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Computer Systems Technology

Diploma

Program Overview

Computer systems technologists solve computer-related issues for businesses, government agencies, utilities, law enforcement agencies, health services providers, educational institutions and more. It’s a career that demands a unique blend of skills—computer literacy, technical know-how and communications savvy—but also lets you specialize in areas that interest you the most, including programming, software design, mobile application programming, data communications and web design.

The two-year Computer Systems Technology diploma is available full time at Saskatchewan Polytechnic Saskatoon campus, with a number of courses also available through distance and/or continuing education. Comprehensive technical training gives you a solid foundation of theory and hands-on lab practice in:

  • designing, installing and managing local area networks
  • developing computer programs in various programming languages
  • developing interactive web pages with multimedia components
  • developing proficiency in several common computer application packages
  • installing and configuring computer hardware and software
  • performing systems analysis and design
  • programming apps for mobile devices (smart phones, tablets, etc.)
  • providing end-user technical support services
  • troubleshooting and repairing hardware problems

You’ll also learn business principles, project management and communication skills—attributes potential employers look for when hiring for IT personnel.

Diploma to Degree

Transfer agreements with the University of Saskatchewan, University of Regina and University of Lethbridge let you ladder into a computer science degree with two more years of study. It’s a great way to expand your career horizons, while leaving the door open to earn a living with your diploma.

Career and Salary Information

Your Career

Graduates are prepared for a wide variety of jobs: computer programmer, software designer/developer, mobile app programming, network analyst, webmaster, web designer and systems administrator. You also have a broad choice of work environments in the public and private sectors. You could work in the IT department of a large organization or be a one-person IT department for a small business. You could join a company that provides computer sales, installation and support for other businesses. Or you could set up your own IT business and work directly with clients.

Potential Careers

Sample Job TitleNOC Classification1Earning Potential2
Mobile Application ProgrammerSoftware Engineers and Designers (2173)$31,200 - $112,800
Computer ProgrammerComputer Programmers and Interactive Media Developers (2174)$42,000 - $86,900
Network AdministratorComputer Network Technicians (2281)$31,200 - $100,100

Length and Start Date

Start Date(s): August

Length: 74 weeks: 

Year 1 - 37 weeks; Year 2 - 37 weeks

Note: Some year 1 semester 1 courses are offered online. If you plan to take these courses online, ensure that you apply for admission to the program as you near their successful completion. You must meet all admission requirements (including English language proficiency) at that time. Tuition for the online delivery of courses is significantly higher, as costs must be recovered in full.

Locations

  • Saskatoon
  • Distance Learning options available

Admissions

Admission Requirements

  • Grade 12
  • Minimum 60% in Foundations of Math 30 or Pre-Calculus 30*
  • Minimum 70% in one of the following sciences: Physics 30, Chemistry 30 or Computer Science 30
  • Minimum overall average of 65%
  • English Language Requirement

 
*Previous Saskatchewan mathematics requirement also accepted:

  • Minimum of 70% in Math B30

Special Admission

Applicants who do not possess the academic qualifications for a program may be admitted if evidence of probable success can be established through a special admission assessment. Interested individuals should still apply. Applicants are automatically considered for special admission. However, some specific admission requirements may still need to be met. Refer to the ACCUPLACER© cut scores for this program below, and review additional details concerning Special Admission.

ACCUPLACER©

  • 80 Arithmetic
  • 35 College Level Math
  • 75 Elementary Algebra
  • 75 Reading
  • 75 Sentence

Admission Method

First Qualified/First Admitted

The First Qualified/First Admitted (FQFA) process is used for the majority of Saskatchewan Polytechnic programs. When we determine that you meet the program's admission requirements, you will be offered admission based on the date you fully qualify for the program. The earlier you provide the appropriate documents and information that qualify you for admission to the next intake, the earlier you might begin your studies. Your application, once qualified, is always considered for the next intake. 

Applicants to programs with multiple intakes in an academic year remain in the application pool until the last intake for that academic year has begun. Programs using the FQFA process receive applications year round and maintain an application pool for each academic year. Qualified applicants who are not offered a seat must reapply for the next academic year. 

