Computer Science Second Degree & Diploma Programs for Career Transitioners / Tech Career Changers

A compilation of computer science second-degree programs and diploma programs for tech career changers, those looking to complete a career transition to computer science, or break into tech.

Ben Cheung
Tech Career North
9 min readFeb 9, 2023

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Last Updated: May 29, 2023
We have a Discord for Tech Career Changers!

Website: https://techcareerchange.vercel.app/

At the crossroads. Generated with DALL-E.

The article will compare a few programs found across North America geared towards folks with a degree already or looking to complete a career change!

The entire table can be found on the Tech Career Change Notion page where we provide a variety of resources geared toward prospective and current career changers! We will update the table as more programs are known to us and as we expand our support!

What does this article cover?

  • You are not alone.
  • CS Second Degree Programs
  • Community Resources
  • Interested? Come join us!

You are not alone.

Join our inclusive community for all who are looking to break into tech and consider it as an alternative career.
Find us on Discord: https://discord.gg/96rkQyC5rX

CS Second Degree Programs

The full table can be found in Computer Science Second Degree/Diploma Programs.

Without further ado, let’s get into the nitty-gritty details!

University of British Columbia — Bachelor of Computer Science (BCS)

The UBC Bachelor of Computer Science degree (Integrated Computer Science program), or simply ‘BCS’, is a unique, 20-month, full-time second-degree program. It’s the only program of its kind offered in Western Canada. It is designed for university graduates possessing a bachelor’s degree outside of computer science, and who are interested in either:

(a) making a career transition into information technology, or
(b) combining their own field with computer science.

Website: https://www.cs.ubc.ca/students/undergrad/degree-programs/bcs-program-second-degree
Unofficial UBC BCS guide: https://bit.ly/ubcbcsguide
Reddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/UBC_BCS/

University of British Columbia — B.Sc Second Degree

You will receive a Bachelor of Science degree after graduation from this B.Sc Second Degree.

  1. You must meet all the requirements for the degree you seek (that have not already been met in your previous study)
  2. You must complete an additional 60 credits, of which 48 must be 300 level or above

Website: https://www.cs.ubc.ca/students/undergrad/programs/second-bsc-degree

Simon Fraser University — Second Degree in Computing Science

This program provides students who already have a bachelor degree in another discipline a way to obtain a bachelor of science (BSc) or bachelor of arts (BA) degree with a major in computing science.

Website: http://www.sfu.ca/students/calendar/2023/spring/programs/computing-science-second-degree/major/bachelor-of-science-or-bachelor-of-arts.html

British Columbia Institute of Technology — Computer Systems Technology Diploma (CST)

BCIT’s Computer Systems Technology (CST) two-year diploma program combines computer systems theory with hands-on practical experience in software development. You’ll learn software engineering and programming from industry professionals, and gain experience working on real projects, from concept to deployment. In second year, specialty options add depth and further hone your skills.

The CST diploma is a widely-recognized credential that is highly regarded by employers. Graduates emerge with the well-rounded skills essential for a career analyzing, designing, and developing software solutions.

Website: https://www.bcit.ca/programs/computer-systems-technology-diploma-full-time-5500dipma/

British Columbia Institute of Technology — Computer Information Technology Diploma (CIT)

The BCIT Computer Information Technology (CIT) Diploma is a unique two-year full-time program that will prepare you for a well-paying career in the IT sector. Focusing on emerging tools and technologies, and offering hands-on work on real industry projects, you’ll be equipped for exciting and evolving tech careers across this growing industry.

CIT is offered at BCIT’s Downtown Campus — in the heart of Vancouver — with several high-tech sector players close by. The CIT experience features industry-driven project-based learning, small classes, and a new state-of-the-art TEC Hub learning space that mimics the feel of a tech company.

