Computer Science Graduates Highest Paid in Canada- Salary and Prospects

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    Aishwarya Bhatnagar

    Study Abroad Expert

    In spite of economic challenges confronting Canada, the tech will be among the fastest-growing and highest paying sectors over the next decade. According to a recent study by the Brookfield Institute, there will be 220,000 job vacancies in Canadian technology firms by 2020.

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    The average salary of a computer science degree holder in Canada is CAD 69,466 per annum or CAD 36 per hour. This is 2.1 times more than the median wage of the country. The entry-level jobs offer around CAD 49,000 while well-experienced professionals earn up to CAD 97,000.

    The job market is quite stable and has numerous opportunities for computer science graduates. There is a high demand for programmers and software engineers. If you are seeking to work in Canada, now is the time to apply.

    Computer Science Jobs in Canada

    Want a job? Get a computer science degree! ? An article from Network World emphasized the solid job prospects in this field. Tech graduates get more jobs offers than any other major. The graph below shows the job openings in four different sectors of science: Engineering, Physical Sciences, Computer Science, and Biological Sciences.

    As per a 2013 survey by Career Cast, a computer science degree will fetch you one of the most satisfying jobs in North America. It is also amongst the few degrees you can graduate with and find a job immediately, without having to do further training or postgraduate work.

    Common employers are information technology (IT) service providers and IT consultancies. However, since almost all industries rely on computers to operate efficiently, there are several opportunities within the IT departments of organizations in sectors like:

    • Healthcare
    • Aerospace 
    • Agriculture
    • Finance
    • Telecommunications
    • Manufacturing
    • Public sector
    • Retail
    • Defense
    • Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)

    Deloitte released the list of 50 fastest-expanding Canadian tech companies in 2018. Ontario dominated the list with 29 companies ie nearly 60 percent. British Columbia secured the second spot with 13 companies. The table below includes the top 15 companies.

    Rank Company Location
    1 Diply London, Ontario
    2 Prodigy Game Burlington, Ontario
    3 Prodigy Ventures Toronto, Ontario
    4 Bench Accounting Vancouver, British Columbia
    5 SkipTheDishes Winnipeg, Manitoba
    6 StackAdapt Toronto, Ontario
    7 SendtoNews Victoria, British Columbia
    8 Maropost Toronto, Ontario
    9 Refresh Financial Kelowna, British Columbia
    10 Benevity Calgary, Alberta
    11 Unata Toronto, Ontario
    12 Bold Commerce Winnipeg, Manitoba
    13 Influitive Toronto, Ontario
    14 Awesense Vancouver, British Columbia
    15 FixMeStick Technologies Inc. Montreal, Quebec

    Computer Science Careers

    With technology playing an imperative role in all aspects of modern life, you are likely to find your computer science skills in high demand across several industries. However, most graduates prefer to stay in the same industry for years.

    Most tech graduates work as programmers and software development professionals. According to Statistics Canada, seven of the top ten jobs held by computer science majors are related to computer sciences including web design and IT operations technician. Here are some of the most sought-after careers in the field, with estimated annual salaries.

    Job Description Average Annual Salary (CAD)
    Information Technology Specialists
    • Includes system administration, networking, hardware and software support
    Computer Programmers
    • Develop web portals and e-commerce applications
    • Conduct data analysis and scientific computing
    • Connect web interfaces to database systems
    • Develop programs for linguistic analysis
    Computer Science Researchers
    • A high demand across the globe. A computer scientist just has to decide what area of study he/she wishes to pursue.
    • For instance, if one is passionate about medicine, they can get into research in medical imaging, vascular biology, genomics, cell biology, immunology, and stem cell biology.
    Professors, High School Teachers
    • Public and high school teachers are needed to teach computer science.
    • Equip pupils with the latest skills to keep up with the technological advancements.
    • Professors impart the necessary knowledge and course curricula to ensure that graduates can meet the future demands.
    • They are involved with research and work with graduates on projects, sometimes in collaboration with companies.
    Trainers for application support
    • A demand for training the staff on how to use computer applications.
    • Many startups provide training and support to small and large enterprises.
    Game developers
    • Talented game developers are needed in Canada.
    • Some positions require specialization in graphics, artificial intelligence, networking or others require mastery in software engineering.

    More Jobs with a Computer Science Degree

    With increasing scope of computer science, you can choose to work in various highly specialized areas. From UX designer to forensic computer analyst, here are the other popular job prospects.

    Job Average Annual Salary (CAD)
    Applications analyst 73,466
    Application developer 61,249
    Cybersecurity analyst 65,000
    Data analyst 53,483
    Database administrator 66,237
    Forensic computer analyst 74,334
    Game developer 83,145
    Information systems manager 84,640
    IT consultant 71,755
    Multimedia developer 57,132
    Search engine optimization (SEO) specialist 46,038
    Software engineer 70,009
    Systems analyst 65,908
    UX designer 58,670
    Web designer 48,083
    Web developer 49,758
    Data scientist 109,620
    Programmer analyst 54,562
    Business analyst, IT 66,247
    Project manager, Information Technology (IT) 74,666
    Business intelligence (BI) developer 72,852
    Network engineer 72,594
    Machine learning engineer 67,529
    Software tester 52,119
    Quality assurance analyst 54,485
    Information technology (IT) architect 92,469
    Front end developer/engineer 57,768
    Technical account manager 81,682
    Program manager, IT 106,659
    Technical consultant 72,447

    Jobs where the Computer Science Degree would be useful

    Job Average Annual Salary (CAD)
    Digital strategist 55,697
    IT sales account manager 52,148
    Information technology (IT) trainer 63,688
    Nanotechnologist 32,790
    Network engineer 68,156
    Pay-per-click (PPC) manager 48,595
    Technical analyst 55,753
    Web content manager 45,377

    Popular Degrees in Computer Science

    There are several degrees in computer science including Bachelor of Science (BS / BSc) in Computer Science, Master of Computer Science (MCS), and Master of Applied Computer Science (MACS) degrees.

