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Top Courses to Study in Canada

Top Courses to Study in Canada – Subjects and Career Prospects 

by Dushyant Patni

Ranked highly in terms of quality of life and education by the United Nations, Canada has cemented its place as one of the best places in the world to live and study. 10 universities in Canada are ranked amongst the top 250 institutes in the world according to the QS World University Rankings for 2020. This and other factors make Canada a popular choice for international students to study abroad. Let’s look at the top 5 reasons that make Canada a top student destination:

  • Internationally recognized degrees
  • Affordable tuition fees
  • High quality of classroom instruction 
  • Post-study work options
  • Routes to gain permanent residency 

According to the data provided by ICEF monitor, an international market data intelligence provider for the education industry, the number of foreign students in Canada reached 572,415 in 2018. The table given below lists some of the top sources of international student arrivals in Canada in 2018: 

Country International Students  % of Total 
India 172,625 30.16
China  142,985 24.98
South Korea  24,195 4.23
France 22,745 3.97
Vietnam 20,330 3.55

This article takes a look at some of the top courses in the country in terms of quality and career prospects for international students. Study Abroad

Do you know that you can study without IELTS abroad? Canada is one of the countries. Read study in Canada without IELTS.

Top Courses to Study in Canada – 5 Most Popular Fields of Study 

1. Business and Finance

Business and finance form the foundations of any nation’s economy. A degree in this field will allow you to learn how the financial market functions and what its applications are. The top courses in Canada within this field are: 


Course Duration Yearly Fees Offered By
B.B.A in Finance  4 years (full-time) CAD 21,385  Trent University 
B.Com (Hons.)  in 


4 years (full-time) CAD 31,212  Carleton University 
Master’s in Accounting  1 year (full-time) CAD 35,000  York University 
Master’s in Financial Risk Management  1 year (full-time) CAD 62,000  University of Toronto 
MBA in Finance  2 years (full-time) CAD 10,000 University of Alberta 

The most sought after jobs in this field are: 

  1. Asset Management 
  2. Broking 
  3. Investment Management 
  4. Banking 
  5. Insurance 
  6. Accounting 


Position  Hourly Wage 
Financial Accountant  CAD 31 
Financial Analyst  CAD 33 
Accounting Clerk  CAD 19 
Bookkeeper  CAD 19 

2. Computer Science and IT 

Qualified and competent computer science and software/ IT professionals will always be in demand all over the world, including Canada. According to a report published by the CIC, a Canadian immigration news portal, IT project managers and software engineers were in the top 10 most in-demand positions in Canada. Listed below are the most popular computer science and IT courses in Canada along with the top-ranked Canadian universities to pursue them.  


Course Duration  Fee Offered By
B.Sc. in Computer Science  4 years CAD 156,790 (full course fee) University of British Columbia 
B.Sc. in Data Science (Honours) 4 years N/A University of Waterloo
B.Sc. in Statistics and Computer Science (Honours) 4 years CAD 169,568 (full course fee) McGill University
M.Sc. in Computing Science and Statistical Machine Learning  2 years  CAD  21,000 per year  University of Alberta 
B.Sc. in Computer Science (Honours) 4 years CAD 213,160 (full course fee) University of Toronto

Note: The fees given above are an approximation and are subject to change at the time of application. Students are advised to research diligently before opting for a course. 

A deeper look into the same report reveals that developers who are capable in handling both front and back-end coding are especially in demand. Java is considered to be the top skill for any developer to have with SQL, Python and .net making up the rest of the list. The top positions in this field are: 

  • Project Manager
  • Software Engineer 
  • Web Developer 
  • Program Analyst 
  • Java Developer 
City Average IT Salary per year 
Toronto CAD 55,000 – CAD 119,000
Vancouver CAD 55,000 – CAD 119,000
Montreal CAD 45,000 – CAD 100,000
Calgary CAD 57,000 – CAD 125,000 
Edmonton CAD 58,000 – CAD  125,000
Ottawa CAD 61,000 – CAD 125,000
Quebec City CAD 42,000 – CAD 91,000
Halifax  CAD 57,000 – CAD 116, 000

Note: The data provided in the table above is a representation of the average salaries for IT professionals in a particular area. It is not meant to represent actual figures for a specific role.Study Abroad

3. Engineering 

Engineering has been amongst the top subjects chosen by international students looking to pursue higher studies in Canada. As per Randstad, an HR data and analytics agency in Canada, engineering disciplines are projected to grow significantly by 2025. Currently, all engineering specialties are experiencing labour shortages in Canada and there are plenty of opportunities for young graduates to get a foot in the door of their chosen fields. The following are some of the top courses and best-ranked universities available to international students: 


Course Duration Total Course Fee Offered By 
Bachelor of Applied Science in Electrical Engineering  4 years  CAD 205,224 University of Waterloo
Bachelor of Applied Science in Civil Engineering  4 years  CAD 205,224 University of Waterloo 
Bachelors in Mechanical 


4 years  CAD 169,568  McGill University 
Masters in Mechanical and Industrial Engineering 1 year CAD 59,230  University of Toronto
Masters in Electrical and Computer Engineering  1 year  CAD 59,230  University of Toronto

Note: The figures in the table are an approximation of tuition fee for the entire course. Students are advised to confirm the exact cost during the process of application. 

