Work-based studying adjustments over time

Waterloo, ON, April 15, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – The University of Waterloo is introducing a new style of work-based learning specifically designed to help cooperative students find their first semester of work during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Based on the analysis of 71,000 job descriptions – research by the Work-Learn Institute of Waterloo – identified the cooperative and experiential education (CEE) in this time, in which the nature of the work is fundamentally changing, which was most in demand by employers in all industries Skills . Skills employers are now looking for include: technology, communication, video marketing, social media, software development and quality assurance, project identification, analysis and innovation solution development.

“The past year has presented our students with unique and unexpected challenges and we are pleased to present them with more flexible ways to continue their education and engage in meaningful work-based learning,” said Norah McRae, Associate Provost of CEE. “The WE Accelerate program will not only help students secure team-based project experience but, through the exemplary efforts of our employers and industrial partners, will also help students develop key skills to navigate a complex future of work.”

CEE developed the new program (called WE Accelerate) together with the industrial partners Microsoft, Deloitte, Vidyard, Desire2Learn and Manulife as well as the campus partners Concept by Velocity, The Problem Lab and The Interdisciplinary Center on Climate Change. All of them provided their specialist knowledge, their course content, moderators, trainers and mentors. Some of these partners will work with students on real work projects. The program offers a unique, high quality, work-based learning opportunity and an alternative to a traditional co-op work term.


“Microsoft has been recruiting exceptional talent from the University of Waterloo through its co-op program for over two decades. Microsoft is proud to partner with the University of Waterloo to qualify and coach freshman students as one of the first steps in their career path. These students have the opportunity to work on industrial projects, gain valuable mentors, and earn their first Microsoft certification on Azure Cloud and AI to set out on their way to thrive in the digital economy. ”

– Kevin Peesker, President of Microsoft Canada


“Manulife is proud to have a longstanding relationship with the University of Waterloo. With this new work-integrated learning program, we aim to help freshmen develop their software development skills while they work on projects that can have a positive impact on the digital customer experience. We look forward to connecting students with talented, ambitious, and unconventional thinkers through this program to help build a resilient and innovative future workforce for the graduates of tomorrow. ”

– Hugh Cumming, CIO, Manulife Canada


Video is the future of business in this digital world. As part of the Waterloo Experience (WE) Accelerate program, we partnered with the University of Waterloo to develop video marketing skills with freshman students. Vidyard is using video to change the way businesses connect and communicate. These skills will set UWaterloo students apart and be ready to adapt to the ever-evolving digital workplace.

– Michael Litt, Vidyard co-founder and CEO, systems engineering alumnus and former co-op student


“In order to always be one step ahead of today’s disruptions in the workplace, companies must continuously train their workforce dynamically and in the work flow. We recognize that human-centered design (HCD) is an important future skill in building a sustainable workforce and we are excited to be working with the University of Waterloo to create an HCD master class for freshmen. During this 8-week course, students will solve a real work-integrated problem using the fundamentals of HCD – developing solutions that put the “human”, whether customer, employee or business partner, in the foreground while reversing orthodoxy and paradigms about how a company works. ”

– Peter Tulumello, Head of Learning Counseling and Ecosystems, Deloitte Canada

Concept / speed

“Concept is incredibly excited to offer students a unique opportunity to spend a semester expanding their networks across disciplines and working with industry experts. The WE Accelerate program provides opportunities outside of the comfort zones for students, allowing them to focus on non-academic interests while building highly transferable skills. ”

– Carly Cameron, Manager Entrepreneurship Experience, concept of Velocity

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