Sponsored programs or programs targeted to specific groups do not accept applications year round or maintain an application pool.

See Admission Processes for more information about this method of admission.

Tuition and Fees

Estimates are based on current rates and are subject to change. Amounts for a program may vary by campus. Totals shown here include all mandatory fees as well as books and supplies. For a complete breakdown of tuition and fees for this program, click here to access the Saskatchewan Polytechnic campus Tuition and Fee Schedules.

 

Year 1 - $7,100
Year 2 - $6,800

International Students

Saskatoon

Year 1 (37 weeks) - $17,000 tuition only (estimated)

Year 2 (37 weeks) - $16,300 tuition only (estimated)

Courses

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Year 1 - Semester 1

Code
Name/Description
Credits
 
ADMN 220
Organizational Behaviour
4
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You will study human behaviour in organizations and develop the skills needed to deal with people at work. Your studies include content on individual behaviour, values, interpersonal relationships and communications, groups and team dynamics, organizational culture, leadership, and change. You will study these aspects of human behavior within the context of diverse formal organizations.
Credit Units: 4
Course Hours: 64.0
Potential Learning Method(s): Prior Learning, Online, Televised/SCN, Lecture/Theory
BCOM 120
Business Communications 1
4
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You will develop fundamental employability skills by studying the principles of communication. The course content includes developing effective writing skills. You will apply the principles and skills by writing letters and memorandums for routine and negative purposes. You will develop teamwork employability skills and examine ways to apply communication skills to team and cross-cultural situations.
Credit Units: 4
Course Hours: 64.0
Equivalent Course(s): BCOM 104
Potential Learning Method(s): Prior Learning, Televised/SCN, Lecture/Theory, Print Distance Group
CNET 184
Data Communications and Networking 1
5
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You will be introduced to computer network standards, models and protocols. You will study the TCP/IP protocol and how computers communicate in small and large networks. You will identify network hardware and examine network troubleshooting. This course follows current Network+ certification curriculum.
Credit Units: 5
Course Hours: 68.0
Prerequisites(s): COOS 181(concurrent)
Equivalent Course(s): CNET 180
Potential Learning Method(s): Prior Learning, Online, Lecture/Lab
COAP 173
Data and Document Management
5
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You will be introduced to a document management system used to create, retrieve and process unstructured data in a quick and efficient manner. You will learn about the functionality and features of document management. You will be introduced to data management concepts using an industry standard electronic spreadsheet. Your studies will focus on the appropriate application of an electronic spreadsheet with a focus on information management.
Credit Units: 5
Course Hours: 68.0
Potential Learning Method(s): Online, Lecture/Lab
COOS 181
Operating Systems
5
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You will be provided with the knowledge and skills required to install and configure Windows based computers/devices in a corporate environment. You will learn how to install and customize Windows operating Systems and Apps and configure local and remote network connectivity and storage. You will also learn how to configure systems for Security and maintain/update and recover Windows based systems. You will also be provided with an overview of desktop management tools available in Linux and Apple operating systems that provide similar functionality to that which was discussed for Windows Based systems.
Credit Units: 5
Course Hours: 68.0
Prerequisites(s): CNET 184(concurrent)
Equivalent Course(s): COOS 180
Potential Learning Method(s): Online, Lecture/Lab
COSC 180
Introduction to Programming
7
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You will develop problem-solving skills through the use of detailed algorithms and be introduced to structured and object oriented design techniques. The course content includes standard program syntax, variable types, operators, input/output statements, decision and loop control structures, methods, encapsulation, instantiating and using objects.
Credit Units: 7
Course Hours: 100.0
Potential Learning Method(s): Prior Learning, Online, Lecture/Lab
CWEB 180
Web Site Development
5
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You will learn how to use HyperText Markup Language (HTML) to develop Web pages for delivery over the World Wide Web. You will also learn how to plan and develop HTML documents to build a Web site based on W3 standards and enhance HTML documents using current techniques such as Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) site management using current software.
Credit Units: 5
Course Hours: 68.0
Equivalent Course(s): CNET 191
Potential Learning Method(s): Prior Learning, Online, Lecture/Lab

