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Computer Science or Finance in British Columbia?

  • Last Updated:
  • Jan 26th, 2013 4:32 am
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Poll: Which is a better career in BC?

  • Total votes: 18. You have voted on this poll.
Computer Science
 
10
56%
Finance
 
8
44%
Member
Mar 24, 2007
430 posts
11 upvotes

Computer Science or Finance in British Columbia?

I am relocating to BC. I have a Bachelor's degree from UofT (Physics) and I have been taking actuarial exam for a career change to insurance/financial industry. I have passed one so far.

I did some searching and can't find a single actuary job in the whole province of BC. While SFU are bumping out 30 or so Actuarial science degree every year. It looks like a pretty big red flag to me.

I like Math/finance but I like warm winter more, I am not coming back to Toronto.

The IT industry seems to be doing well in BC. I don't have programming background so I don't know if I will like it or not. It will require a new degree though.

How is the IT/Finace job market in BC? Do you think it is worth the try?
29 replies
Sr. Member
User avatar
Aug 22, 2008
805 posts
26 upvotes
If you want to work in finance, I don't think investing X years in passing all the exams is worth your time. And you're right, the supply of act sci grads and the very limited demand for them is just scary. It doesn't help that you're in BC, since act sci seems to be a favourite among international students...

A physics degree from UofT puts you in a very good position for both finance and software/IT roles. You don't need a degree in CS or ECE, as long as you have the skillsets required, so taking some fundamental CS theory courses at UBC is a great idea, along with learning some languages on your own.
Banned
User avatar
Feb 15, 2008
26318 posts
3155 upvotes
Calgary
Elisa.woods wrote:
May 1st, 2012 2:46 pm
How is the IT/Finace job market in BC? Do you think it is worth the try?

IT job market is absolutely terrible in BC/Alberta. Stay well away. Firms receive dozens, sometimes hundreds of resumes for each advertised position. Even high end talent (ie: those with CS, ECE, EE, IT degrees) can find themselves unemployed for years after graduation, if they find jobs at all.
TodayHello wrote:
Oct 16th, 2012 9:06 pm
...The Banks are smarter than you - they have floors full of people whose job it is to read Mark77 posts...
Deal Addict
Apr 14, 2007
2752 posts
287 upvotes
Montreal
resu is re-affirming what you want someone to tell you. If you like math/finance, why the heck you want to do CS?

Do what you like and not what the market is. Why did you do Physics? Because you liked it. IT isn't really all the fun stuff it becomes the same thing different day after a few months at it.
Deal Addict
Nov 27, 2006
2053 posts
362 upvotes
Toronto
Alot of money in underwriting.
Deal Addict
Mar 29, 2006
3615 posts
45 upvotes
Generally I would say that return on sweat equity is much better in finance, but I have no clue about BC market situation.
Deal Addict
Mar 24, 2009
2085 posts
79 upvotes
Toronto
NorthYorker wrote:
May 2nd, 2012 10:57 am
Generally I would say that return on sweat equity is much better in finance, but I have no clue about BC market situation.

This is a very big mis-conception. The only commonly taken finance paths that regularly outpaces the careers of other professionals is investment banking and management consulting

-only about 5% of finance grads will make it in
-60-70% will leave within two years and never return to an investment bank/firm
Deal Addict
User avatar
May 15, 2010
2001 posts
112 upvotes
North York
Mark77 wrote:
May 1st, 2012 6:31 pm
IT job market is absolutely terrible in BC/Alberta. Stay well away. Firms receive dozens, sometimes hundreds of resumes for each advertised position. Even high end talent (ie: those with CS, ECE, EE, IT degrees) can find themselves unemployed for years after graduation, if they find jobs at all.
Which part of Canada has a better IT job market than BC/Alberta?
Sr. Member
Nov 25, 2010
981 posts
167 upvotes
Kanada
Dilton wrote:
May 2nd, 2012 8:05 pm
Which part of Canada has a better IT job market than BC/Alberta?

Quebec
[OP]
Member
Mar 24, 2007
430 posts
11 upvotes
resu wrote:
May 1st, 2012 6:26 pm
If you want to work in finance, I don't think investing X years in passing all the exams is worth your time. And you're right, the supply of act sci grads and the very limited demand for them is just scary. It doesn't help that you're in BC, since act sci seems to be a favourite among international students...

A physics degree from UofT puts you in a very good position for both finance and software/IT roles. You don't need a degree in CS or ECE, as long as you have the skillsets required, so taking some fundamental CS theory courses at UBC is a great idea, along with learning some languages on your own.

I can't get a entry level job without a related degree and job experience. I tried, it doesn't work.

A CS degree with transfer credits will take about 2.5 years, and I have access to school networking, internship/co-op. I think it is well worth it.

The biggest question is if I like CS...There is only one way to find out. :)
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jan 11, 2004
4518 posts
260 upvotes
Victoria
You will know after your first programming course whether it's for you or not. Since you took physics I would say chances are good you'll like it. Right now it looks like the market is heating up again here but it's always been decent even during the height of the recession guys that were dumped got picked up in a few weeks.

BTW you do not need a comp sci degree to get into the industry especially since you already have an undergrad degree! Just go to a college and do a two year program instead. BCIT is probably the best choice but the others are good too.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jan 11, 2004
4518 posts
260 upvotes
Victoria
mark77 wrote:
May 1st, 2012 6:31 pm
it job market is absolutely terrible in bc/alberta. Stay well away. Firms receive dozens, sometimes hundreds of resumes for each advertised position. Even high end talent (ie: Those with cs, ece, ee, it degrees) can find themselves unemployed for years after graduation, if they find jobs at all.

100% bs. My company finds it hard to even get good people and yes they pay market wages.
Member
May 17, 2011
306 posts
36 upvotes
GVRD
dealguy2 wrote:
Jan 23rd, 2013 11:14 am
100% bs. My company finds it hard to even get good people and yes they pay market wages.
+1

CS is in hot demand right now if you have experience and are GOOD. My company is struggling with recruiting as well, the problem is everyone wants an experienced developer/tester/architect/BA/PM etc so rates are going through the roof.

There is no demand for fresh CS grads unfortunately.
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