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Shopify expands Dev Degree to York University
Ecommerce platform provider Shopify has expanded its Dev Degree programme to York University in Canada. The innovative educational scheme combines a web development degree with work experience at the Ottawa based firm.
Billed as the Dev Degree it’s a work-integrated learning (WIL) programme that combines an accredited university degree with on the job experience and it is now in its 3rd year and expanding. The course balances theory and practice while layering programming and personal growth skills early on. Each semester students take 3 courses at University and spend 25 hours a week at Shopify.
The course has also already proved highly successful for Spotify who say that one advantage is being able to recruit graduates from the course straight to work without a long induction or training.
We see above average retention rates compared to traditional academia. Generally, 20-50% of students dropout of their initial program or from postsecondary programs completely. In Dev Degree, our retention rate is 95%. We’ve increased gender diversity in the program, with women accounting for over 50% of Shopify Dev Degree students — a dramatic rise from the 19% of women graduating with a computer science degree.
– Jean-Michel Lemieux, SVP Engineering, Shopify
As Shopify notes in their report about the Dev Degree, a commercial partner is critical for a university who wants to make a success of this type of vocational degree because it moves the study from the purely academic to something much more practical. And web development, programming, is also a discipline well-suited to the two pronged approach of combining practical skills with the theoretical.