[Introducation] As one of the most best countries in the world for studying abroad, prestigious Canadian schools have always been favoured by international students for their teaching quality, academic reputation, and immigration advantages. Among the many majors of study offered in Canada, the Canadian computer engineering major is known as one of the best for its job outlooks. According to CityNews’ projections, there will be a shortage of more than 200,000 computer programming and coding workers in Canada in 2021. Experts point out that in the next 4 years, computer engineering majors will become one of the majors with the highest market demand and the best employment prospects.

Introduction to Canadian Computer Engineering

The Computer Engineering (CE) major mainly focuses on the study of computer systems and their application technologies; including circuits, electronics, VLSI design, logic gates, algorithms, and other tools that add performance to computer systems. This is an applied science and a major of engineering. Therefore, most of the CE students would try to get jobs at Intel, Apple, BlackBerry, Huawei and other hardware design companies for self=-development.

Unlike Computer Science (CS), computer engineering students must not only master programming-related skills, but also have training in electrical engineering; especially with circuit design, electronics, VLSI design, and so on. From a perspective, the study can also be seen as a combination of computer science (CS) and electrical engineering. On the other hand, Computer Science (cs) focuses more on the theory of algorithms, various programming languages, software and applications, and computing systems.

What knowledge and skills do students learn in the Canadian computer engineering major?

Computer engineering generally refers to the development of computer hardware, including but not limited to the underlying IC design (typically with HDL Design at the RTL level), microarchitecture & ISA design (using HDL for RTL design, using C/C++ for ISS), memory/cache architecture design, Systems-on-Chip, and Embedded Systems design (using C/C++/SystemC/SpecC) at the system-level, and heterogeneous computing, etc. The highest level you can achieve is roughly at the OS & Compiler level; for example, to perform optimizations coordinated with hardware at the compiler level (such as with the implementation of VLIW).

The core courses are:

  • Electronic circuit design
  • Principles of Modern Physics
  • Artificial Intelligence and Robots
  • Basic Software Development
  • Computer Architecture and Design
  • Very Large-Scale Integration (VLSI)
  • Microprocessor Design and Interface
  • Embedded Computer System Design

Other popular courses include:

  • Computer Aided Drafting and Design (CADD)
  • Mobile Systems
  • Sustainable Energy
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Game Hardware Design
  • User Interface Design
  • Micro Electro Mechanical System (MEMS) Engineering

Generally speaking, computer engineering is an interdisciplinary major of computer science and electrical engineering. It focuses on all forms of computing, from microprocessors to embedded computing devices, from laptops and desktop systems to supercomputers. Therefore, the study focuses on the function of microprocessors, their design, optimization, how to effectively transmit data between electronic components; how to create a comprehensive system of electronic components, how to process instructions in software, and how to write, compile and optimize software.

Employment prospects of Canadian computer engineering graduates

Computer majors have a wide range of application and multiple career paths, covering all areas of society; thus, a wide range of employment opportunities. In IT companies, the main employment positions for graduates of this type of major are:

  • Management: such as project manager, software engineer, hardware engineer, etc.;
  • Research and development: software engineer, hardware engineer, system developer, etc.;
  • Testing: software test engineer, hardware test engineer, system test engineer, etc.; service and sales category:
  • Marketing, pre-sales service, after-sales service, promotion, etc.

In recent years, software development centres, data centres and other units have attracted many computer engineering graduates, mainly engaged in the development and maintenance of enterprise and business data systems, and data statistics and management. In the government, scientific research institutes and other non-IT companies, the software and hardware equipment, network security, system maintenance, website development and other tasks are also attached to the role of computer engineering professionals. The career direction of computer engineering includes electronics, telecommunications, aerospace, network engineering, etc. Jobs in hardware design and production companies such as Apple, Huawei, and AMD are suitable for graduates of this major.

The main positions include:

  • Computer hardware engineer
  • Computer software engineer
  • Network architect

Jobs for Canadian computer engineering graduates

  1. Computer hardware engineer

Computer hardware engineers research, design, develop, and test computer systems and components such as processors, circuit boards, memory devices, networks, and routers. They will also use the latest technology to build new equipment. The average annual salary of Canadian hardware engineers in 2018 was $121,430. The general academic requirement is a master's degree or above.

  1. Computer software engineer

The main responsibility of a computer software engineer is to design, upgrade and test software applications. They may participate in the establishment of a specific industry development system or software, such as for manufacturing. The average annual salary of a software engineer is $79,357.

  1. Network architect

Web architects designs and builds data communication networks including corporate intranet, local area networks and wide area networks. The average annual salary of a network architect is $98,430. The general academic requirement is a master's degree or above.

Salaries for Canadian computer engineering graduates

  1. Computer hardware engineer

The average annual salary of Canadian hardware engineers in 2018 was $121,430. The general academic requirement is a master's degree or above.

  1. Computer software engineer

The average annual salary of computer software engineers is $79,357.

  1. Network architect

The average annual salary of network architects is $98,430. The general academic requirement is a master's degree or above.

List of related majors in computer engineering in Ontario, Canada

Engineering (B.Eng.)York Universitybachelor degree programs open in September

Name of ProgramSchoolType of CredentialOpen to International StudentsStart Date
Computer Engineering(co-op)Waterloo UniversityBachelor DegreeOpenSeptember
Computer EngineeringUniversity of TorontoBachelor DegreeOpenSeptember
Computer EngineeringUniversity of OttawaBachelor DegreeOpenSeptember
Computer EngineeringUniversity of GuelphBachelor DegreeOpenSeptember
Technology – Software DevelopmentSeneca CollegeBachelor of Applied DegreeOpenSeptember
Applied Computer ScienceSheridan CollegeBachelor of Applied DegreeOpenSeptember
Computer ScienceConestoga CollegeBachelor of Applied DegreeOpenSeptember

Summary: UtoCanada's views on the computer engineering major

As the number of applicants has been on the rise, the competition has become fiercer and the admission requirements have also been set higher year by year. How can I get in, win the hearts of the admissions committee, and successfully receive an offer from my dream school? Through our experience with a multitude of student cases, we found that in order to successfully gain admission to the best programs at the most prestigious schools, not only do you need an outstanding high school average (95%) and an IELTS score that meets the requirements, but also timely and precise actions through each section of your application.

There may also be additional paperwork and even video interviews for the application to a computer science program. An application without personality will only fail to make an impression and make the applicant look uninteresting to the admissions officer. Therefore, students who are interested in computer engineering must make plans to prepare as early as possible. In addition to making your background and strengths shine through, our professional education consultants and copywriting professionals of UtoCanada will customize personalized documents for your application, conduct exclusive interview preparation counseling, and be your convoy along the journey of getting into university!