A Canadian university is offering computer science degrees in the hope of turning around a struggling economy.
In a video posted Tuesday, the College of Engineering at McMaster University describes its course, titled “Coding for the Future,” as “the first computer science curriculum in the world that offers a degree in computer engineering.”
“This course will help you to understand what is really important to you as a student, and it will help your future employers to find the right candidates for you, as well as provide you with a unique perspective on the industry you love,” the video’s narrator says.
“Coding is a very diverse field, and this course will equip you with the knowledge and skills that will allow you to take on a leadership role in the computer industry.”
The course, which costs $2,904, comes in conjunction with a $1,500 grant from the federal government and will begin this fall.
It will include a computer engineering component and an “economics” component.
“You’ll be learning how to design, develop and implement software applications that will benefit you, your company, your community, and the world,” the university says.
The course also includes an “introduction to computer programming” that is designed to “explain the theory and practice of computer programming.”
The videos are a response to recent concerns that graduates from Canada’s universities could find themselves unemployable, particularly if their degrees didn’t reflect the country’s “computer science and technology” landscape.
In November, the National Post reported that the Ontario government was considering instituting computer science requirements on students from high school, with an eye to reducing the number of jobs available for computer programmers.
The University of Waterloo, one of Canada’s leading universities, is offering its own courses in computer programming.
It said in January it would introduce its own computer science courses in 2018, though some of the other institutions offering courses are not yet in the same boat.
“We want to help students and employers understand the key technologies and skills they need to succeed in this challenging and rapidly changing technology,” the Waterloo Technology Learning Society said in a statement in January.
In an interview Tuesday, McMaster University President Peter McCausland called the courses a good step forward in a country that has been struggling with computer science shortages.
“I think we’ve got a very strong interest in the education of young people and the young people who are in the industry,” he said.
“We’re trying to be as inclusive as we can of that and what’s in it for the graduates.”
McMaster University, the oldest of Canadas three public universities, opened in 1758.
The university now has around 1,000 students and is located in Hamilton, Ontario.