Year 1 - Semester 2

Code
Name/Description
Credits
 
CDBM 190
Introduction to Database Management
5
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You will receive instruction and practice in using an industry standard database management application program. You will learn how to design queries, forms and reports to manage an underlying database. You will also create functions and procedures to add advanced functionality to the database management system.
Credit Units: 5
Course Hours: 75.0
Prerequisites(s): COSC 180
Corequisites(s):
Potential Learning Method(s): Prior Learning, Online, Lecture/Lab
COHS 190
Hardware
4
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You will be introduced to various computer hardware components. Your studies will cover the terminology associated with computer systems and peripherals. Additionally your studies will provide you with the opportunity to install components, connect peripherals, and configure computer systems. Your studies will include operational and safety procedures.
Credit Units: 4
Course Hours: 60.0
Equivalent Course(s): CNET 106, ELTR 287
Potential Learning Method(s): Prior Learning, Online, Lecture/Lab
COOS 190
Systems Administration 1
4
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You will enhance your network management and monitoring skills by using administrative tools to set up, manage and use basic network services (including directory services, server file systems, network printing and network security). You will learn how to set up and administer user accounts in an organization and make network services available to the users.
Credit Units: 4
Course Hours: 60.0
Potential Learning Method(s): Prior Learning, Online, Lecture/Lab
COSA 190
Systems Analysis and Design
4
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You will explore and apply the concepts required to analyze, design, create, install and document a systems project. You will be exposed to key project management concepts and practices. You will be introduced to an industry standard modeling graphical language.
Credit Units: 4
Course Hours: 60.0
Prerequisites(s): COSC 180
Corequisites(s):
Potential Learning Method(s): Prior Learning, Online, Lecture/Lab
COSC 190
Intermediate Programming
6
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You will receive a further introduction to the concepts of object-oriented programming. You will study the design of classes and objects, and utilize standard file input/output techniques. You will become familiar with and be able to manipulate such advanced data structures as stacks and queues. The course content includes introductory GUI and thread-based programming.
Credit Units: 6
Course Hours: 90.0
Prerequisites(s): COSC 180
Corequisites(s):
Potential Learning Method(s): Prior Learning, Online, Lecture/Lab
CWEB 190
Internet Programming/Web Applications 1
4
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You will receive instruction and practice in the development of client-side Web applications. You will use JavaScript to improve Web page design, validate forms, detect browsers, create cookies, and detect and respond to user actions.
Credit Units: 4
Course Hours: 60.0
Prerequisites(s): COSC 180, CWEB 180
Equivalent Course(s): COSC 287
Potential Learning Method(s): Online, Lecture/Lab
TCOM 190
Technical Communications
3
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You will be introduced to the basic principles of effective technical writing in the computer industry. The necessity of following company standards for documentation will be emphasized. You will review grammar and style, and learn technical formats and report design. The production of technical documentation for a variety of user groups will also be emphasized.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Prerequisites(s): BCOM 120
Corequisites(s):
Equivalent Course(s): BCOM 121, TCOM 103
Potential Learning Method(s): Prior Learning, Online, Lecture/Theory