Website: https://www.bcit.ca/programs/computer-information-technology-diploma-full-time-5540dipma/

[No longer offered] British Columbia Institute of Technology — Bachelor of Technology in Computer Systems (BTech)

The Bachelor of Technology in Computer Systems (CST BTech) is an applied career enhancement degree that is designed to increase the depth of knowledge and practical skills of computer system technologists, and to assist them in widening their career opportunities or advancing their career paths. Graduates are highly valued by the industry. Students may earn this degree in two delivery formats.

a) Full-time Studies (2 years)
b) Part-time Studies (up to 7 years)

Website: https://www.bcit.ca/programs/bachelor-of-technology-in-computer-systems-full-time/
Note: See BCIT Bachelor of Science in Applied Computer Science

British Columbia Institute of Technology — Bachelor of Science in Applied Computer Science

The new program BScACS (Formerly Btech) has two options:

University of Calgary — Second Bachelor of Science in Computer Science

Students who hold a three- or four-year bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) from a recognized/accredited institution may pursue a program leading to a second or subsequent bachelor’s degree (commonly referred to as an After-Degree), provided they qualify for admission and meets all University and Faculty regulations.

Website: https://www.ucalgary.ca/pubs/calendar/current/a-5-5.html
Requirements: https://www.ucalgary.ca/future-students/undergraduate/explore-programs/computer-science

Thompson Rivers University — Bachelor of Computing Science (BCS)

General and concentrated computing coursework for those wishing to enter the field of computing science or pursue graduate studies.

This degree is designed for a wide range of candidates, including:

  • Graduates of any (non-computing) undergraduate program in arts, business, education, engineering or science wishing to obtain a second degree in computing science.
  • Graduates of a two- or three-year diploma program in computing, management information systems or information science.
  • Students currently enrolled in a TRU science program.
  • Graduates of a BCS degree or any undergraduate computing program wishing to upgrade their knowledge and skills.
  • Individuals wishing to enter a career involving computer-based systems with special emphasis on small- and medium-sized companies and organizations.

Website: https://www.tru.ca/distance/programs/bachelor-of-computing-science.html

University of Windsor — Bachelor of Computer Science for University Graduates (BCS)

The School of Computer Science at the University of Windsor offers an exciting approach to earning various Bachelor of Computer Science degrees for those who already hold a Bachelor’s degree in another area. These programs provide students with valuable computer skills to enhance their employment opportunities and the value of their primary degree(s).

Website: https://www.uwindsor.ca/science/computerscience/1015/bcs-university-graduates

Oregon State University — Postbaccalaureate Computer Science Online Program

Oregon State’s postbaccalaureate computer science online program is geared toward individuals with a bachelor’s degree and a strong aptitude in mathematics. No previous computer science degree is required for you to switch career paths and pursue unlimited computer science opportunities.

This 60-credit program requires that you take only specified courses for computer science. You’ll learn computer programming fundamentals, software engineering, computer systems and networking, mobile and web development, and user interfaces — giving yourself a wealth of knowledge and skills that are in high demand on the global job market.

Website: https://ecampus.oregonstate.edu/online-degrees/undergraduate/computer-science-postbacc/

University of Colorado — Computer Science Post-Baccalaureate (Online BS in Applied CS)

In today’s fast-paced, information-driven society, combining your previous education and experience with a computer science degree opens a vast number of employment opportunities. Our 100% online Bachelor of Science in Computer Science Post-Baccalaureate degree is designed for working professionals with a prior bachelor’s degree who are looking to make a career pivot, move ahead in their current career path, or deepen their knowledge of computer science. Our fully online post-bacc program allows students to pursue their degree at their own pace, full time or part-time, from anywhere in the world.

Over the course of the Post-Bacc in Computer Science program, you will develop strong skills in computing and information technology that can be applied to a wide variety of business or research contexts.

Throughout the post-baccalaureate computer science degree program, you will:

  • Develop technical proficiency in Python and C++ coding, data mining, software development, artificial intelligence, and more
  • Learn to design, implement, and evaluate computer and software-based systems
  • Deepen your understanding of the effects of computing on individuals, organizations, and society
  • Complement your experience and skills with the future-focused credentials employers are looking for

With an online Post-Baccalaureate in Computer Science degree from CU Boulder’s prestigious College of Engineering and Applied Science, you’ll be positioned to take advantage of one of the world’s fastest-growing career fields.

