Even if you're going into a field that has nothing to do with computer science, just having that way of analytical thinking and being able to process information and break it down is important no matter what you're doing. Having that knowledge of code is something that you can apply to your daily life. - iJustine
The workforce is rapidly shifting to catch up with the evolution of computer software and technology and the increasing amount of data being generated. As a result, computer skills are in high demand and the ICT sector in Canada is showing no sign of slowing down.
LinkedIn released their annual Emerging Jobs Report and determined that Canada’s cutting edge jobs are related to the emergence of robotics, artificial intelligence, data science and other tech-focused sectors that require computer skills.
The same report found that certain areas are seeing exponential growth, including computer gaming companies, the E-learning industry and digital banking platforms.
What does this mean for you? Taking computer courses online is one of the easiest ways to gain high-demand skills that will help land you lucrative job opportunities.
Simple online computer courses convert complex topics into accessible modules that can help you learn computer skills step-by-step.
Search for online IT courses here.
Online IT Courses For Beginners
Taking online IT courses can act as an entryway to existing job opportunities, however, you don’t need to be a data analyst or online gaming expert to enrol in a computer course.
If you’re interested in learning basic computer commands or how to use the internet, there are beginner computer courses that could benefit you.
Seneca College offers part-time students a Basic Computer Skills course, which is designed for people with little to no experience using a computer. This course teaches you practical skills, like how to use Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint in today's business environment.
The Toronto Public Library also offers Computer & Library Training. These training sessions are free for everyone; no library card is required. The library hosts in-person sessions, but also offers E-Learning options online. The basic workshop focuses on:
- Microsoft Office: Hands-on classes for Microsoft's spreadsheet program (Excel), word processor (Word) and presentation program (PowerPoint).
- Computer Basics: Beginner-friendly classes on basic computer skills, such as using the internet.
- Digital Design: Classes for advanced tasks such as editing photos and writing code.
Free, beginner-friendly computer courses are a great way to learn about the basics before jumping into an intensive ICT program or certification.
Short Online Computer Science Programs
If you’re no longer a beginner and wish to attain a computer science or ICT certification to further your skillset, there are numerous short online computer science programs that offer verified certifications.
There are several highly specific computer science certifications you can complete 100% online, including the following:
- How to Code: Complex Data, Certificate (The University of British Columbia)
- Software Engineering - Introduction, Certificate (The University of British Columbia)
- Computers and Management Information Systems, Certificate (Athabasca University)
- Computing and Information Systems, Certificate (Athabasca University)
- Software Construction - Data Abstraction, Certificate (The University of British Columbia)
Online computer science programs are designed for busy working professionals. The online coursework is often flexible, autonomous and personalized to the student’s needs. You can also complete a certification in as little as six weeks.
Top-Paying IT Certifications
There are hundreds of computer science certifications available right now, but we have identified the top-paying IT certifications to narrow your search. According to Global Knowledge, IT authorities report the two areas with the greatest earning potential are cloud computing and cybersecurity.
Global Knowledge also found the top 15 highest-paying IT certificates and the potential annual salaries:
- Google Certified Professional Cloud Architect — $175,761
- AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate — $149,446
- CISM – Certified Information Security Manager — $148,622
- CRISC – Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control — $146,480
- PMP® – Project Management Professional — $143,493
- CISSP – Certified Information Systems Security Professional — $141,452
- CISA – Certified Information Systems Auditor — $132,278
- AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner — $131,465
- VCP6-DCV: VMware Certified Professional 6 – Data Center Virtualization — $130,226
- ITIL® Foundation — $129,402
- Microsoft Certified: Azure Fundamentals — $126,653
- Microsoft Certified: Azure Administrator Associate — $125,993
- CCA-N: Citrix Certified Associate – Networking — $125,264
- CCNP Routing and Switching — $119,178
- CCP-V: Citrix Certified Professional – Virtualization — $117,069
How to Find Computer Courses Online?
Computer courses online are not hard to find, but you must find the right online computer course for you. Before conducting your research, you must identify your goals.
- Are you a beginner hoping to build basic proficiencies like Microsoft Excel, Powerpoint and Adobe Design?
- Are you a professional working in marketing or advertising hoping to better understand computer science to support your career path?
- Are you a computer science expert hoping to learn cutting-edge computing skills like cloud-computing and data architecture to earn a higher salary and move into leadership roles?
Once you have established why you want to find computer courses online, determine which certificate would help you achieve your goals. For example, as a beginner, you may opt for a free library course and forego a certificate.
If your main goal is financial gain, you should refer to the list above and enrol in a renowned computer course hosted through an authority like Google or Microsoft.
Check out our complete guide to learning computer science.
Benefits of Taking Online IT Courses
Do free online courses and online degree programs mean you are less likely to succeed in your chosen computer-based profession than those studying on traditional graduate degree programs or even postgraduate university courses such as doctoral degrees offered by brick and mortar higher education institutions?
Of course not! Very often online programs and training courses can equip you with all the IT knowledge and skills that you need for the profession. Several benefits are a direct product of distance learning computer courses, including:
- Learn at your own pace: An online course curriculum allows you to work as quickly or as slowly as you would like to. A self-paced program helps students spend more time on areas they find challenging, without feeling pressured to keep up with their peers.
- Learn what you want: The advantage of online IT courses is that they offer students the chance to choose exactly what they want to in terms of the IT skills they have already acquired and their learning goals.
- Learn through practice: The great thing about learning online is that you can immediately try out and practice the elements of the course that you have just been taught by your online teacher or fellow online learners.
Online courses are also increasingly affordable and accessible to students living in remote areas or juggling multiple responsibilities. Whether you’re working full-time, raising a family or living in the countryside, you can sign in and access a world of knowledge in an online computer course.
Find out more about where you can study computer science at university in Canada.
Tips for Improving Your IT Skills Through Online Computer Courses
You determined your goals, you selected your certificate, you found an affordable and accessible online computer course — how do you set yourself up for success?
Completing an online course takes motivation, discipline and autonomy. There are some steps you can take to improve your IT skills in an online computer course.
Create a timetable: Get organized and create a schedule before you start your online computer course. This timetable should track major assignments, study sessions and exams to ensure you’re prepared.
Define your targets: Write a list of all the things you would like to learn, like using the internet, Outlook Express and email, algorithms, Microsoft Word, computer programing, computer networks, computer architecture, Java, cryptography, or digital and IT technologies. Use these targets to keep you on track and remind you why you enrolled.
Complete practical computer exercises: Most online courses will include regular tests to monitor your success. You can also create your own tests by applying what you’ve learned in a practical setting. For example, if you’re trying to master web page design, create a draft in a free trial for a website and experiment with designing your first website.
Ask for help: Learning new computer skills can be challenging without a teacher. Superprof is home to hundreds of private tutors with computer and IT skills. Working with a private tutor could help you more quickly retain online course information and see better outcomes.
Get a private IT tutor and learn at your own space.