Year 1 - Semester 3

Code
Name/Description
Credits
 
COSA 195
Systems Project
4
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You will gain experience in small systems analysis, design and implementation. You will be assigned to groups and given the specifications for a software system. You will work together as a team to develop a working system for the client. Emphasis is on the software development process.
Credit Units: 4
Course Hours: 60.0
Prerequisites(s): CDBM 190, COSA 190, COSC 190
Corequisites(s): CPMG 195
Equivalent Course(s): COSP 191
Potential Learning Method(s): Online, Lecture/Lab
COSC 195
Mobile Application Programming
3
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You will develop mobile application programs. Your studies will focus on the Android mobile environment and include an understanding of the mobile application development environment. You will develop simple and advanced mobile applications as well as understand mobile environment limitations and security issues with mobile applications. You will have an opportunity to publish mobile applications.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 40.0
Prerequisites(s): COSC 190
Potential Learning Method(s): Online, Lecture/Lab
CPMG 195
Systems Project Management
1
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You will practice project management, documentation, meeting and presentation skills. As a contributor to a computer system development project, you will prepare for and participate in project meetings, prepare project management documentation, manage progress using project management techniques, maintain storage of project documentation and deliver a presentation on the project to the client.
Credit Units: 1
Course Hours: 20.0
Prerequisites(s): COSA 190, TCOM 190
Corequisites(s): COSA 195
Equivalent Course(s): COSP 190
Potential Learning Method(s): Online, Lecture/Lab
CWEB 195
Website Interface Design
2
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You will plan and create a small website following current best practices. You will analyze website requirements. Using those requirements and following usability guidelines, you will design a site that works well on both desktop and mobile devices. You will apply responsive web design techniques as well as creating mobile-dedicated websites. You will choose and create appropriate media for website content.
Credit Units: 2
Course Hours: 30.0
Prerequisites(s): CWEB 190
Equivalent Course(s): COMP 190
Potential Learning Method(s): Online, Lecture/Lab

Year 2 - Semester 4

Code
Name/Description
Credits
 
CDBM 280
Database Management Systems
6
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You will receive instruction and practice in planning, designing and accessing data in a relational database. You will study the theory behind relational databases, relational database nomenclature and optimizing database design through normalization. You will create queries and manipulate a relational database using standard SQL statements (including using SQL in a procedural environment to create procedures, functions and triggers). You will also explore report generation using queries.
Credit Units: 6
Course Hours: 85.0
Prerequisites(s): CDBM 190
Corequisites(s):
Potential Learning Method(s): Online, Lecture/Lab
CNET 280
Data Communications and Networking 2
5
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You will study the advanced concepts of data communications for networked computing including: network services, protocols and networking models. You will study traditional wired and wireless networks as well as voice over IP (VoIP) and video over IP technologies. This course follows the current Network+ certification curriculum.
Credit Units: 5
Course Hours: 68.0
Prerequisites(s): CNET 184
Potential Learning Method(s): Prior Learning, Online, Lecture/Lab
COHS 280
Enterprise Systems Support
3
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You will gain valuable expertise in assessing, documenting and responding to an assortment of help desk situations. You will acquire knowledge regarding computer deployment in an enterprise environment. You will also deploy antivirus software, monitor software license compliancy and perform network resource inventory in an enterprise environment.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 51.0
Prerequisites(s): COHS 190
Equivalent Course(s):
Potential Learning Method(s): Online, Lecture/Lab
COSA 280
IT Development Project 1
3
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You will study and employ the practical and theoretical concepts obtained in first year systems analysis and design courses by building an IT system. You will work as part of a development team on an IT problem for an external industry client. Your project will include the production and demonstration of functioning components of the system each release within deadlines set out in your project management documentation.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 51.0
Prerequisites(s): CDBM 280(concurrent), COSA 195, CPMG 195
Corequisites(s): CPMG 280
Potential Learning Method(s): Online, Lecture/Lab
COSC 286
Advanced Programming 1
6
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You will study the use of predefined abstract data types and user defined abstract data types to improve program modularity. Your studies will include the design and implementation of abstract data types using object-oriented data structures. Topics will include alternative implementations of data structures and sorting techniques using interfaces, collections and iterators.
Credit Units: 6
Course Hours: 85.0
Prerequisites(s): COSC 190
Potential Learning Method(s): Online, Lecture/Lab
CPMG 280
IT Development Project Management 1
1
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You will practice project management, documentation, meeting and presentation skills. As a contributor to a computer system development project, you will prepare for and participate in project meetings, prepare project management documentation, adapt project management processes as required, manage progress using project management techniques and manage storage of project documentation.
Credit Units: 1
Course Hours: 17.0
Prerequisites(s): COSA 195, CPMG 195
Corequisites(s): COSA 280
Potential Learning Method(s): Online, Lecture/Lab
CWEB 280
Internet Programming/Web Applications 2
6
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You will receive instruction and practice in the development of server-side Web applications. You will learn how to write scripts that allow remote users to interface with databases existing on a World Wide Web server. You will become familiar with Hypertext Preprocessor (PHP), Structured Query Language (SQL), and Ajax.
Credit Units: 6
Course Hours: 85.0
Prerequisites(s): CDBM 280(concurrent), COSC 190, CWEB 195
Equivalent Course(s): COSC 293
Potential Learning Method(s): Online, Lecture/Lab
MATH 282
Mathematics of Computation
3
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You will investigate the characteristics of discrete and continuous systems from a programming perspective and compare and contrast programming techniques required for dealing with discrete system data (Boolean values, integer numbers, and character data) with those for continuous system data (floating point numbers). You will also investigate the nature and propagation of error as a result of programming. You will explore number systems and programming techniques for solving simultaneous equations, integrating functions, finding roots, compressing data and encrypting data.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 51.0
Prerequisites(s): COSC 190
Corequisites(s):
Potential Learning Method(s): Online, Lecture/Lab
SEM 283
Seminar
1
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You will learn about topics of interest in the computer technology field from speakers representing various companies in industry.
Credit Units: 1
Course Hours: 17.0
Potential Learning Method(s): Online, Lecture/Lab

