Shopify, Algonquin College partner on graphic design course

Shopify U has added graphic design to its course offerings.

The e-commerce company announced a partnership with Algonquin College to offer 60 students a hands-on education in graphic design.

Shopify employees partnered with instructors from Algonquin College to design a nine-week multidisciplinary course as part of the School of Media and Design.

As part of the curriculum, students will attend classes at Shopify’s downtown office, and then put their graphic design skills to use for local businesses.

In a statement, Algonquin College president Cheryl Jensen said the program “elevates” traditional co-op learning.

“We are so proud of our collaboration with Shopify – it offers so many opportunities for us to connect our learning to the community beyond our campus,” she said.

This is not Shopify’s first foray into academia. CEO Tobi Lütke has been outspoken in the past about his desires to integrate coding into early school curricula, a campaign that even brought Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to Shopify offices. Last year the company launched a similar pilot program with Carleton University to partner on a hands-on computer science program.

"As employers and educators, we have a responsibility to ensure students learn the relevant skills required in the current work environments,” said Daniel Weinand, co-founder and chief design officer of Shopify, in a statement.