Computing guide by Cybernews Academy: Canada
The next stop on Cybernews Academy’s worldwide academic tour is Canada—the home of beautiful rolling mountains and the majestic maple leaf. But there’s much more to Canada than meets the eye. Canada is home to many excellent universities offering a range of computer science and information technology courses. We want to take you on a tour of Canada’s best universities and showcase why studying, working, and living in Canada is an enriching experience.
Studying in Canada
A handful of excellent universities feature in the QS World University Rankings by Subject (computer science and information technologies.) Areas like Quebec, Vancouver, and Toronto are home to some of the best universities for computer science and information technologies.
The University of British Columbia, the University of Toronto, and the University of Waterloo all rank in the top 20 for computer science and information technologies—other universities like the Universite de Montreal and McGill University rank among the top 30.
While studying in Canada, you will be exposed to various cultures. Canadian culture is described as a mixture of French, British, and American influences. The main languages spoken in Canada are English and French. However, the culture of an area is generally a reflection of the dominant language. For example, French influences are mainly found in Canada's Quebec and New Brunswick areas. This country is a diverse and multicultural environment where immigrants and native Canadians combine to create a cultural mosaic. This cultural mosaic, the mix of cultural groups and languages that co-exist, indicates the country’s fundamental values: tolerance, respect, and community orientation.
Choosing the right program
There are a few factors to consider when choosing the right program: location, specializations, and career prospects.
Location has proven to be a significant factor in choosing your university. It can be as important as safety or as trivial as surrounding yourself with beautiful scenery. Canada is one of the safest countries to live. For example, Quebec City is one of Canada's most picturesque cities and one of the safest. It also has a mix of ethnicities, ages, and cultures. Toronto is the largest city in Canada and one of the most multicultural cities in the world. It is a business-minded, socially progressive, bustling city with a lively nightlife and a range of theatres, museums, festival events, and sporting activities. Montreal, referred to as Canada’s cultural capital, has maintained its French roots. It is Canada’s center for French language, television productions, radio, theatre, film, multimedia, and print publishing. Ottawa is Canada’s capital city and has been heavily influenced by First Nations, English, French, Scottish, and Irish cultures. There are numerous performance centers, museums, and cultural exhibits in this part of Canada.
Like many other institutions globally, Canadian universities have various computing specializations that can help students develop and diversify their studies. These specializations can help you hone your craft and earn you a high-paying job in the industry post-graduation. You may study anything from artificial intelligence to computer vision throughout your studies. Some popular specializations include data science, human-computer interaction, bioinformatics, and cyber security.
Cybernews Academy has highlighted lucrative destinations worldwide, and Canada is featured on this list. The average yearly earnings for an IT professional in Canada is CA$ 75,472 or $55,697.58. The career prospects are prosperous, especially if you’ve come from certain Canadian universities. For example, those in Computer Science at the University of British Columbia students have gone on to be Machine Learning Engineers at IBM, Software Engineer Interns at Amazon, Software Development Interns at Microsoft, Computer Scientists at Simba Technologies, and Data Scientists at Google.
Although tuition and university fees vary depending on what institution you choose to attend, according to EduCanada, university tuition costs around CA$36,100 ($26,555) per year for international undergraduate students and CA$21,100 ($15,521) per year for international graduate students. On average, university students' living costs are around CA$15,000 ($11,033) annually.
We all need a little help sometimes, so financial aid is a great way to get your studies off the ground, and several scholarships are available to international students in Canada.
The University of Waterloo Scholarship is a fully funded scholarship open to international students. This scholarship is offered to undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral students and is valued at CA$10,000.
University de Montreal Scholarships are tuition fee exemption scholarships available to undergraduate, master’s, and Ph.D. students. This scholarship offers up to CA$27,300 per year.
The University of Toronto: Lester B Pearson Scholarship is a scholarship that funds your entire undergraduate study for four years. This will cover tuition, books, and full residence for four years. This scholarship covers education for Computer Science students and Engineering students.
