Software Development Diploma: An Inside Look

Updated January 2023

Software development is a field that’s just exploding with opportunities across Canada. According to data from the Labour Market Information Council, there have been more than 11,000 online job postings for programmers annually for the last three years. What’s more, developers came in at number one on Randstad’s list of the top 15 jobs in Canada in 2023.

That’s why Herzing College launched a 12-month diploma program in software development. Delivered online, it provides comprehensive training in a variety of programming languages so that you can be ready to take advantage of growing career opportunities.

So just what can you expect from the program? To find out, we spoke with course designer Derek Lewis.


Q. Derek, tell us a bit about your professional background.

Derek: My background is in software development but also in education.

I’ve been programming for more than 40 years. I actually used to own my own private college that specialized in IT training. We did network infrastructure, programming, graphic design, anything with the computer.

I also have a Master of Education degree in curriculum online design.


Q. What specifically do students learn in this program? What skills do they come away with?

Derek: Our software development program is divided into four self-contained quarters.

Quarter one focuses on HTML, CSS, Python, Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP. It's web programming that looks at the web development side as well as the server side. We also touch on the basics of programming, and we use the Python language to help reinforce those concepts.

Quarter two is about making sure that everything is interoperable, meaning that regardless of what device you're using, whether you're looking at a website, data, or pictures, everything works and looks great.

Quarter three programming is all about C#, which is the backbone of software development principles. Mastering this lower-level programming language allows students to develop software that makes the best use of the memory and processing power of all devices.

And then quarter four is specifically about Microsoft languages and .NET development. It teaches you to create forms and dialog boxes in a Windows environment.


Q. There are a lot of software development programs to choose from. What makes Herzing’s unique?

Derek: With many software development programs, you do something based on the web, and then you do something that’s based on the server, and then you do something that goes back to the web, and then you do something that’s based on databases. It’s hopping all over the place. And often, students only spend one or two or three weeks on a topic, which just allows them to get their feet wet.

Our program groups related skills together. We immerse students in the concepts for 10 weeks before moving on. So even though these are different skills cognitively, you’re thinking about the same area, and you become more proficient and comfortable with it.

That’s what I think makes it different from any other software development program.


Q. What kind of jobs will graduates of this program qualify for?

Derek: That’s the beauty of this diploma—graduates can take on any number of roles. Software developer, web developer, full-stack developer, .NET developer, the list goes on.

Students can spend a year in the program and be fully prepared for jobs in both private industry and government.


Q. What else should students know about the software development program?

Derek: It’s a complete program with four self-contained modules, which means students can join at different points and not get lost. It doesn’t matter what order you do the quarters in because they all stand alone.

And when you finish all four quarters, you get to apply your skills in the real world through a six-week internship. That gives you something concrete and valuable to put on your resume.

This course is designed to give students the tools to become well-rounded developers. By the time you graduate, you’re going to have a broad foundation of coding skills. And that’s what will make you desirable to employers.



If you’re wondering if the software development diploma is right for you, we recommend reaching out to our admissions team.

An advisor can discuss your career and educational goals and help you determine if the program is a good fit. Your advisor can also walk you through course schedules, application procedures, costs, financial aid options, and more.

Click below to get complete program details and chat live with an advisor. We’re here to help!

Explore the Software Development Program

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