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October 18, 2019 11:04 AM

New degree program to focus on software development

A new four-year degree program at Conestoga will prepare graduates for progressive careers as high-quality software developers. 

The innovative Bachelor of Computer Science (Honours) (BCS) program is the college’s first degree to be offered through the School of Applied Computer Science & Information Technology at Conestoga’s John W. Tibbits campus in Waterloo, and provides a 21st century education preparing students for exciting futures in the world of information and communications technology (ICT). The program features multidisciplinary curriculum and experiential learning activities to produce career-ready graduates.

“The program builds on recognized foundations of computer science, and focuses on building skills in software quality, reliability and security,” said Pejman Salehi, dean, School of Applied Computer Science & Information Technology. “Students will be challenged to examine multiple techniques in software design, development and testing to master professional practices that positively impact the quality of software under development.”

BCS offers a unique approach to learning, integrating theory and project-based courses in collaboration with industry and applied research. Students will have the opportunity to work on real-world projects each semester, culminating with a capstone or applied thesis project in the last year of the program. Three paid co-op work terms will also provide students with relevant hands-on learning and the opportunity to apply skills and knowledge to industry projects.

The program will also put emphasis on emerging and leading-edge technologies, allowing students to major in a specific field. Four streams have been approved -- cybersecurity, big data analysis, cloud computing and the Internet of Things -- and will be implemented as the program grows. Cybersecurity will be the first major offered.

“We are uniquely positioned to prepare students for a career in a groundbreaking field,” said Salehi. “Through industry partnerships, students will have access to one of the fastest growing tech sectors in North America to collaborate on projects, experience the real-world through co-op and learn from faculty rooted in industry, helping fuel the talent pipeline here in Waterloo Region and beyond.”

The Bachelor of Computer Science program is currently accepting applications for its first cohort, beginning September 2020. Pathway options for students with diplomas or advanced diplomas in software engineering, computer programming and analysis are available.

Conestoga now offers 16 degree programs focused on delivering instruction that is based on both theory and practice and developed in consultation with industry leaders to align with workforce demands. Spanning multiple schools of study, programs feature real-life learning experiences, including paid co-op work terms, and class sizes that support teamwork and vital student-faculty interaction.

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