Year 2 - Semester 5

Code
Name/Description
Credits
 
COOS 291
Advanced Operating Systems
5
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You will learn to work with both the command line and graphical interfaces of the Linux operating system. In addition you will learn about the file system, shell programming, system and network administration. Special emphasis will be placed on learning about Linux networks and telecommunications studies.
Credit Units: 5
Course Hours: 75.0
Prerequisites(s): COOS 181
Equivalent Course(s): COOS 280
Potential Learning Method(s): Online, Lecture/Lab
COOS 293
Systems Administration 2
4
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You will study advanced network administration skills by managing network servers and services. You will study how to oversee a complex network environment and learn how to configure numerous network services with a variety of administrative tools. You will use Microsoft Official Academic Course (MOAC) curriculum and training materials. On completion of this course, you will have covered the learning objectives required in the Microsoft 70-411 certification exam. The Computer Systems Technology program does not provide exams for Microsoft certification.
Credit Units: 4
Course Hours: 60.0
Prerequisites(s): COOS 190 or CNET 190
Potential Learning Method(s): Online, Lecture/Lab
COOS 294
Enterprise Server Administration
4
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You will study administration skills for specialized enterprise level servers. You will study how to plan and install a mail server infrastructure. You will then learn how to perform ongoing configuration and management of the servers.
Credit Units: 4
Course Hours: 60.0
Prerequisites(s): COOS 190 or CNET 190
Potential Learning Method(s): Online, Lecture/Lab
COSA 290
IT Development Project 2
6
Show course details
You will continue your work as part of a development team on an IT problem for an external industry client that was started in COSA 280. Your project will include the production and demonstration of functioning components of the system each released within deadlines set out in your project management documentation. You will present the final product to the client.
Credit Units: 6
Course Hours: 90.0
Prerequisites(s): COSA 280, CDBM 280, CPMG 280
Corequisites(s): CPMG 290
Potential Learning Method(s): Online, Lecture/Lab
COSC 292
Advanced Programming 2
4
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You will study structured programming techniques, a procedural language, functions, pointers, file input/output, records and dynamic memory management to create applications.
Credit Units: 4
Course Hours: 60.0
Prerequisites(s): COSC 286
Potential Learning Method(s): Online, Lecture/Lab
COSC 295
Advanced Mobile Application Programming
4
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You will study basic iOS application development for Apple mobile devices and cross platform development that works on Android and Apple devices. Your studies will include an introduction to a programming language required to create applications for iOS mobile devices. Also, you will utilize a cross platform development tool to create a mobile application that can run on multiple platforms.
Credit Units: 4
Course Hours: 60.0
Prerequisites(s): COSC 195
Potential Learning Method(s): Online, Lecture/Lab
CPMG 290
IT Development Project Management 2
2
Show course details
You will continue your project management work from CPMG 280. You will continue to improve your project management, documentation, meeting and presentation skills. As well, you will make use of project monitoring techniques. As a contributor to a computer system development project, you will prepare for and participate in project meetings, prepare project management documentation, adapt project management processes as required, manage progress using project management techniques, manage storage of project documentation and deliver a presentation on a project.
Credit Units: 2
Course Hours: 30.0
Prerequisites(s): COSA 280, CPMG 280
Corequisites(s): COSA 290
Equivalent Course(s): TCOM 290
Potential Learning Method(s): Online, Lecture/Lab
TCOM 291
Career Path Search
1
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You will prepare a career path portfolio based on your accumulated skills, qualifications and accomplishments. You will prepare your resume and cover letter to target an IT job posting. In a simulated job interview, you will answer behavioural questions and demonstrate the use of a career path portfolio.
Credit Units: 1
Course Hours: 15.0
Equivalent Course(s): JOBS 288, TCOM 295
Potential Learning Method(s): Online, Lecture/Lab

