Student finds a home in Computer Sciences at OC

By College Relations | June 10, 2024

Participants at Western Canadian Conference on Computing Education conference hosted at OC
Attendees from the 26th Annual Western Canadian Conference on Computing Education (WCCCE), held at OC.

When SM student Kristina Cormier was searching for post-secondary schools to attend, she had some criteria she was looking for.

She researched the benefits of different industries she was interested in and the programs that were available.  She heard good things about OC alumni and the work they were doing. She loved the location in the Okanagan Valley and the small class sizes OC is known for.

But it was OC’s Computer Science Department that really caught her eye. She was soon enrolled in the Bachelor of Computer Information Systems program and fast forward three years, Kristina is only a year away from entering one of the fastest growing industries in B.C. with job opportunities in the thousands.

“SM and Kelowna both had multiple qualities that were very appealing,” she said. “This area creates an ideal environment for students, professors, and events. My original plan was to transfer to a university but then I realized there were more benefits for me if I continued with OC instead of transferring.”

One of those benefits played itself out last month as OC hosted some of the top minds in Western Canadian computer science circles at the 26th Annual Western Canadian Conference on Computing Education (WCCCE). The conference brought together students, educators and industry partners to discuss teaching methods, tools and experiences in computer-related instruction.

“The conference was an amazing opportunity to meet some incredible individuals who are passionate about what they do and extremely dedicated to the next generation of learning,” said Kristina. “All of the participants were very welcoming to the students who participated and/or volunteered. It was a great opportunity to have so many people from the computer science field at our campus.”

Much of the talk at the WCCCE was about the number of career opportunities out there for students.

In the , computer science was identified as the fifth most in-demand career with more than 4,000 job openings in 2023. Software engineers, designers, developers, programmers and information systems specialists are all identified as high-opportunity occupations in B.C. Starting wages are more than $30 per hour.

For students like Kristina Cormier, the job opportunities in the field and the experience she has already had with industry leaders have her excited for the future. And for OC’s Computer Science Department, connecting students to industry through the WCCCE was a big effort and well worth it.

“I want to thank the organizing team for bringing the Western Canadian Conference on Computing Education to our Kelowna campus. It was a great opportunity for our students and staff to hear from many of the top experts in the computer science field,” said Halia Valladares, Dean of OC’s Science and Technology Department. “Our computer science programs are developing talented workers in what is a growing industry that needs skilled workers. Congratulations to all of the OC teams that helped bring this incredible event to our community.”

Tags: Department of Computer Science



Sign up for weekly stories