Computer Science Graduates Highest Paid in Canada- Salary and Prospects

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.

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.

RankCompanyLocation
1DiplyLondon, Ontario
2Prodigy GameBurlington, Ontario
3Prodigy VenturesToronto, Ontario
4Bench AccountingVancouver, British Columbia
5SkipTheDishesWinnipeg, Manitoba
6StackAdaptToronto, Ontario
7SendtoNewsVictoria, British Columbia
8MaropostToronto, Ontario
9Refresh FinancialKelowna, British Columbia
10BenevityCalgary, Alberta
11UnataToronto, Ontario
12Bold CommerceWinnipeg, Manitoba
13InfluitiveToronto, Ontario
14AwesenseVancouver, British Columbia
15FixMeStick 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.

JobDescriptionAverage Annual Salary (CAD)
Information Technology Specialists
  • Includes system administration, networking, hardware and software support
61,070
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
52,865
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.
39,420
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.
60,000
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.
58,386
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.
83,145

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.

JobAverage Annual Salary (CAD)
Applications analyst73,466
Application developer61,249
Cybersecurity analyst65,000
Data analyst53,483
Database administrator66,237
Forensic computer analyst74,334
Game developer83,145
Information systems manager84,640
IT consultant71,755
Multimedia developer57,132
Search engine optimization (SEO) specialist46,038
Software engineer70,009
Systems analyst65,908
UX designer58,670
Web designer48,083
Web developer49,758
Data scientist109,620
Programmer analyst54,562
Business analyst, IT66,247
Project manager, Information Technology (IT)74,666
Business intelligence (BI) developer72,852
Network engineer72,594
Machine learning engineer67,529
Software tester52,119
Quality assurance analyst54,485
Information technology (IT) architect92,469
Front end developer/engineer57,768
Technical account manager81,682
Program manager, IT106,659
Technical consultant72,447

Jobs where the Computer Science Degree would be useful

JobAverage Annual Salary (CAD)
Digital strategist55,697
IT sales account manager52,148
Information technology (IT) trainer63,688
Nanotechnologist32,790
Network engineer68,156
Pay-per-click (PPC) manager48,595
Technical analyst55,753
Web content manager45,377

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

GenderAverage Annual Salary (CAD)
Male46,828 - 88,775
Female43,563 - 85,111

Popular cities for BS/BSc Computer Science Graduates

CityAverage Annual Salary (CAD)
Toronto, Ontario49,073 - 96,411
Vancouver, British Columbia46,822 - 87,699
Montréal, Québec46,105 - 91,694
Calgary, Alberta52,353 - 97,041
Ottawa, Ontario49,215 - 94,637

Popular companies among BS/BSc Computer Science graduates

CompanyAverage Annual Salary (CAD)
iQmetrix58,165 - 82,039
IBM Canada Ltd.48,649 - 93,028
CGI Group Inc.54,623 - 84,038
Amazon.com Inc72,265 - 109,315
RBC Bank43,950 - 96,650

Master of Computer Science (MCS)

GenderAverage Annual Salary (CAD)
Male52,084 - 93,879
Female41,024 - 89,839

Popular cities for MCS graduates

CityAverage Annual Salary (CAD)
Toronto, Ontario53,422 - 100,956
Montréal, Québec49,223 - 91,706
Vancouver, British Columbia62,196 - C$103,750
Ottawa, Ontario61,000 - 81,700
Calgary, Alberta56,674 - 102,829

Popular companies for MCS graduates

CompanyAverage Annual Salary (CAD)
CGI Group Inc.67,802 - 96,982
IBM Canada Ltd.68,250 - 77,843
Ericsson Inc.82,500
Diamond Municipal Solutions76,646
Amazon.com Inc110,000

Master of Applied Computer Science (MACS) degree 

GenderAverage Annual Salary (CAD)
Male54,098 - 85,097
Female36,436 - 70,000

Popular cities for MACS graduates

CityAverage Annual Salary (CAD)
Toronto, Ontario49,073 - 96,411
Montréal, Québec57,767 - 86,985
Ottawa, Ontario57,475 - 117,964
Halifax, Nova Scotia61,000 - 81,700
Vancouver, British Columbia48,980 - 110,000

Popular companies among MACS graduates

CompanyAverage Annual Salary (CAD)
SAP America, Inc.70,696
Ericsson Inc.64,000
Ventra Plastics36,973

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.

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