Non-Traditional Ways to Learn IT in Canada. Source: Pixabay

You don’t always have to adhere to the social norms and learn traditionally. This conventional method isn’t everybody’s cup of tea, can be costly and that’s not a bad thing. In fact, learning through your preferred method makes it less challenging to absorb new concepts. 

While the things that you need for your studies remain the same, gone are the days wherein there are only a few options to gain new knowledge. People have become more creative and, in turn, have actively sought out new ways to educate themselves. 

In Canada, a lot of institutions now offer learning methods that did not exist decades ago. If you’re open to trying out something new or you’re just keen to step out of the traditional parameters, read on to know more about your options. 

Information Technology Online Programs

Taking up online programs may be somewhat similar to traditional learning as you’ll still follow a curriculum. Given this, you’ll also be required to finish a specified number of units to get a degree or diploma. 

This option is suitable for those who are keen on getting the educational recognition but are not a fan of traditional and physical classes. It’s also the top choice for professionals who want to study further or take on a different path but don’t have the luxury of time. 

What makes online programs different from the common university programs is that, usually, students are not required to go to school. Courses can be taken at home and deliverables need only be submitted online. 

This does seem to be quite the most flexible option if you don’t want to be tied down to class schedules. However, it may not work out for those who really want to learn live from a professor, especially in IT. 

But if you know and strive to improve your skills on your own, you can work around this preference. With that said, there are tons of online programs in Canada. Here are a few you should check out:

Athabasca University

Known as Canada’s online university, Athabasca University offers distance and online programs not just to students in the country, but from all over the globe. Plus, if you have previously earned units, they’ll gladly recognize those so you won’t have to repeat courses. 

For now, they offer the following programs and courses: 

  • Bachelor of Science in Computing and Information Systems
  • University Certificate in Computers and Management Information Systems
  • University Certificate in Computing and Information Systems

Northern Alberta Institute of Technology

Another option for online programs is the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT), recognized as one of the top institutions in the entire world. That makes it all the more exciting to study at this school, without having to go out of your house. 

Currently, they offer a program that you can either take during the day, night or weekends, and online. It’s accomplishable in 2 years and has a degree credential. 

If you’re interested, you can study the Bachelor of Applied Information Systems Technology - Information Systems from NAIT. 

Short Courses on IT Topics

If you’re already an IT professional yourself and you’re just looking for a course to make your list of skills longer, then taking up short courses is the best method to go. Sometimes, this is also a great option for those who don’t have enough budget for long-term programs, as IT can be pretty expensive

This is also suitable for those who are not after the credential nor the degree, but the skills and knowledge needed for their envisioned career path. 

Several short courses on different IT topics can be found online, with a myriad offered by Canadian institutions. 

It’s worth noting that these courses don’t come for free, although there are affordable ones in the market. In terms of price point, it only depends on the budget you have and the topics you’re interested in. 

Here are some of the notable institutions that offer a variety of short courses on IT topics:

University of Toronto

It’s widely known as a traditional learning university, but the University of Toronto has seen the need to offer short courses for those who just merely want to learn specific topics. In relation to the IT field, here are the following courses offered:

  • iOS App Development with Swift Specialization
  • Learn to Program: Crafting Quality Code
  • Learn to Program: The Fundamentals

These courses are offered by the university through Coursera. Better check these out if you’re interested!

Learning iOS App Development through Online Courses. Source: Pixabay

University of British Columbia 

The University of British Columbia has consistently ranked as one of the top universities in the whole world. In order to make their quality education more accessible, they’ve offered online courses for students in all parts of the world. 

One of their short courses is Software Engineering - Introduction. It’s a part-time certification course that spans for just 6 weeks. Students can expect to learn how to work in teams and use an agile software development process. 

Free Video Tutorials on the Internet

Understandably, education is a great investment but it never comes for free—or so we thought. 

There are already a number of platforms online that allow you to learn both basics and complex concepts for free. It may seem surprising, but it’s definitely true. A great example for this is YouTube—with millions of videos being uploaded each month.

Surely you’re familiar with the online platform and if not, now is the right time to visit it. Right off bat, you’ll see a lot of videos that you can view for free—with a bit of ads in most cases. 

Naturally, there will be videos that cater to specific groups and IT is definitely a top niche. There are IT professionals who have also become YouTubers themselves and upload video tutorials from time to time. 

These videos can range from very basic tutorials on programming to more complex problem-solving tutorials. If your concern is pretty basic, you’ll find a video in no time. 

However, a downside to this is that not everything is provided on the platform. You can only easily find videos on topics if they’re worded properly, or such videos exist. The more unfamiliar or uncommon your problem is, the less likely you’re going to find a video tutorial. 

But don’t worry, it won’t be long before someone uploads a video on it. You can also comment on your favorite YouTuber’s recent videos to request a specific topic. 

Free Online Video Tutorials in Canada. Source: Pixabay

IT Online Tutor

Another untraditional way of learning is by getting yourself an IT online tutor. These tutors can teach you basics and complex concepts, depending on what you specify in your initial meeting. 

An advantage of learning through online tutoring is that you’re able to specify your personal goals and discuss your preferred topics with your chosen tutor. Your learning will also be crafted around your preferences and schedule. 

Plus, there’s no need to dwell on certain topics if you’ve mastered them quickly. So if you’re the type to learn fast, the entire learning process can be fast-tracked as well. 

The only question that remains is where do you find your own private IT tutor? Quick answer would be Superprof. 

This virtual platform connects you to several educators in Canada and can even be narrowed down to the ones near your location. Should you decide to have in-home lessons, you can also discuss that with your tutor. 

For the most part, you’ll be able to scan through a list of profiles complete with their rates, descriptions, specialties, and former reviews left by students. These bits of information are useful to help you find the right one for you. 

Want that personalized learning program? Find a tutor through Superprof today! 


Don’t be pressured by the social norms if you know that it’s not going to work for you. What’s important is you find a convenient and comfortable method of learning that will help you gain valuable knowledge and relevant skills for your future career. 

Lucky for you, there are several learning options in Canada—not just the traditional ones. Choose among the options which one will help you achieve your goals in your ideal timeline. 

But if you still want to learn the traditional way, it’s best to come prepared with the potential expenses. You might want a good read about it so you can get the idea. 

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Mike is a freelance writer with a passion for continuous learning, self-improvement, and helping others through education.