Compare Education Choices

With a computing science degree you will be investing in long-term job satisfaction, more career opportunities, and higher salaries. The following table makes a general comparison between types of education.

  Computing Science (BSc) Computer Engineering (BEng) Diploma Certificate
Type of Institution University University College College or Technical Institute
Career Scientist Engineer Programmer Technician
Area of Study Software Hardware Software/ Hardware Software/ Hardware
Length of Program 4 years 4 years 2 - 3 years 4 weeks - 2 years
Length of Work Experience 12 - 16 months 20 months Less than 9 months Less than 9 months

Computing science is under constant technological change. A university degree teaches the analytical-thinking skills needed to learn any new technology or computing language. In contrast, a diploma or certificate might teach specific techniques and languages that become dated and require upgrading.

2005 Average Alberta Salaries by Educational Attainment

University certificate, diploma or degree, above bachelor level $83 596
University certificate, diploma or degree, bachelor $64 583
Certificate or diploma below bachelor level $36 077

Source: Statistics Canada, 2006 Census

Education counts

The benefits of higher education are also highlighted in the Government of Canada's special report, What Difference Does Learning Make to Financial Security (2008), which include:

  • Higher earnings
  • Greater savings and assets
  • Higher growth in earnings
  • Higher income during retirement