    You can find average salaries for popular courses according to sex, Canadian city, and top companies, below.

    Bachelor of Science (BS/BSc) in Computer Science

    Gender Average Annual Salary (CAD)
    Male 46,828 - 88,775
    Female 43,563 - 85,111

    Popular cities for BS/BSc Computer Science Graduates

    City Average Annual Salary (CAD)
    Toronto, Ontario 49,073 - 96,411
    Vancouver, British Columbia 46,822 - 87,699
    Montréal, Québec 46,105 - 91,694
    Calgary, Alberta 52,353 - 97,041
    Ottawa, Ontario 49,215 - 94,637

    Popular companies among BS/BSc Computer Science graduates

    Company Average Annual Salary (CAD)
    iQmetrix 58,165 - 82,039
    IBM Canada Ltd. 48,649 - 93,028
    CGI Group Inc. 54,623 - 84,038 Inc 72,265 - 109,315
    RBC Bank 43,950 - 96,650

    Master of Computer Science (MCS)

    Gender Average Annual Salary (CAD)
    Male 52,084 - 93,879
    Female 41,024 - 89,839

    Popular cities for MCS graduates

    City Average Annual Salary (CAD)
    Toronto, Ontario 53,422 - 100,956
    Montréal, Québec 49,223 - 91,706
    Vancouver, British Columbia 62,196 - C$103,750
    Ottawa, Ontario 61,000 - 81,700
    Calgary, Alberta 56,674 - 102,829

    Popular companies for MCS graduates

    Company Average Annual Salary (CAD)
    CGI Group Inc. 67,802 - 96,982
    IBM Canada Ltd. 68,250 - 77,843
    Ericsson Inc. 82,500
    Diamond Municipal Solutions 76,646 Inc 110,000

    Master of Applied Computer Science (MACS) degree 

    Gender Average Annual Salary (CAD)
    Male 54,098 - 85,097
    Female 36,436 - 70,000

    Popular cities for MACS graduates

    City Average Annual Salary (CAD)
    Toronto, Ontario 49,073 - 96,411
    Montréal, Québec 57,767 - 86,985
    Ottawa, Ontario 57,475 - 117,964
    Halifax, Nova Scotia 61,000 - 81,700
    Vancouver, British Columbia 48,980 - 110,000

    Popular companies among MACS graduates

    Company Average Annual Salary (CAD)
    SAP America, Inc. 70,696
    Ericsson Inc. 64,000
    Ventra Plastics 36,973

    Skills on your CV

    Computer science courses include the knowledge of computer-based systems, evaluating potential risks and designing creative solutions. Java, SQL, Python, and, .net are always in demand. If you are adept at coding, you are in a strong position in the tech job market.

    With technology and software transforming at such a rapid pace, continuing professional development (CPD) is essential. Apart from the theoretical study and practical knowledge, these subject-specific skills are vital for bagging the best computer science-related jobs:

    • Commercial awareness
    • Programming languages
    • Numeracy
    • Adapt to the rapid technological changes in computing
    • Multimedia design
    • Software engineering
    • Hardware architecture and construction
    • Network design and engineering
    • Software tools and packages
    • Computer graphics
    • Human-computer interaction 
    • Artificial intelligence
    • Algorithms and data structures

    Develop key skills and build up a network of contacts. It will arm you with commercial skills and show how your degree can be applied in practice.

    Quick tips for first-time applicants

    • Your resume should strictly follow the Canadian format with all the CS experience mentioned at the top. If you have a PR visa, include it.
    • Visit Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) to obtain your Social Insurance Number (SIN) to work in Canada or to receive benefits and services from government programs. All companies ask for it for taxes and other purposes.
    • Open a bank account. TD Canada Trust and RBC Royal Bank are popular choices. Most banks have a special type of accounts for new immigrants.
    • Apply for a health card. It is recommended to go for a general medical check-up.
    • Fix an appointment for a driver's license. Your country’s license is valid for only three months.

    How good is Canada for Computer Science graduates?

    The data collected by the Munk School of Global Affairs’ Innovation Policy Lab at the University of Toronto (U of T) indicates one in four recently science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) graduated students from the country’s top universities – University of Waterloo, University of British Columbia, and U of T – work outside Canada.

    Owing to the current shortage of STEM talent in Canada, thousands of positions in Canada's most promising technology companies are unfilled. But the situation is not all despondent as the Brookfield Institute reports show 6 percent of overall employment is in the technology sector and it is growing rapidly.

    A report by the Information Communications Technology Council (ICTC) states that nearly 811,200 information and communication technology (ICT) professionals are currently working in Canada. The provinces across the country will need an additional 182,000 ICT professionals by 2019.

    As per the labor market report, the following jobs are high in demand:

    • Software engineers
    • Software programmers and interactive media developers
    • IT managers, analysts, and consultants
    • Database analysts
    • Data administrators
    • Graphic designers and graphic illustrators

    A study by CTV News revealed the field of computer science promised the eighth highest paying jobs in Canada with CAD 63,462 per annum. Dentistry and pharmacy topped the list with CAD 99,706 and CAD 91,031 respectively.

    Although the computer science industry in Canada is not as versatile as the United States, you will secure a good job if you are competent. It is easier to migrate at present due to the surge in the availability of tech jobs in Canada.