraduate students. The program is designed to set students up to create maximum impact and welcomes 20-30 students each year across Carleton and York University. And on top of an accredited degree, the learning model builds tighter feedback loops between theory and practice while layering programming and personal growth skills early on. The result - students leave as skilled, high context developers with over 4,500 hours of work experience, equivalent to over two years of working. Dev Degree also works to address the gender gap in computer science at its source, with women accounting for 50% of Shopify Dev Degree students.
“We’re proud of this milestone moment watching our first cohort of Dev Degree students graduate from the program and move into full-time roles at Shopify,” said Jean-Michel Lemieux, Chief Technology Officer at Shopify. “This year’s cohort is leaving Dev Degree as well-rounded developers, and we’re excited to continue working with our university partners, as we welcome our fifth cohort in the fall.”
The future of young software developers is bright and we encourage you to learn more about Dev Degree here.