Software Development programs respond to industry

Offerings create additional opportunities to have students career-ready

7/29/2020 10:19:36 AM

ST. JOHN’S, NL – The technology sector in Newfoundland and Labrador is a $1.6 billion industry that requires a significant influx of software developers, and College of the North Atlantic (CNA) is meeting the demand!

For the first time, CNA will offer an Accelerated Software Development (Post-Diploma) program beginning in January 2021. The one-year, full-time program, which is now accepting applications, will be delivered completely online as a Continuous & Customized Learning initiative, with a capacity for 25 students.

The Accelerated Software Development (Post-Diploma) program has several vital outcomes, including: to respond to existing industry labour shortages in a climate of rapid sector growth; to provide more career options to graduates from other disciplines of study; and, to support yet another opportunity for part-time learners to become career ready.

In addition, the Accelerated Software Development (Post-Diploma) program, as well as the three-year Software Development (Co-op) program being offered in September 2020, have experienced a robust response to applications. Both programs were developed as industry-driven responses to increasing sector needs for software development and software programmers.

Liz Kidd, CNA’s President & CEO, says these programs align with CNA’s goal of meeting the employment needs of industry sectors across the province. She notes the college wants to ensure that its graduates are meeting skilled technological needs that today’s businesses demand, while at the same time, filling the labour gaps identified by industry.

“The IT sector is growing leaps and bounds in this province and nationally, with predictions that Canada’s digital economy will experience rapid growth over the next five years,” said Kidd. “The economy over the past couple of months has taken a major hit due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With the rapid transition to online delivery, the need for skilled workers in software development is more essential than ever. It is our responsibility to recognize where the labour deficits lie and continue to work with industry to overcome these challenges to help move this sector forward. We can achieve this by providing additional program offerings, with stakeholder input, and enhancing employment opportunities for our graduates.”

Software developers have been identified as a career choice where workers are highly sought-after, yet the availability of qualified people has been difficult for today’s employers, notes Stephen Warren, Dean of CNA’s School of Business and Information Technology.

CNA’s programs were designed to use modern, current languages and platforms, with hands-on practical applications. There is also an opportunity for students to gain real work experience, once public health measures are in place to do so safely and effectively, to apply the knowledge gained in the classroom in the real-world setting.

“In order to fill the technical skills gap, we need to enable students of diverse academic backgrounds to quickly develop proficiency in the technical skills in demand by industry,” noted Warren. “This is one of the reasons we support initiatives like the Accelerated Software Development (Post-Diploma) program.”

Paul Preston, CEO of the Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Technology and Innovation (NATI), also believes these programs will address many of the needs throughout the sectors represented by his organization.

“This program will allow students, many of whom may be considering a technical career for the first time, the opportunity to leverage their existing academic credentials to develop the skillset required for a challenging and rewarding career in the technology and innovation sector.”

Warren adds that the time is now for people to become involved in the IT sector, as society’s dependence on technology and software isn’t going away.

“We are confident that these programs will provide existing graduates with a strong combination of technical and theoretical skills, as well as the ability to apply concepts learned in the classroom that will ultimately better prepare them for work in this burgeoning sector. And, the fact that we are moving into a second offering of the Software Development (Co-op) program speaks volumes about the urgent need in the IT sector to fill job vacancies.”

For more information on these and other CNA programs, visit:
Media contact:
Michelle Barry
Communications Manager
College of the North Atlantic