You’re probably reading this article because although you’ve already decided to become an IT professional, there’s just an overwhelming amount of information and you don’t really know where to start.
But fret no more! This is a comprehensive guide to becoming an IT student in Canada.
From the various learning options you have in the country to how you can improve even in the comfort of your own home, everything you need is right here in this great read.
Different Learning Options Available in the Country
If there’s one thing about Canada, it’s that it’s one of the best countries to live in as rated by several ranking companies. But more than just that, you can find several learning options in the country.
No need to get tied down to the traditional way of learning if it doesn’t work for you. In fact, as an IT professional, it all really boils down to the skills you have and what you can offer.
So what are the different learning options in the country? Here’s a list below:
University or College Classes
Of course, traditional learning is still a mainstream choice among learners which is why there is a myriad of world-class institutions all over the country. For IT courses and programs, there’s at least one from each city.
A popular choice in Toronto is the University of Toronto - School of Continuing Studies. The university currently has over 50 programs and 110 certificate courses.
They offer an Information Technology program where students can learn how to support business and companies through big data mining, machine learning, cloud computing, and artificial intelligence.
In the capital city of Ottawa, several students also favor the University of Ottawa as it’s the largest bilingual university in the entire world. It’s known for its engineering, health, and social sciences program.
It has honours and regular programs for computer science, data science, and computer science with a management and entrepreneurship option.
As one of the most livable cities in the world, Vancouver also has the Vancouver Community College where students can both hone their skills and learn relevant knowledge.
The college offers different technology courses that use up-to-date software and tools. These courses are Microsoft Azure, Repair Technology, and CAD and BIM.
Online Degree or Diploma Programs
Online programs have been getting traction over the years because of its convenience for students. These kinds of programs don’t necessitate going to school physically and can solely be accomplished through online outputs.
If you don’t have much time on your hands but still want to learn, this is your best bet.
You can study at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology in Edmonton where they offer a Bachelor of Applied Information Systems Technology - Information Systems. This is a 2-year program that can be taken during the day, night or weekends, and online.
Athabasca University is also a great option for online programs. This Canadian online university is not just limited to students within the country, but also in countries all over the world.
Currently they offer Bachelor of Science in Computing and Information Systems, University Certificate in Computers and Management Information Systems, and University Certificate in Computing and Information Systems.
Short IT Courses
Professionals don’t have to go through all the fuss and enrol themselves in full-time programs; they can just merely opt to take IT courses. If you feel like this is for you, you have a couple of options.
One of them being the courses offered on Coursera by the University of Toronto. You can learn iOS App Development with Swift Application and Learn to Program: The Fundamentals.
The University of British Columbia also has a short course on Software Engineering - Introduction. Better check that out if you’re looking for a 6-week short course.
IT Online Tutor
You also have the option to study through private tutoring. Compared to all the courses mentioned above, this is an intensive one-on-one learning method that suits students who prefer to learn directly from a mentor or professional.
But it can also be supplementary to any learning, as well.
Tutoring sessions can be done through three different options: in-home, online, or pre-decided location—it all really depends on the student’s preference.
The fastest way you can find an IT tutor in Canada is through Superprof. The virtual platform allows you to narrow down tutors nearest to your set location. Plus, you also get to see reviews made by former students to help you decide.
Understand these learning options better in a separate read here.
Costs of Studying IT in Canada
We all know that higher education can be quite expensive, but only because it’s a great investment. So, one of the best independent ways to help yourself learn through the method that you want is to prepare financially. And that entails knowing what it costs.
Now that we’ve laid down the different learning options, it’s time for us to look at the costs. Each of the options have their own sets of costs and this might be a deal-breaker.
Typically, the tuition fees vary from city to city. This is because each city has their own costs of living and the fees are dependent on that—amongst other economical factors.
In Toronto, it’s not uncommon to pay for about $4,500 per semester. While in Vancouver, you could pay as much as $5,500 per 30 credit units. Ottawa, being the capital city, is expectedly higher at around $7,500.
Take note that these are based off the most popular universities in each city; but it’s great figures to use for bases.
IT Training Courses
Short courses also come at different price points, depending on their length and the topics that you cover. But it won’t be surprising to find a short course between $175 per person to around $3,200.
There are still some free video tutorials online, most of them you can find on YouTube. So if you’re really minding the expense, just find a great IT YouTuber to help you learn.
The average hourly pay of private tutors in Canada is about $21. These tutors are also professionals themselves who have offered their services to those in need. However, on Superprof, it can range between $14 to $40 per hour.
For those who plan to find a tutor on Superprof, you’ll be delighted to know that the first session is free!
Have a more detailed breakdown of expenses here.
What You Need for Computer Learning
Once you decide you find the best learning method for you and is now prepared for the financial costs, the next thing you need to prepare are your weapons for battle. IT won’t be an easy course but with these around, it might become a bit bearable.
Of course, there are obvious items but not everything can be seen with the naked eye.
As an aspiring student, you obviously need to have a laptop or a computer. Students these days prefer having a portable item, therefore, laptops are getting more traction than personal computers.
You’ll also need a stable internet connection, or at least know where to find one. You won’t need it 24/7 for your studies but it will surely come useful if you’re learning online or going through a short course.
Lastly, backup items such as a mouse, keyboard, and a hard drive are becoming more and more necessary. Don’t take the risk for granted and just have these around—you’ll never know when you’ll need them.
Want to find out what else you need for your IT education? Read more here.
How to Become a Great IT Student at Home
They always say that learning isn’t limited to the current courses you’re enrolled in. Sometimes, they’re from your own effort and perseverance to teach yourself and hone your skills.
You can even become a great IT student, even where you’re just at home.
A popular way is by watching video tutorials on YouTube. There are credible and great programmers on YouTube, posting video tutorials on just about anything. You can hop on over to their channels to find which ones answer your questions.
You can also practice your skills through free exercises online, whether it’s solving a pretty simple problem or actually coming up with an entire website. Gold mines like w3resource are your best friend for exercises with solutions.
But if you prefer reading the basics and going through complex concepts in text, there are also books on Amazon or the nearest bookstore that you can buy. Check out Code Complete: A Practical Handbook of Software Construction by Steve McConnell.
Don’t let your deliverables confine your learning. Explore your options and build your skills. The better you are, the more competitive your salary will be in the near future.
Read more about how you can improve your computer skills here.
Learning new concepts and developing new skills is like going to battle; you never know what could happen next but it’s best that you come prepared for the worst case scenario. The same thing can be applied to learning IT.
After reading this guide, we hope that you already have a solid idea and game plan for your IT education. Remember, it’s the effort you put into it that will bear fruit.