More options Share this article (1:21) Computer science schools are getting a much-needed boost from the government.
In a new report, the Canadian Council for Computer Science said it has been working with government agencies and private companies to encourage more people to complete a bachelor’s degree and take on more computer jobs.
“It’s a huge issue, it’s an area where we have a lot of expertise, it has tremendous potential,” said Jennifer Stroud, executive director of the CCCS.
“We’re not going to be able to address the problem until we are working together with the industry, but we need to do that.”
The CCCs report outlines the issues facing Canadian universities as they face growing competition from universities across the country, including from U.S. and other countries that have become more technology-savvy and open to the idea of open online courses.
“We are very concerned about the growing number of students that are going to college and the potential impact of a lack of online learning,” said Stroud.
“This is an area of study where we need the industry to do its part.”
The report cites a number of issues including the fact that the Canadian economy is experiencing a jobless recovery, and the number of college graduates in Canada has dropped from over 30,000 in 2013 to fewer than 5,000 now.
The report also says that students have been forced to choose between working part-time and full-time jobs.
The report calls for more investment in universities, and calls on government to create a $1-billion federal job-training program.
It also calls on the government to ensure that the skills that students need to succeed in the labour market are in demand, including more students who have completed a computer science or engineering degree, and more apprenticeships.
“The Canadian economy continues to evolve and there are many reasons why that’s happening, but there is a growing recognition that it needs to become more accessible to students who are currently in high school and who may not have that level of training in their career,” said Daniel Gagnon, a CCCC senior vice-president.
Gagnon said that, like many Canadian universities, his organisation has a job-search website and other tools that help students find jobs in various industries.
“A lot of employers want people who have a degree to come in and learn,” he said.
“I think it’s a really important piece of this [government] program.
If we can help it become more available and more accessible, it could be really important.”