The University of British Columbia offers two types of scholarships. The Outstanding International Student (OIS) and Award and International Major Entrance Scholarships (IMES.)
McGill University Scholarships are fully funded scholarships for international students studying at an undergraduate, master’s, or doctoral level. This scholarship offers up to $8,500 undergraduate and significant bursaries for master’s and Ph.D. students.
According to EduCanada, “If you live in college or university housing on or near your campus, this is called “living in residence.” A room in the residence will be furnished with a bed, shelves, and a desk. The cost of living in residence often includes adding a meal plan to eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner on campus. Your residence room may be a single or a shared room. A shared room will cost less than a single room. Some universities may only offer shared rooms for first-year students.”
When you live in residence, you have access to:
In Canada, some universities offer apartment-style residence buildings where you live with other students. This apartment will include a kitchen and bathroom alongside bedrooms. However, you can also always choose to rent privately.
Many Canadian universities, like the University of Toronto and the University of British Columbia, have well-defined campuses with centralized academic buildings, residence halls, societies, and green spaces. These campuses provide a more traditional college experience, with most students living on or near campus. However, Canada also has some city universities integrated into large Canadian cities. Some examples of city universities include Ryerson University in Toronto and Simon Fraser University in Vancouver. Academic buildings and facilities might be spread throughout the city, which leads to students not having a centralized campus. This allows students to access the city’s resources and feel a part of the urban environment.
Top universities for computing in Canada
There are many exceptional universities available in Canada. Below, we have listed a range of institutions that rank in the top 100 in the QS University Rankings by Subject.
Cybernews Academy Note: These rankings represent Computer Science and Information Technologies subjects.
#12: University of Toronto (Toronto)
#21: University of British Columbia (Vancouver and Okanagan)
These are some of the universities best known for their computing and information technologies degrees. Two universities are in Quebec, and the others are in Ontario and Toronto. Some universities, like the University of Toronto and the University of British Columbia, may have multiple campuses.
Types of computing programs
Different universities will offer various computing and information technologies courses. Our journalists at Cybernews Academy have suggested a few programs that feature across Canadian universities. In Canada, like in other parts of North America, you can take majors and minors. So your major may be in Software Engineering, yet you can take a minor in Computer Science.
Traditional computer science courses cover various topics concerning the theoretical fundamentals of computation and information technologies. You may cover subjects such as algorithms, data structures, theory of analysis, and software engineering.
Computer engineering programs combine electrical engineering and computer science elements. You could study hardware design, digital systems, embedded systems, and integrating hardware and software components.
Computing and Financial Management
Computing and financial management combine majors to transform students into valuable assets to any technology-dependent organization. You will take computer science, accounting, financial management, and foundational mathematics courses. You can customize your degree by adding minors at the University of Waterloo.
In Computational Mathematics, you’ll study the intersection of mathematics, statistics, optimization, and computer science to solve problems in business, finance, medicine, science, and technology. You'll learn to analyze data sets, formulate images to help us understand the world around us, and predict and influence the future. At the University of Waterloo, you will take a mixture of Mathematics and Computer Science courses alongside a few electives.
Data Science concentrates on the skills needed to collect, process, and interpret large volumes of data. This program teaches you about data mining, visualization, statistical analysis, and machine learning techniques.
Computer Science- Computer Games
This program is a specialization in Computer Science. It fulfills all the basic requirements of the Major in Computer Science. Complementary courses focus on topics critical to understanding computer games' technology and gaining experience in software development and design needed for computer game development. This major can be found at McGill University.
Cybernews Academy Note: There are many computing programs at varying levels. We suggest checking different university websites to see what’s available.
Canada is another excellent location to begin your academic journey in computer science and information technology. These Canadian universities featured in this article are highly ranked institutions offering a range of fantastic courses. Alongside these programs, you have the warm and accommodating feel of Canada. You will meet people from all areas of the world and get a chance to engross yourself in Canadian culture. As we’ve said before, studying goes way beyond academics; it’s a chance to experience new cultures, immerse yourself in unique atmospheres, and grow professionally.