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E-Commerce Developer – an Innovative Education Course, a Result of the Cooperation Between the Lower Silesian University, ITCorner Association & Unity Group.

Unity Group as an active member of ITCorner – Wrocław’s newest technology cluster of over 70 companies. The organization been working for years for local development of new technologies and is looking at the shortage of staff in this industry. The idea of creating studies and developing a curriculum to meet these needs has been sprouting for some time now, and the current epidemic situation and growing demand for e-commerce services has only accelerated the decision to launch a new engineering course at the Lower Silesian University of Technology. The syllabus for this “E-commerce Developer” course was developed by the academic staff and practitioners from businesses associated in ITCorner – including Unity Group – and the whole project is supported by the European Union.

Innovation in the Educational Offer

“E-commerce Developer” is a pioneering course of study, seeking to educate specialized staff for the e-commerce industry, including PHP programmers, e-commerce specialists, IT project managers, mobile application programmers and software engineers. During the seven-semester engineering studies, graduates will acquire ‘hard’ competences, such as PHP and Magento programming, knowledge regarding the security of computer systems and databases, architecture and communication between systems, software testing and IT project management. This will also be accompanied by similarly desired ‘soft’ competences, including the openness to work in a team and operating a changing environment. The didactic process will be shared between the academic staff of DSW and practitioners from partner companies – including Unity Group, Accesto and Ideacto, among others. The companies involved in the project will also have the opportunity to do professional internships, and the best students will be offered employment.

Inline With the Megatrend

The course as a whole, with its focus on e-commerce development, provides an attractive educational offer in many respects. First of all, e-commerce is part of the wider economy field, which is developing extremely dynamically. Everything seems to indicate that this megatrend will only continue, guaranteeing stable and well-paid work for the future. Secondly, the system of studies will allow for combining learning with work in the first semesters, which allows people who have already started working in other sectors, but wanted to start their career path in IT, to change. Here, we additionally count on the interest of women, whose share in the IT market in Poland does not exceed 15%. This is worth changing! Unity Group is an ambassador of the nationwide Woman Update initiative, whose aim is to motivate and encourage women to acquire digital competences and show that the key to a safe future, stable work or good wages is continuous development – and that this also applies to professions that have been dominated by men so far. In connection the European Union initiative and the obtaining of grants, students are offered exceptionally attractive tuition fees, which can be close to just 180 PLN a month.

It’s also important to note that the “E-commerce Developer” program is not only a specialization focused on programming, but also on obtaining the necessary competences to work in the e-commerce industry.

As an IT company that creates platforms for online shopping, we put emphasis on many aspects – design, usage properties, performance, etc. This requires interdisciplinary competencies, including both hard – those concerning programming and data analysis – as well as soft – those related to teamwork, presentation skills and conversations with customers.  says Grzegorz Rudno-Rudziński, Managing Partner at Unity Group, President of the Board, ITCorner.

Record Increases

According to Unity Group’s estimates, the value of e-commerce in Poland may exceed a record 100 billion PLN in 2020, and by 2025 it will grow by at least 20 per cent annually. In January 2020, before the coronavirus spread, the e-commerce industry was cautiously forecast to grow to 70 billion PLN this year. These estimates are now much more optimistic.

In this situation, a quick decision by companies to open an electronic channel or improve an existing one is not only a matter of surviving the current crisis. It is a strategic decision to join the trend as soon as possible and benefit from the huge growths that await this market both in the near future and in the period of economic recovery. – comments Piotr Wrzalik, Managing Partner, Unity Group.

The development of the e-commerce sector is also excellent information for the labor market regarding the demand for appropriate specialists – adds Dr Małgorzata Pietras-Szewczyk, Program Director of IT Directions, Lower Silesian University of Technology.

Currently, we are entering a new normality; one in which e-commerce is not an addition to fixed-line sales, but a fully-fledged and sometimes leading sales channel. The share of this channel in the revenues of many companies has increased significantly in recent months and this trend will be increasingly strong. Trading companies must invest in online sales. Those who do not have e-shops and B2B platforms will want to launch them and those who already have them will want to develop these tools functionally, integrate them with other systems, and even invest in new areas, such as mobile applications, loyalty programs, e-catalogues and the like. The fight for the customer in the network will be even more fierce.

We have decided that the education of IT professionals should be related to specific industries. The e-commerce industry has been growing for a long time, but the lockdown time associated with the pandemic has accelerated the digitalization of sales and is shaping the buying trends of Poles. The “E-commerce Developer” specialization we have created in IT is designed to prepare experts that are ready to work on the dynamically developing market of online sales systems. – explains Grzegorz Rudno-Rudziński.

How to Apply

E-commerce Developer studies are starting from the next winter semester and there are plans to welcome 30 people. The recruitment process is already underway and will be completed at the end of September. The criteria for admission are: a passed maturity exam and basic knowledge of the English language, as well as an interest in new technologies and the willingness to connect their future with them. More information is available directly on the university’s website and on next week’s DSW Virtual Open Doors, during which Grzegorz Rudno-Rudziński, among others, will answer students’ questions. We invite you to join!

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