Computing Careers and Disciplines

Author(s) Randy Connolly, Janet Miller and Faith-Michael Uzoka
Publisher CERIC
ISBN 978-1-988066-59-2


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The field of computing has expanded rapidly over the past 10-15 years, and students need better information about the field and its related careers. In reality, there is no single computing discipline but at least five. Including different sub-specialties, there are dozens of possible computing educational paths for prospective students.

The second edition of this guide (2020), produced by Mount Royal University and funded by CERIC, answers these three questions.

  • Why should you consider computing when choosing a career?
  • What kind of computing jobs are out there?
  • What kind of education pathways will guide you to the computing career you desire?

The guide outlines the five distinct computing disciplines identified by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and how the disciplines relate to specific job titles and tasks. Listings of core courses, sample degrees and other pathways at Canadian colleges and universities are also provided for each discipline. The five computing disciplines are:

  • Computer science
  • Computer engineering
  • Information systems
  • Information technology
  • Software engineering

The guide is designed to support prospective students, career practitioners, academic advisors and career counsellors by outlining these five areas of practice. This information will help students to better understand what each one of the computing disciplines does and which best suits their interests, talents, skills and abilities. This is expected to inform their choice of education program and major selection.

Get Your Copy

The guide can be accessed in a variety of formats to suit your needs…

  • Download the free epdf
  • Purchase bulk copies (10 or more) at $10 through CERIC by contacting


Michelle Francis-Doyle, RSW Employment Counselor, PETL- Post Secondary Education Training & Labour, NB

Thank you both for creating and providing the career world with the Computing Disciplines – ‘A Quick Guide for Prospective Students & Career Advisors.’ This was a much needed resource and is absolutely a pleasure to read, easy to work with and effective for supporting exploration. I am very excited to put this to good use with my team and my clients!

Charmaine Rodrick, Career Resource Advisor, Trent University Career Centre, ON

Thank you for the wonderful resource you funded on Computing Disciplines.  It is clearly presented and will be very helpful for advisors and students.  I will pass it along to many who many find it useful.

Kristina Rourke, Program Manager, Campus SAT Youth, Quebec

A huge thank you for this guide, it is super relevant and I intend to share it with our camp counsellors.