Project Partner: Mount Royal University
Languages: English and French


Computing as an educational discipline and as a career destination has always been characterized by change and transformation. Since 2004, the ACM (Association for Computing Machinery) and the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) have provided curriculum recommendations to help clarify emerging sub-disciplines and prepare professionals who are entering these fields. These guidelines are oriented towards curriculum developers in higher education, and thus focused on the technicalities of what should be ideally taught within different computing programs. 

Our original research with undergraduate students indicated that most did not understand the differences between the different computing sub-disciplines. Our team (Randy Connolly, Janet Miller & Faith-Michael Uzoka – Mount Royal University) also found that career counsellors and career development specialists needed more information to support their clients. 

This research-informed approach to understanding the computing disciplines resulted in a beautifully designed, 32-page document, available free for download from CERIC at Based on demand, a French adaptation of the guide was also released and can be accessed at In 2020, the 40-page second edition of the Guide was launched at Cannexus20 and featured new areas of specialization within computing, providing more information about pathways into computing careers as well as career advice from professionals working in these fields. 

We know that students like the way the guide explains things – it has a graphic visual design that depicts the activities and responsibilities for each role. It also outlines key courses for each program and provides information on academic choices. If you are a career counsellor or academic advisor, you can use the guide to engage your clients in a discussion of possibilities based on solid information about each career. The guide also helps to inform client choices by clarifying the similarities and differences between these career paths. 

Over the past four years both the computing industry and computing education have experienced significant change and growth. New areas such as data science, AI and cybersecurity have burst onto the educational scene, complicating the work of high school counsellors, parents and prospective students seeking understanding of educational pathways into computing careers.   

For these reasons, we are working on a Third Edition of the Guide that will capture and illustrate these changes. The Guide already profiles individuals from diverse backgrounds, but we aim to include more EDI content by adding detailed testimonials from BIPOC professionals. We will also be adding information about educational pathways available through our more Northern universities, colleges and technical institutes. This edition of the Guide would again be published in both English and French and is expected to be released at the Cannexus conference in Ottawa in January 2025.