According to Randstad, the medial annual salary for engineers in 2020 is USD 75,200. The lowest earning engineers earn $45,900 on an average while the top earners can take home an average of $130,000. 

Position  Hourly Wage
Civil Engineer $38.6 
Mechanical Engineer $38.6 
Electrical Engineer  $38.6 
Software Engineer  $41.03 

4. Health and Medicine 

As long as there are people on this planet, medicine and health science will always be subjects of great interest. The industry contributed $7.8 billion to Canada’s GDP in 2016 and has tremendous growth potential. Areas poised for growth include digital health, which is set to be a $233 billion global market by 2020, and precision medicine, which is set to be an $88 billion market by 2023.

The following are some of the top health and medicine courses in Canada for international students: 


Course Duration  Total course fee Offered By 
M.Sc. in Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology 2 years CAD 33,960 University of Toronto
Bachelor of Science in Pharmaceutical Chemistry  4 years  CAD 103,840 Laurentian University 
Doctor of Medicine  4 years  CAD  37,860 University of Alberta 
Masters in Biomedical Informatics  1 year  CAD 22,050  Queen’s University 

The average healthcare and medicine salary in Canada is $31,444 per year or $16.13 per hour. Entry level positions start at $27,300 per year while most experienced workers make up to $53,454 per year. 

5. Media & Journalism 

With the rise of the internet, digital media has quickly become the dominant force online. The demand for skilled and creative professionals in the field is also increasing exponentially. While traditional print media jobs may be heading towards the same fate as dinosaurs, new age career paths like digital marketing, digital media creation and production, interactive design etc. are taking over. In 2017, the operating revenues of the Canadian television industry reached 7 billion CAD with the radio industry bringing in a respectable 1.9 billion year. However, since then, the industries have seen a gradual  decline, but the rise of the internet has provided them with new opportunities to reach a wider audience and gain more subscribers.   

Another little known fact about the media industry in Canada is that many of the popular American shows like Supernatural, The Vampire Diaries and other programs are filmed in Canada!

The following are some of the top media and journalism courses in Canada: 


Course Duration Fees Offered by 
Master of Journalism  2 years  CAD 43,582 (full-course fee) University of British Columbia 
B.A. in Digital Media and Journalism  4 years CAD 101,280 (full-course fee) Wilfrid Laurier University
B.A. in Media Production 4 years  CAD 27,284 per year  Ryerson University
B.A in Communication and Media Studies  4 years CAD 109,127 (full-course fee) Carleton University 
Bachelors (Diploma) in Interactive Media Design  2 years  CAD 26,644 (full-course fee) Durham College 

The following are some of the top career options for anyone looking to secure a job in this field after finishing their degree in Canada: 

  • Digital Media Creation
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Social Media PR 
  • Journalism
  • Interactive Media Design
  • UX/UI Design 
  • Visual Effects & Animation 
  • Creative and Graphic Design 


Field of work Average yearly salary
Social Media Marketing  CAD 49,715 
Web Content Management CAD 55,915
Video Editing CAD 44,808
Graphic Design CAD 48,931 
Online Marketing  CAD 48,623 
Digital Marketing Manager  CAD 44,000 
Communications Coordinator  CAD 35,000

 Note: The figures given in the above table are an approximation provided by payscale.com and are representative of what someone without experience would typically earn. Pay rate changes depending upon the area you are working in and how much experience you have in the field. 

Want to know details about pursuing higher studies in Canada? Read Study in Canada article here.


Top Courses to Study in Canada – FAQs

Q. Why is Canada a popular study abroad destination? 

A. According to a survey conducting by International Student Admissions Service (ISAS) students choose Canada for the following reasons: 

  • High Academic Rankings 
  • Large number of post-study work options
  • Safe and secure environment
  • Vibrant culture
  • Geographically diversity  

Q. What job opportunities are available to students pursuing the business and finance fields? 

A. A degree in business and finance opens up the doors to job functions like:

  • Asset Management
  • Broking
  • Investment Management
  • Banking
  • Insurance
  • Accounting 

Q. What is the Computer and IT field like in Canada? 

A. According to Randstad, an HR data analysis organization, the tech industry in Canada boasts 488,000 professionals working in positions like: 

  • Information systems analysts 
  • Web designers and developers
  • Computer programmers
  • Dev-op and cyber security 

Q. How do I choose the right course to study in Canada? 

A. Choosing a right program depends upon your fields of interest, academic background and budget. If you are having trouble reaching a decision, you can sign up for a free counselling session at Buddy4Study. Our team of study abroad experts will guide you through every step of the process, from application to admission. 

Q. Is journalism still a viable career option?

A. Print journalism may be on the way out, but the field has adapted to the changing times and a degree in journalism is still a viable career option. Instead of writing for magazines and newspapers, you can now work as a digital content creator for websites, blogs and other digital content platforms. 

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