Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings has released its annual subject ranking, with computer science among the newly featured subject areas this year. The rankings expanded this year to include 300 institutions, an increase from 100 last year. The number of subject areas included also increased from eight fields of study to 11.
Computer science is a career path that has witnessed increasing market interest over recent years. According to an article published by Global News in 2017, among the highest paying jobs of the future in Canada are information security analysts and software developers, both of which require an undergraduate or higher degree in computer science. Interestingly, software developers are among the top invited candidates by occupation in Canada’s Express Entry immigration selection system.
Morever, a Forbes article titled Top Degrees for Getting Hired in 2017 featured a list of master’s degree programs that employers are attracted to, with results showing that roughly 23 percent of employers are interested in a prospective employee with a higher degree in computer science, information sciences, or computer engineering.
Ellie Bothwell, reporter at THE, stated to Canada Study News, “Canada has strong representation in the computer science subject rankings, with 12 institutions, but several of these have declined. We lowered the threshold for the proportion of staff that must work in computer science for the institution be eligible for inclusion. This means that there are several new highly-ranked entries, which have pushed down other institutions.”
Learn about the 10 highest-ranking Canadian universities for a career in computer science:
University of Ottawa (#10 in Canada)
Ranks 251-300 worldwide
The University of Ottawa, currently the world’s largest English-French bilingual university, offers roughly 500 areas of specializations as majors and minors at the undergraduate level. U of O has recently witnessed a growing international student enrolment, with nearly a 31 percent increase in enrolments from overseas at the undergraduate level over the past couple of years.
A computer science degree at U of O is offered as part of the Faculty of Engineering. For students interested in a hands-on learning process, the program encompasses both theory and practical knowledge of programming systems, computer architecture, algorithm design, and other fundamentals of computer science. The Faculty of Engineering also offers students various funds in support of innovation projects and initiatives. At the graduate level, U of O partners with other institutions in the Ottawa region, such as Carleton University, to allow students a wider variety of research facilities and resources in two of the city’s popular post-secondary education destinations.
Learn more about your options for studying in Ontario.
University of Calgary (#9 in Canada)
Ranks 251-300 worldwide
The University of Calgary is located in one of Canada’s rapidly growing immigrant communities. In fact, census data released this year reveal that Alberta had a jump in the percentage of new immigrants living in the province from 6.9 in 2001 to 17.1 percent in 2016. Indeed, 30 percent of Calgary residents are immigrants, according to the 2016 census figures. The international student body at the University of Calgary makes up 19 percent of the students. The university hosts a separate Department of Computer Science that offers numerous courses for students, including the freedom to combine topics based on an individual student’s interests.
The university is strategically located amidst the fastest growing energy hubs in the country and offers its students eight areas of specializations, such as computer game design, visualization and analytics, computer graphics, and more. After all, the University of Calgary was one the first universities to launch a computer science concentration focused on Computer Games Design.
Learn more about your options for studying in Alberta.
Simon Fraser University (#8 in Canada)
Ranks 176-200 worldwide
SFU has a diverse student population, with international students making up 19 percent of the total student body. The school offers programs with nearly 200 work placement opportunities, both nationally and internationally. As a result, SFU’s graduates are now widely-known to have the requisite experience, skills, and attitudes that are in high demand for the labour market. It comes as no surprise that SFU took first place as Canada’s top comprehensive university in Maclean’s 2018 ranking.
SFU’s School of Computing Science is part of three departments: Faculty of Applied Sciences, School of Engineering Science, and the School of Mechatronic Systems Engineering. In fact, 98 percent of students enrolled in the program state they are satisfied with their experience, and employers of SFU graduates are equally satisfied. Based on a recent LinkedIn review, SFU Computing Science graduates ranked among the third cohort of post-secondary graduates to land high-paying software development jobs. The university’s Computing Science program also attracted attention of international recruitment with a recent partnership forged with the Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, China, which offers undergraduate students the opportunity to obtain two undergraduate degrees, learn Mandarin, and develop key market skills.
McMaster University (#7 in Canada)
Ranks 126-150 worldwide
McMaster University has a merited reputation as one of Canada’s medical-doctoral, research-intensive universities that offers its students world-class education through an interdisciplinary approach to learning. This year, McMaster University scored among the top 100 universities globally based on rigorous criteria set in THE’s performance assessments. The university attracts international students from over 98 countries, and 20 percent of graduate level students in the university are international.
The university’s computer science program is hosted by the Faculty of Engineering. As a result, it offers students skills beyond programming as it delves into information systems designs and database development. Students are also given the flexibility to customize their schedule, with up to 40 percent of electives freely chosen, giving a student the possibility to gain additional skills in another study area. More importantly, McMaster computer science graduates are promised a 100 percent employment rate within two years of graduating from the program.
