High-Paying Jobs That Don't Need A Degree
Sometimes, Shopify attracts students midway through their studies through its year-round internship program and they decide against resuming their education because they enjoy the significant impact they're making at the company, she said. Harrison Brundage, 25, quit his software engineering program at McGill University more than halfway toward earning his bachelor's degree. He had just completed a four-month software developer internship at Shopify and opted to join the growing startup instead of returning to school. He asked for a yearlong, full-time position, intending to return to school afterwards. Twelve months turned into nearly five years, and Brundage is now Shopify's director of engineering for data platforms. The skills needed to be a successful software developer change very rapidly, he said. "This makes it remarkably hard to teach modern, relevant software development practice. There are many techniques that will be obsolete by the time a curriculum for them is finalized, taught and used by its graduates," said Brundage in an email. While he learned some very useful skills at school, Brundage said he found his on-the-job experience at Shopify helped him grow more, so he chose to stay put. That probably happens with some of the University of Waterloo's students, said Rocco Fondacaro, the school's director of student and faculty relations for the co-op education and career action department. The school doesn't track how many computer science and computer engineering students abandon their studies and turn co-op placements into full-time jobs. But Fondacaro says it's likely rare since the university does a good job of convincing students their degree is more than just a piece of paper to frame and hang on a wall. "There's a lot of additional learning that will serve them well through their entire life," said Fondacaro, citing co-op opportunities and professional development courses. As for Brundage, he doesn't plan to re-enroll, saying his Shopify experience and references will likely qualify him for other future opportunities. "I run a group of world-class engineers building world-class systems," he said.
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