One of the programs that Digitera launched in Fall 2016 was that of Co-Op Students. Provided by various High Schools from local School Boards in and around Ottawa, these Co-Op Students all come to Digitera due to their interest in all things within the Computer Arts & Science fields…Programming & Coding, Digital Marketing, Blogging and Graphic Design. Our program started slow and has increased rapidly over the last 2 years, with 2 students in Fall 2016, 9 students in Winter 2017, 10 students in Summer 2017 and a city-leading 19 students in Fall 2017.
As our Co-Op program has increased in size & scope, our requirements have equally morphed. Accordingly, we’ve prepared a description of our desired categories along with some requirement guidelines to go over. Note that they’re soft guidelines, and exceptions can be made for the right student. However, following the below as much as possible will allow for a much greater experience for all concerned.
Note that there is an overall requirement that ALL Co-Op Students have their own Laptops that they can bring to work. Students who don’t own a Laptop should meet with their Co-op Teacher, to explore options at the school level.
Surprisingly enough, we’ve learned over the last two years that a certain class of teenagers can be handed Coding challenges with some confidence that the job will get done. This by far has been the most pleasant surprise of our Co-Op program, and one that we are “doubling-down” on. With programming, it’s all about the languages you know, and here is a list of the ones we’re looking for with respect to Co-Op Programmers.
• HTML/CSS/PHP/MySQL Stack
It would be more productive if students wishing to Co-Op had some experience in any of these 5 fields before coming to us. Also, we are able to supply Online Video Courses in all of these 5 fields if a student is willing to put in some pre Co-Op Self-Study to properly prepare for his Term with us. Please feel free to contact Jordan St Jacques for more information.
WordPress & Shopify Web Designers
Not to be confused with Programmers, WordPress & Shopify Web Designers occupy the middle ground between Coding and Designers. As WordPress & Shopify are more Website Builder Frameworks, the need for raw code is greatly reduced, and the work required involved more Graphic Design skills than what the Programmers require. What’s worthy to note here is that WordPress & Shopify skills make a student job-ready ASAP, and can have a material effect on their lives shortly after they come out of Co-Op.
Just as for Programmers, it would be more productive if students wishing to Co-Op in WordPress & Shopify had some background before coming to us. Again, we are able to supply Online Video Courses in WordPress & Shopify if a student is willing to put in some pre Co-Op Self-Study to properly prepare for his Term with us. Please feel free to contact Jordan St Jacques for more information.
Our core business activity is of course Digital Marketing, and our first Co-Op Students came to us for this industry. Students interested in Digital Marketing all start with Data Research projects, and then slowly morph into greater challenges halfway through the Term, such as;
• SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
• Social Media
• Growth Marketing
• Email Newsletters
• SMS Marketing
• Lead Generation
• and much more!
As with our other fields, we’re happy to supply links to Online Video Courses in advance, however it’s not as strongly recommended as for Coders and Graphic Designers.
As any true Search Engine Optimization (SEO) professional knows, Blogging is an extremely important component in having your site ranked favourably on Google & Bing. Problem is, teens these days have had their English-language skills deteriorated by social media…which is why we feel blessed when a high school student comes our way with the skills needed to write a proper article in Newspaper-like format.
We gladly accept Co-Op Students with Journalistic skills and ambitions, with their Term-challenge that of learning how Blogging fits into both Search & other parts of the Digital Marketing Sales Funnel. Requirements are 1-2 written Articles from their Portfolio.
Graphic Design overlaps both Digital Marketing AND Programming, in that graphics are required components of both areas. Knowing how important Design is to the overall UX/UI (User Experience/User Interface) is something ALL of our students are taught, and the Graphic Design Students are tasked with supporting both the Coders and the Digital Marketers accordingly.
We strongly recommend that students interested in serving their Co-Op term with us in this area already have skills in Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator, and that these two programs are installed on whatever Laptop they are using. Digitera is happy to provide links to Online Video Courses in both Photoshop and Illustrator to interested Students in advance of their placement with us.
As part of our Co-Op Program, we offer industry-specific Training in Digital Marketing, where one day a week over the course of a Term we have the students in-session. These Training Sessions have increased in scope in every progressive Term, and will be expanding as we go forward. Although there is no certificate attached, the students come out of our Co-Op able to execute elementary Digital Marketing Campaigns, which makes them job-ready at a junior level. Certainly, this new skill can be put on a resume in order to make it shine!
Digitera works primarily out of the prestigious Bayview Yards, the leading Tech Innovation Hub in Eastern Ontario. This building houses both Invest Ottawa and the Carleton University Cyber-Security & Lead-To-Win programs, and is by far and away one of the leading new business environments in the country.
Distance and the Work Offsite component
With respect to schools on the fringes of the region, we realize that the distance to travel downtown can be a factor in deciding whether or not to Co-Op with us. To address that challenge, we instituted a Work Offsite component to the program starting in the Fall 2017 Term. How that looks is that a schedule for the week ahead gets posted mid-week before, where the Co-Op Students are aware of the days they have to be onsite, and the days they can either work-from-home OR at an open space at school.
Please get in touch with Jordan St Jacques to discuss your Co-Op Students, and feel free to validate us with Candace Carson of the OCDSB or Liana Pagotto of the OCSB.