Since young, Nhat Nguyen has always been intrigued by computing. When a relative who was immigrating to research and innovation powerhouse Canada invited him to come along, Nguyen immediately agreed.
For Nguyen, Computer Science is an exciting subject. “I’m sure this is true for every person with a passion, but there’s just something about Computer Science that feels like a gateway to boundless knowledge.”
His Dalhousie experience proved his sentiments to be true. Here, Nguyen got to rub shoulders with some of the industry’s best –– all of whom played an active role in enriching his journey to mastery. Together, they taught him to understand the theory, design and application of Computer Science by exploring software development, algorithms, networking, graphics and more.
When the time came to pursue experiential opportunities, Nguyen was prepared. Computer Science students here can gain work experience through co-op placements with companies like IBM, Twitter, and the Ocean Tracking Network. As they apply classroom theory, explore career options, and strengthen their CVs, they get to earn up to 10,000 Canadian dollars per work term too.
Pair this emphasis on industry experience with the city of Halifax and students have a recipe for success –– there are enough opportunities here to go around. So much so, Nguyen found it hard to take his pick.
However, nothing sounded better than his university’s Faculty of Computer Science. The experience has helped him realise his passion for game development –– a field he’s confident he will be able to excel in once he graduates. “Being able to work at Ubisoft in Halifax would be the dream for me, as it is one of the biggest video game companies in the world with many AAA franchises,” Nguyen says.
Located on North America’s East Coast, Halifax is fast becoming one of Canada’s most exciting and vibrant technology and innovation hubs. Ubisoft isn’t the only thriving business that chose it as its home, esteemed multinationals like IBM and CGI have as well.
Here, businesses, talents and great ideas have merged to build the perfect ecosystem for innovation –– think some 2,000 companies of various sizes; 360 professional, scientific and technical services firms; over 80 software development and IT services firms; and more than 200 startups and scaleups that span IT, the life sciences, cleantech, oceantech, manufacturing.
There are so many opportunities that Dalhousie University has launched a movement to establish Nova Scotia as one of Canada’s top digital ecosystems in the next 5 years. Here We Code will provide even more jobs and opportunities for students who choose to study Computer Science, hence why much like Nguyen, international students at Dalhousie University –– representing 24% of over 20,000 students –– often choose to remain in close proximity once they graduate.
Take Abimbola Margaret Babalola, for instance. The Master of Applied Computer Science student from Nigeria has big dreams to conquer even bigger data as an analyst in Halifax once she graduates. “I believe data is the new oil and I love the way it’s changing the world,” she says.
If all else fails, she sees herself becoming a household name in software engineering. Only in her first year of studies, Babalola knows there’s plenty more ground to cover. Her course has opened her eyes to endless possibilities, but she can’t be blamed for her enthusiasm.
“I have taken some courses in cloud and serverless technologies and I want to explore those fields as I haven’t had the privilege yet,” she says. “But with the education I have gotten at Dalhousie so far, and those that I will still get, I feel I am prepared for anything.”
Exposure to excellence has this effect on learners. The springboard they chose has a reputation for discovery that precedes itself. Dalhousie University’s Faculty of Computer Science was founded in 1997 and has since cemented a reputation as a premier research institution in Atlantic Canada –– with strengths in artificial intelligence, machine learning, Big Data, human-computer interaction, visualisation and graphics, systems, networks and cybersecurity.
The best part? Everyone is welcome to become the best by learning from the best. Dalhousie University’s commitment to diversity in tech is evident through its award-winning We Are All CS initiative. Its mission is to attract and support the talents of tomorrow by increasing diversity in tech and empowering students from different backgrounds.
If you’re ready to use Computer Science as a means to drive innovation and design creative solutions for industry, government and society –– click here to learn more about the Faculty of Computer Science.