Applying universities in Canada (apply for master or bachelor's program )

ycc (carol)
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I am an international master student of CS in Queen's.
I am very glad to share my opinion and experience of applying
for Canadian universities with others who are interested in this.
Hope can do some help.

I will conclude my opinoin in answering several questions and
post them one by one. But please notice it's just my personal
opinion for your reference. You will make your own decision
based on your specific circumstance. Welcome any feedback.

(1) apply for master or bachelor program
If you have the same or similar background(major of bachelor
degree), you can apply for a master's degree, or it's quite hard to
be admitted only if you can give strong prove that you are
capable to do research in the field you are applying.

If you have bachelor's degree in CS, CE or EE, which are quite
hot and easy to find job here and also you are interested in the
field, I suggest you go for a master's degree. Reasons:
a) master's are better paid than bachelor's
b) most hi-tech companies prefer to recruit master's
c) most master's program offer financial aid. and normally will
be full financial aid, no need to get loan.
d) You will have enough opportunities and time to improve your
language, enrich your knowledge and accumulate your
experience, say ability to give presentation, work on big and
useful project, and so on which will help a lot for your future
career even in finding a job.

BTW, even if you are not admitted by the normal thesis-based
master program, check the universities' website to see if they
have pattern 2(courses-based program). Normally you should
pay your own tuition, but you can finish much quicker(4terms)
than the thesis-based program (over 2 years) and the same
master's degree. And they are much easier to be admitted.

If you are major in other field, consult your friends or anyone
you know that in this field about the job opportunities. I know a
lot of Chinese here holding the master's degree(Canadian
one) still can't find a job(for example economics). Later they
still go for bachelor's degree in CS. So you should consider
which major you are going for first before you make any other decision.

So my suggestion is if your major is hard to find a job here, go
for a second-degree program(bachelor's) in such hot field(CS,
CE, EE, Nurse...). The reasons include:
a) You are more likely to be admitted than the master program.
b) You only need to take courses, no need to struggle for the
theis research.
c) You can apply internship or summer job in the second or third
year. Some universities, say Waterloo, they have co-op
program which takes totally almost 5 years, but in two years
you are working for those companies, earning money and
d) Normally you can transfer credits from your first degree.
Say Queen's CS second-degree program, you only need to
take 16 courses, chances are you can finish in no more than
2 years.
e) With bachelor's degree here, you are quite likely to be
admitted to master program if you want to.

But sure you should take care of the money issue as you have
to pay your tuition. Try to get federal and provincial loan, they are
worthy to borrow.

PS, the above suggestion is based on the case that you are PR

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