University of Alberta (#6 in Canada)
Ranks 101-125 worldwide
University of Alberta is located in the city of Edmonton. The university’s Department of Computing Science claims to be the largest departments in the country with a wide variety of future-driven specializations ranging from Artificial intelligence, Computer Games, and Bioinformatics.
Alberta is not only becoming a destination of residence for many recent skilled immigrants, but international students also decide on Alberta as a study destination. In fact, University of Alberta data also shows a rise in international student enrolment, overseas enrolment, into the computing science program nearly double that of domestic students. Students have the flexibility to combine a business or mathematics degree and graduate with a Bachelor’s, Master’s or Doctorate in Computing Science, in conjunction with another practical area of expertise.
McGill University (#5 in Canada)
Ranks =95 worldwide
Located in Montreal, the world’s “#1 student city”, McGill has become a hub for research and instruction, attracting talent from many different countries, including the U.S., China, France, India, and Saudi Arabia.
A Computer Science degree at McGill encompasses both theory and application, with smaller classrooms that enable students to experience one-on-one interaction with professors. Undergraduate students in the School of Computer Science have a choice between 10 program options and three possible degrees, with access to an internship program that allows them to put all learned skills at use in a professional setting including a possibility for a paid work term as an undergraduate.
Learn more about your options for studying in Quebec.
Université de Montréal (#4 in Canada)
Ranks 56 worldwide
The Department of Computer Science and Operations Research, DIRO for short, at the Université de Montréal claims to be one of the first university-level Computer Science departments in the region. Currently, the department receives more than $4 million in research grants and contracts. The school is located in the neighborhood of Côte-des-Neiges in Montreal. As the campus is located away from the downtown core, the neighborhood has many housing options available to Université de Montréal students, as well as a variety of cafés, bars, and restaurants to experience.
DIRO is one of the most tiered computer science programs in North America with four bachelor degrees, four master’s options, two doctorates, and three graduate diplomas, it may be one of the largest departments in the country.
University of Waterloo (#3 in Canada)
Ranks 33 worldwide
In addition to taking third place as a computer science study destination in Canada, the University of Waterloo also ranked third on this year on Maclean’s list of the top 15 comprehensive schools in Canada. For students interested in a career-focused program taught by industry specialists, Waterloo is one of the strongest choices as it offers its students a solid co-op program with 6,900 participating employers, students have the chance to gain two years of paid work experience upon graduation.
The number of international graduates from the computer science program at the undergraduate level increased by 75 percent over recent years. Waterloo graduates and professors are known to be innovative, having created over 300 spin-off companies created such as OpenText, Canada’s largest software company. It is no wonder Waterloo attracts nearly 6,000 international students from more than 120 countries each year.
University of British Columbia (#2 in Canada)
Ranks =28 worldwide
UBC is one of most populated universities in Canada, with roughly 60,000 students in its two main campuses, located in Vancouver and Okanagan. The university appeals to the world’s brightest talent, with over 13,000 international students in its Vancouver campus only making 23 percent of all undergraduate students.
UBC’s computer science department was first established in 1968. It grew widely over the years and now offers undergraduates a legacy of research-driven interdisciplinary instruction. There are over six major six major programs, two honours programs, and a host of other minor and double major degree programs.
Learn more about your options for studying in British Columbia.
University of Toronto (#1 in Canada)
Ranks 22 worldwide
Once again, U of T takes first place on yet another ranking. This time this top performing research institute is listed as Canada’s top study destination for computer science education in Canada. This also means the university ranks among the top 25 worldwide to offer world-class computer science education. It beat out Kings College in London and the University of Tokyo in Japan!
U of T’s Computer Science program has a long-standing history of over 50 years of instruction, with over 11 areas of research to choose from for students at the undergraduate, graduate, and doctorate levels. Graduates from U of T’s Computer Science program do not only develop strong research-based skills, but have plenty of opportunities to further their career through paid internships, such as the Professional Experience Year, which provides undergraduates the opportunity to gain valuable professional skills in one of Canada’s largest paid internship program. U of T statistics show an increase of international student enrolment at all levels with higher numbers projected in the near future, with foreign students expected to make up nearly 20 percent of the overall student population by 2021.
Learn more about your options for studying in Canada.
There are also a range of tools and resources available for prospective students in Canada, including Canada School Search and School Match Canada.
International students and post-graduate workers in Canada can join the CanadaVisa Study Hub to access a range of tools and resources to assist in studying, working, and settling in Canada permanently. Study Hub members also have exclusive access to the CanadaVisa Study Hub Scholarship Contest for a chance to win $500.
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