The partnership between Rocket and University of Windsor will introduce coders to Rocket Mortgage and Rocket Homes.

Hiring can be tough right now, particularly if you’re looking for coders. So Rocket Innovation Studio — which serves the tech needs of sister companies including Rocket Mortgage and Rocket Homes — is connecting with computer science students before they graduate.

Headquartered in downtown Windsor, Canada — on the other side of the Detroit River from parent Rocket Companies Inc. — Rocket Innovation Studio is partnering with the University of Windsor to introduce computer science students to fintech concepts through a series of workshops

Ziad Kobti

“This is an exceptional opportunity for our students,” Ziad Kobti, director of UWindsor’s School of Computer Science, said in a statement. “We are creating a connection with the fintech industry. Rocket Innovation Studio is looking for tremendous talent, and we are training our students to match [the] industry’s needs.”

The workshops, which kick off June 18, are mandatory for UWindsor students enrolled in the Master of Applied Computing (MAC) program, but others computer science majors can also earn credit by enrolling.

UWindsor claims the MAC program, which offers a specialization in artificial intelligence, is able to place more than 94 percent of students in paid internships, and that 100 percent find employment after graduating.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, each year over the next decade employers are expected to have 131,400 new openings for software developers, quality assurance analysts, and testers.

Employment of software developers, quality assurance analysts, and testers is projected to grow 22 percent from 2019 to 2029, compared to 4 percent for all occupations.

Jasen Sams

Jasen Sams, vice president of Rocket Innovation Studio, said UWindsor students “will see real-life examples of the concepts they are learning in the classroom and experience first-hand how technology can improve experiences for consumers across North America.”

In October, Rocket Mortgage launched a new tech platform for agents, Rocket Pro Insights, that lets them see where their clients’ loan are in the process, the terms of the loan, and whether any additional documents are needed to close the loan. More than 1,100 agents signed up for Rocket Pro Insight the first day it was live, and it’s now being used by more than 45,000 agents, Rocket Companies CEO Jay Farner said on a May 5 earnings call.

Farner said Rocket Pro Insights is part of “significant investments” the company is making to help Rocket Mortgage grow its purchase loan business. According to preliminary 2020 Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data analyzed by iEmergent, Rocket was the nation’s biggest refi lender last year, but ranked fourth in purchase loan volume.

Top 10 mortgage lenders by 2020 refinance dollar volume

Source: iEmergent analysis of preliminary 2020 Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data.

If mortgage rates rise as expected in the months and years ahead, lenders could see a big dropoff in refinancings. In their latest forecast, economists at Fannie Mae said they expect mortgage refinancing volume to plummet by more than $1 trillion next year, to $1.2 trillion.

Projected mortgage originations

Originations for 2021 and 2022 are projected. Source: Fannie Mae monthly housing forecast.

Email Matt Carter

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