York University launches Canada’s first post-secondary DevOps program during a crucial time of digital transformation

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York University’s School of Continuing Studies will launch Canada’s first university-level Certificate in DevOps in May 2021 to help fill the labour shortage in this rapidly growing technical field.

DevOps is a methodology that combines software development (Dev) and information-technology operations (Ops) to shorten the systems development life cycle while focusing on quality and continuous delivery. DevOps enables separate roles to coordinate and collaborate to better produce digital products and respond to customer needs.

“This program answers a need in the market today, as more and more organizations look to harness the power of the cloud to modernize their businesses and deliver new and improved services to customers,” said Rejean Bourgault, country manager of Public Sector, Amazon Web Services (AWS) Canada, Inc. “DevOps is a growing discipline across organizations, and we support York’s commitment to developing programs that bridge the IT upskilling gap in Canada.”

According to Gartner’s 2019 priority matrix, DevOps will play a central role in organizations undergoing digital transformation over the next two to five years. During the pandemic, many businesses have moved portions of their operations to online delivery or created new digital products in short order. For industries immersed in developing software and digital products today, DevOps adoption would have transformational benefits.

In a 2020 report of top 15 emerging jobs in Canada, the DevOps engineer role was listed at number seven. Organizations across Canada and the GTA are looking for ways to best staff their teams for DevOps roles, but are facing challenges finding talent. The School of Continuing Studies’ new Certificate in DevOps aims to address this talent shortage by providing IT professionals with a robust skillset so they can help facilitate a DevOps cultural and technological transformation within their organizations.

Tracey Taylor-O’Reilly
Tracey Taylor-O’Reilly

“Although the pandemic has slowed or stalled hiring in many industries, emerging technical professions, such as DevOps, are still experiencing labour shortages during this critical, transitional time in tech fields,” said Tracey Taylor-O’Reilly, assistant vice-president, Continuing Studies. “Our research indicates that many GTA organizations are at various stages of DevOps adoption. The School’s innovative Certificate in DevOps – the first of its kind in Canada – I’m proud to say, will help mid-career IT professionals change or advance their careers by gaining applied knowledge in this discipline. They will graduate with the skills and confidence to pursue DevOps opportunities and emerge as leaders in this new, exciting profession.”

The School’s continued growth in its portfolio of programs complements York University’s commitment to creating diverse, new professional programs with flexible delivery options. Professional programs like the Certificate in DevOps have also opened York University to new national and international audiences and contributed to York’s reputation as a leader in providing life-long learning options.

The Certificate in DevOps is developed through collaborative relationships with industry leaders like Fahd Gulzar, Amazon Web Services national programs lead, Canada Public Sector. The program is also taught by industry expert instructors to ensure students are receiving a current and relevant education.

The program’s part-time, online and accelerated delivery format allows students to graduate faster and pursue career advancement opportunities in just six months. Students enrolled in the program will deepen their understanding of how DevOps can provide operational and technological benefits to an organization and how to implement best practices that derive maximum value using Agile project management methodologies.

The School’s Certificate in DevOps will also allow enrolled students to go deep on specialized knowledge. The program’s curriculum includes experiential learning activities and case studies on successful DevOps implementations. Students will engage in lessons to successfully construct a DevOps automated pipeline using trending tools such as Gitlab, Ansible, Jenkins, Docker, Kubernetes with Helm, Terraform, Prometheus and Grafana.

Students also have the added advantage of completing this program as part of a cohort. This means they will advance through the program with the same set of working professionals, encouraging peer-to-peer collaboration and growing their professional networks.

The new Certificate in DevOps is now open for registration with classes beginning May 3, 2021.