Year 2 - Semester 6

Code
Name/Description
Credits
 
COET 295
Emerging Technologies
3
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You will study the subject of new/emerging technologies, and you will examine how these technologies can change existing markets and development environments. You will gain experience in working with software and/or hardware that can be classified as part of the emerging technology paradigm.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 50.0
Prerequisites(s): COHS 280, COOS 293, COSC 292, COSC 295
Equivalent Course(s):
Potential Learning Method(s): Online, Lecture/Lab
COOS 295
Systems Administration 3
3
Show course details
You will study the advanced configuration of services necessary to deploy, manage and maintain a Windows Server infrastructure in an enterprise. You will learn such skills as fault tolerance, certificate services, advanced file services, advanced access control, and identity federation. You will use Microsoft Official Academic Course (MOAC) curriculum and training materials. After completing the course, you will be prepared to write the Microsoft 70-412 certification exam. The Computer Systems Technology program does not provide exams for Microsoft certification.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 50.0
Prerequisites(s): COOS 293 or CNET 293
Equivalent Course(s): CNET 295
Potential Learning Method(s): Online, Lecture/Lab
CSEC 295
Security Topics
3
Show course details
You will learn how to secure a corporate network against theft and malicious destruction of information. You will be trained to meet the need for an effective IT workforce to combat hackers, attackers and security threats. You will learn how to maintain the integrity of an organization's communications, network infrastructure and day-to-day operations.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 50.0
Prerequisites(s): COHS 280, COOS 293, COSC 292, COSC 295
Potential Learning Method(s): Online, Lecture/Lab

PLAR & Transfer Credit

Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition

Saskatchewan Polytechnic recognizes that adults learn in many different ways and through many different means. This includes acquiring knowledge and skills through life and work experience or non-formal training. A detailed Candidate Guide, which includes a self-audit for all PLAR-ready courses, has been developed for this program. This information guides a candidate through all steps in the PLAR process.


Transfer Credit

Many Saskatchewan Polytechnic students benefit from transferring credit. You may be eligible to transfer credit from or to another college or university. To learn more, visit our transfer credit web page.

 


Transfer credit options vary over time; this information is subject to change. Transfer credit options for this program include:

  • block transfer of 54 credits toward the Computer Science degree program, University of Saskatchewan (You can complete the degree in two years)
  • transfer of credit for the first two years toward Computer Science degree programs at the following universities may be recognized: University of Regina, University of Lethbridge and Athabasca University

Student Awards

Thanks to the generosity of donors and alumni, Saskatchewan Polytechnic gives away more than $2 million in student awards during the academic year.

Saskatchewan Polytechnic offers student awards for every certificate and diploma program at every campus. You don't have to be a brainiac to receive a student award. Not all student awards are based on marks - some are based on financial need or things like community or volunteer involvement.

More about scholarships

Accreditation

Canadian Information Processing Society (CIPS) until December 31, 2015

The Canadian Information Processing Society accredits the program, which means your education is recognized across Canada. Saskatchewan Polytechnic is also a member of the Microsoft Developer Network Academic Alliance (MSDNAA), which ensures that you’re learning on the most current software.

Additional Information

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