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Best mining engineering programs in Canada?

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  • Oct 19th, 2020 2:23 pm
[OP]
Jr. Member
Jun 10, 2015
151 posts
42 upvotes
Canada

Best mining engineering programs in Canada?

I am looking at Queen's and UBC. Are they both held in high esteem in the industry? I know Queen's has had some budget issues and hopefully they haven't hurt the mining department.
11 replies
Deal Addict
Apr 14, 2017
1967 posts
612 upvotes
DT Calgary
redflagdealsnewb wrote: I am looking at Queen's and UBC. Are they both held in high esteem in the industry? I know Queen's has had some budget issues and hopefully they haven't hurt the mining department.
Depends on what kind of mining you want to get into and where you want to work. Laurentian, Queens, and UofT are all on a similar footing in Ontario, and are geared more towards hard-rock mining. Laurentian has a brand new engineering building if you care about stuff like that.

Universities have partnerships with different companies. UofT seems to have more connections/partnerships with the Oil Sands, but if you're interested in that go to UofA. Laurentian is strong with companies in Kirkland Lake and Timmins. Getting a mining job in Sudbury is a little different, and from what I saw largely based on your family/friends connections. I don't know as much about Queens, but they seem to be close to being on a similar footing as to students/graduates working in Northern Ontario.

Honestly, it doesn't matter where you go, do well in your classes, be social, apply to places, etc.

UBC is good, but I don't know of many new grads/students working in Ontario from there. Most stay in the Western provinces.
Member
User avatar
Sep 16, 2015
236 posts
440 upvotes
Calgary, AB
I'd rank Canadian schools as (1) McGill, (2) Queen's and (3) U of A.
Member
Jan 29, 2020
293 posts
318 upvotes
Queen's Mining has been the go-to for the bottom 10% of the first year class for decades now. It is not a high performing department. Look to Geological engineering instead.
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Apr 8, 2006
2088 posts
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right now i would say gold mining.
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Oct 12, 2006
1793 posts
299 upvotes
Alberta
Cashforlife wrote: Queen's Mining has been the go-to for the bottom 10% of the first year class for decades now. It is not a high performing department. Look to Geological engineering instead.
Eh, I wouldn't use that as a judge of the quality of the department. It's just a gauge of the popularity of the program.
Member
Jan 29, 2020
293 posts
318 upvotes
Chingyul wrote: Eh, I wouldn't use that as a judge of the quality of the department. It's just a gauge of the popularity of the program.
Not using its popularity as a gauge, at all. It played at a high level for many years, but that was a long time ago. At Queen's, in 2020, you are way better off going into mineral exploration or geophysics, in the Geological Eng department.
Jr. Member
Dec 15, 2017
127 posts
117 upvotes
as someone who has worked in the mining industry for a decade, I really struggle to recommend that career path to anyone. Have you spoken to any mining engineers about work/life balance, commute, how their career paths affected their families, etc? It's a deeply cyclical industry, if commodity prices take a hit you can look at a decade of recession, wage cuts. Combined with long hours of shift work, remote work areas, living in camps, the travel, etc.

I've worked in oil sands, copper, coal, gold, and iron ore mines. Particularly with the political landscape these days towards ESG, I don't see a bright future for resources in Canada.
Member
Jan 29, 2020
293 posts
318 upvotes
miningminer wrote: as someone who has worked in the mining industry for a decade, I really struggle to recommend that career path to anyone. Have you spoken to any mining engineers about work/life balance, commute, how their career paths affected their families, etc? It's a deeply cyclical industry, if commodity prices take a hit you can look at a decade of recession, wage cuts. Combined with long hours of shift work, remote work areas, living in camps, the travel, etc.

I've worked in oil sands, copper, coal, gold, and iron ore mines. Particularly with the political landscape these days towards ESG, I don't see a bright future for resources in Canada.
I'm not in mining but rather in electrical/tech. One day I was a rock star chip designer trying to figure out the best colour for a Porsche, next day I could not get a job to save my life and was unemployed for a looong time while my government was running ads in other countries telling engineers to move here.

Only 40% of engineering grads are able to find jobs in engineering, 30% if you include foreign-trained. If you get an engineering job, you are on the roller coaster of the business cycles and you better remember to stack cash when times are good.

Thanks, I feel much better now. :-)
Sr. Member
Nov 22, 2017
611 posts
355 upvotes
Cashforlife wrote: I'm not in mining but rather in electrical/tech. One day I was a rock star chip designer trying to figure out the best colour for a Porsche, next day I could not get a job to save my life and was unemployed for a looong time while my government was running ads in other countries telling engineers to move here.

Only 40% of engineering grads are able to find jobs in engineering, 30% if you include foreign-trained. If you get an engineering job, you are on the roller coaster of the business cycles and you better remember to stack cash when times are good.

Thanks, I feel much better now. :-)
I agree, engineering has been dead in Canada for the last 30 years. Very few make it through the cracks and land a job actually doing engineering work, meaning designing something. Most engineers end up in some sort of administrative role. If you want to have a family down the line I would not pick up mining.

If you truly have a passion for it and are mentally prepared to deal with its downfalls, the top schools in my opinion are UofT, UofA, Queens, UBC, and Laurentian. I would try my best picking the school that offers co-op instead of looking at pure academics and pick the school that is located near the work, so Laurentian and UofA win in my opinion. Maybe even look at US schools, like Colorado School of Mines, West Virginia University, South Dakota Tech, Montana Tech, New Mexico. Just be wary the tuition is very expensive for foreign students but if you do get hired somewhere you'll probably make that back within 1-2 years. Best of luck.
Newbie
Dec 7, 2014
50 posts
51 upvotes
Scarborough, ON
Unless you don't mind living in the middle of absolutely nowhere for 10 months a year, I'd stay away from 'mining engineering.'
Jr. Member
Oct 28, 2013
150 posts
74 upvotes
Toronto
Extrahard wrote: I agree, engineering has been dead in Canada for the last 30 years. Very few make it through the cracks and land a job actually doing engineering work, meaning designing something. Most engineers end up in some sort of administrative role. If you want to have a family down the line I would not pick up mining.
I'm surprised to read this - I have a degree in electrical engineering from Queen's and I've never been unemployed. I've been laid off once but found a new job within a month, and I have moved around a few times as well. Purely technical roles (design work).

Mining program at Queens was a good program back in 2000, but be prepared to have to settle to live where the jobs are, and not necessarily where you want to live.

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