Building the next generation of top tech talent

Editor's Note

This article is sponsored by the University of Ottawa Faculty of Engineering. 

Got a tech talent issue? uOttawa's Faculty of Engineering is rapidly evolving to satisfy talent needs and boost innovation. Watch this live interview with Dean Jacques Beauvais about how the engineering school is partnering with private sector businesses.

This is an edited transcript of a discussion between Jacques Beauvais and OBJ publisher Michael Curran. To hear the full interview, please watch the video above. Prefer an audio version of this podcast? Listen to it on SoundCloud

CURRAN: Enlighten us on what’s happening at the engineering school?

BEAUVAIS: Within the last year, we have seen our sense of urgency increase due to the world changing and problems becoming extremely complex. We need to be addressing those real-world issues and that is where we are focusing as we move forward. That brings huge opportunities to create new projects, courses and partnerships with local companies. Our goal is to bring in more multi-disciplinary projects, more diversity and more hands-on training for our students through experiential learning and working with clients and industry leaders. 

CURRAN: Let’s talk about talent. How can the uOttawa Engineering school help with that? 

BEAUVAIS: We are having the students work on teams throughout their undergrad, and we insist that these projects are client based. We have companies come in with their problems and challenges and the students are in charge of developing a solution with the help of professors. We offer internships and co-op opportunities giving companies access to this next generation of top talent. We encourage our students to spend as much time in the industry as possible, and we are continually evolving that program to ensure our students leave with the skills they need to immediately step into the job market. 

We also have a significant number of international students, which gives our companies access to a global network. Thousands of students are descending on Ottawa and are seeking jobs in the local market, so that is a great stream for companies to tap into.