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computer science: Univerisity of Alberta vs Queen's University


SeanZZ

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I'm deciding between Univerisity of Alberta & Queen's University, both are thesis based master program. And I want to get a job after the master degree.

 

Alberta:

1. in general it is a better school for CS.

2. There are not too many good schools in Alberta, so a degree in Alberta is very attractive in its local area.

Queen's:

1. better location, I guess, because it is closer to US, also because Alberta is based on oil industry, so the market there is very unstable and risky

2. I don't need to become a TA, which means I can do my own thesis research from the beginning. While in Alberta, thesis advisor is decided by the end of the first year, so I guess research starts after the first year. I havn't deviced which professor to work with in Alberta. And I don't know which professor is interested in working with me there also.

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I did a Masters degree in Astronomy at Queen's. Kingston, Ontario is a nice town but it's pretty small and pretty far away from major urban areas (at least 2 hours by car). 

I have no experience in CS programs, but I'm responding because you note that Queen's is closer to the US. Could I ask why this is a positive / what you are looking for? If you are hoping to be at a place where it is easy to travel to major US cities, then I should point out that while yes, Kingston Ontario is indeed very physically close to the US (you can take the small ferry to Wolfe Island and then another small ferry to Cape Vincent, NY), it's still quite far from other US cities. The Kingston Airport only has 5 or 6 flights a day and they all go to Toronto. When I lived in Kingston, flying anywhere else in North America usually means I have to do one of these things first:

- Take a 4 hour bus ride to Toronto International Airport (buses leave Kingston at 2am, 6am or 10am, I believe, so if you have a 6pm flight, then you're waiting a long time)
- Drive 2-3 hours to Toronto International
- Drive 2 hours to Syracuse, NY and then fly out of their airport (usually cheaper this way for travel to US cities)

Accessing the US from Edmonton would be a lot easier (you probably would have to connect somewhere though, but at least Edmonton has an international airport while Kingston does not).

Maybe you have other reasons for wanting to be closer to the US, but just thought this piece of information might help.

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41 minutes ago, TakeruK said:

I did a Masters degree in Astronomy at Queen's. Kingston, Ontario is a nice town but it's pretty small and pretty far away from major urban areas (at least 2 hours by car). 

I have no experience in CS programs, but I'm responding because you note that Queen's is closer to the US. Could I ask why this is a positive / what you are looking for? If you are hoping to be at a place where it is easy to travel to major US cities, then I should point out that while yes, Kingston Ontario is indeed very physically close to the US (you can take the small ferry to Wolfe Island and then another small ferry to Cape Vincent, NY), it's still quite far from other US cities. The Kingston Airport only has 5 or 6 flights a day and they all go to Toronto. When I lived in Kingston, flying anywhere else in North America usually means I have to do one of these things first:

- Take a 4 hour bus ride to Toronto International Airport (buses leave Kingston at 2am, 6am or 10am, I believe, so if you have a 6pm flight, then you're waiting a long time)
- Drive 2-3 hours to Toronto International
- Drive 2 hours to Syracuse, NY and then fly out of their airport (usually cheaper this way for travel to US cities)

Accessing the US from Edmonton would be a lot easier (you probably would have to connect somewhere though, but at least Edmonton has an international airport while Kingston does not).

Maybe you have other reasons for wanting to be closer to the US, but just thought this piece of information might help.

Thank you for your information!

I consider Ontario to be better than Alberta, because the job market is larger, and more diverse. Do you agree? I'm afraid that if I go to Alberta, it is less likely  I find a computer science job, compared with going to Queen's.

At the same time, I think Alberta has a very good computer science program. Queen's computer science is not so well known though.

So it is very hard for me to decide which school to go to.

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Yes, I definitely agree that there are going to be more jobs in Ontario than Alberta for computer science, especially since there are more people in Ontario! But you don't need to find a job in the same place you go to school. So, if you think an Alberta degree will give you more opportunities, you can get an Alberta degree and then apply for jobs in Toronto (for example). 

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