The best Canadian university degrees to have for successful careers

From pharmacy to finance, these fields of study at Canadian universities will set you up for success as an alumnus.

Bachelor of Engineering (BEng)

The world needs things. Engineers build things. It’s a pretty simple equation that’s at the heart of the reason why an engineering degree is the beginning of many successful and fulfilling careers. Engineering, at its most basic definition, is the use of science and math to create things in the real world, and engineers have been at the forefront of human achievement since the dawn of civilization. The Roman aqueducts? That was some great engineering. The moon landing? It wouldn’t have happened without NASA’s army of engineers. From roads and skyscrapers to the next generation of self-driving cars to many more obscure and esoteric applications, engineers are in demand in every country around the world. They are also paid well for their work, report a high level of career satisfaction, and end up in CEO jobs at a higher rate than any other degree holders.

Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD)

If the current era of public health has taught us anything, it’s the value of frontline healthcare workers like doctors, nurses, and pharmacists. Even before the recent coronavirus outbreak, however, pharmacy was a rewarding and versatile career for anyone interested in using science to help patients get the care they need. Not only are pharmacists needed in every community, the combination of an aging population and an increase in drugs on the market means an increased demand for pharmacists everywhere. With great job prospects, highly competitive salaries, and the fulfilment of working directly with patients, pharmacy makes a promising career choice for anyone interested in joining the frontline of healthcare.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BScN)

As anyone who has spent time in a hospital knows, nurses are among the many unsung heroes of our healthcare system. While by no means an easy job—in addition to 12-hour shifts, nurses have to deal with a lot of things not for the faint of heart—caring for people at their most vulnerable, and helping them recover from illness can be incredibly rewarding. In addition to the intangible benefits, nursing promises steady employment, flexible hours, and the ability to find a job pretty much anywhere you want to live.

Bachelor of Computer Science (BCS)

From your car to your laptop to your smartphone, the most important tools for life in the 21st century all run on programs created by software developers. Is it any wonder, then, that computer science is one of the most promising career paths of the 21st century? There are many ways to become a software developer or engineer, but a common path starts with an undergraduate degree in computer science like a BCS. While these programs can go by a variety of names, they all aim to provide the same basic foundation in information technology that can lead to a range of diverse and rewarding careers.

Bachelor of Science in Geosciences (BSc)

Geoscience is the study of the earth, with a particular focus on natural resources like minerals and water. Aside from careers in the oil and gas sector, geoscientists can play a vital role in helping to uncover and responsibly manage the extraction of other natural resources important to human civilization. In addition to jobs in mining and forestry, trained geoscientists are also in demand for jobs in environmental protection and resource conservation, making it a degree with a great range of potential applications.

Bachelor of Business in Accounting (BBA)

Businesses of every size rely on accountants, not just to assist in tax preparation, but to assess all aspects of their ongoing operations. By analyzing a business’s profitability, sustainability, and wealth across all of its undertakings, accountants are a vital part of operations and can help to steer a company towards success. While accounting has a reputation as being one of the less exciting corners of business administration, it is generally well-paid and, since it is so universal to operations, jobs can be found almost anywhere. For the right candidate with a brain for numbers and an eye for detail, accounting could provide a highly fulfilling and stable career.

Masters in Business Administration (MBA)

Whether you’re just starting out in business or are an established professional looking to expand your job options, an MBA can be the ticket to a fulfilling career in the corporate world. While there are plenty of jobs for MBAs in banking and government, the skills acquired as part of this advanced business degree can be applicable to any kind of business, from hospitality to nonprofit to sports and entertainment. For anyone looking for a degree with a lot of flexibility, an MBA might be the answer.

Jeremy Freed is a freelance writer and editor based in Toronto. His writing about fashion, travel, food and design appears in Sharp, Harry and re:Porter magazines, among many others.

Jeremy Freed is a paid Sonnet spokesperson.
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