Website: https://online.cu.edu/program/online-bachelors/applied-computer-science-post-baccalaureate-bs

McMaster University — Honours Computer Science as a Second Degree (B.A.Sc.)

At McMaster Engineering, we offer you more than a best-in-class degree. We offer experiences that help create global-ready, socially-aware citizens through project-based classes, flexible co-op work terms, research opportunities and dozens of clubs and teams. That is our Degree + Experience promise.

You are the sum total of your experiences.At McMaster, you define your experience. We’ll help you get there.

We put students at the centre of their education. Whatever you want to do in today’s changing, dynamic world, the experiences you gain at McMaster will take you where you want to go.

Website: https://future.mcmaster.ca/programs/computer-science/#tab-10

York University — Second Degree in Computer Science

In this program, you will blend foundational knowledge and technical skills to explore intriguing topics such as computer systems that mimic human vision or mine data for useful information. You will also learn about the methodologies that lead to efficient, accurate computation. In the BA degree, liberal arts complement your studies in computer science and in the BSc you’ll take science courses such as physics, chemistry and biology. The iBA, iBSc or the dual-degree option add an international component to your learning. Plus, you can enhance your degree with a co-op or an industrial internship.

We offer BA and BSc degrees — both providing you with the same computer science and math expertise. In the BA program, you’ll complement your studies with Liberal Arts courses (e.g., humanities and social sciences). In the BSc program, the complementary courses will be in the sciences (e.g., biology, chemistry, physics). A degree Minor or Double Major will allow you to sample or deeply explore another discipline.

You may also choose one of our three International Honours degrees — iBA, iBSc or the Dual Specialized degree. In the iBA or iBSc degree, you will add a study abroad component to your learning, with culture and language courses from your exchange destination. The International Dual Degree leads to two degrees, one from York and one from the Bonn-Rhein-Sieg University in Germany while completion of your undergraduate thesis takes place at the University of Crete in Greece!

After your second year, our co-op program can provide you with valuable industry experience, giving you a head start with your career.

Website: https://futurestudents.yorku.ca/program/computer-science

Community Resources

Let’s dive into our resources!

Our focus is to provide resources and a community dedicated to those interested in transitioning to tech, are in the process, or already have. We are currently building a variety of resources for anyone looking / interested in transitioning to tech!

Tech Career Change Notion: You can find all our resources on this centralized Notion page. It is compiled by our Tech Career Change Discord.

Tech Career Change Discord: We are aiming to be the number one Discord community for all tech career changers! We have individuals from a variety of backgrounds ranging from those who have successfully transitioned to those looking to transition in a variety of fields. Come join us to scale up your skills alongside peers taking a similar route. We run numerous events and cater resources to our community! Discord: https://discord.gg/96rkQyC5rX

Career Change Programs A career change program comparison table that shows a lot of information pertaining to second-degree programs in CS. It currently only covers NA but we are working on supporting other regions!

Bootcamps Comparison Table A curated list of boot camps in NA targeted towards individuals that are considering taking a boot camp/diploma route. Bootcamps usually support full-time or part-time and are offered as remote or in-person.

Early Career Student Programs A curated list of early career student programs targeted toward students in the 1st/2nd year of their Bachelor’s degree. As a second-degree student, you are also eligible for these programs.

Tech Internships/New Grad Job Search Handbook A compilation of the job search experience, process, and opinions for securing tech internships/co-ops. New grad follows a similar process. Some parts of the process are applicable to non-technical positions.

Interested? Come join us! ✨

We are open to everyone. Our resources have a lot of overlap with other communities, but we are welcome to everyone.

Discord: https://discord.gg/96rkQyC5rX
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/techcareerchange/

Tech Career Change Notion: https://techcareerchange.notion.site/Tech-Career-Change-bb08c69ef37148ee90af7c0389911d5d

Hope to see you there!

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