Computer Systems Technician

Cornwall Campus | Program Code: 1108 | Open for International Students
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This program will prepare the student to fill the role of technical support in the dynamic and expanding field of client/server comput­ing, cloud computing, O/S virtualization, enterprise networks, administration and Internet management. Students complete a work placement component that provides on-the-job training with a local company in their final semester.

Our courses are constantly evolving to incorporate a blend of leading edge and traditional technologies to meet the needs of local employers. This program is well suited to people who are interested in computers, but not math, physics or electronics. Many of the courses in the CN&TS program train the students towards obtaining Microsoft, A+, LPIC-1, and Network + certifications.

Program Details

Code 1108
Start Date January, September
Credential Ontario College Diploma
Campus Cornwall
Program Length 2 Years
Delivery Full-Time
Open for international students

Program Highlights

Students receive hands-on training in:

  • Computer hardware
  • Applied Internet technology
  • Software installation
  • Scripting procedures
  • Diagnostics
  • Network installation
  • Operating systems
  • Maintenance
  • User support
  • Website administration
  • Operating system virtualization

Learning takes place in both classrooms and computer labs. Faculty bring a wealth of real-world experiences to the classroom. A num­ber of courses in the curriculum are delivered in dedicated a lab using exclusively assigned computers, virtual servers and diverse equipment.

Program Outline


This course introduces students to the fundamental mathematical concepts relevant to applied computing. Students consolidate basic arithmetic and algebra skills (e.g., order of operations, percentages/fractions, polynomials). Further, students develop competency with core computing numbers systems (e.g., binary, octal, decimal, hexadecimal), symbolic logic (e.g., if/and/or/not statements), and probability/combinations. Rudimentary business math skills (e.g., present/future values, interest, etc.) as they pertain to applied computing careers are introduced.

This course is designed to help students develop and practice the communication skills needed to succeed in college and workforce environments. Emphasis is placed on improving foundational communication strategies-reading, writing, listening, and speaking—and on developing research and critical thinking skills. 

This foundational course offers students an overview of essential data concepts within digital computing systems. Participants will delve into introductory data modeling ideas within the realm of relational databases. A detailed exploration of prominent data languages and formats, including HTML, YAML, and JSON, further enriches the learning experience.

This course offers students an introduction to vital networking terminology, mediums, network interface cards (NIC), and an array of topologies and architectures. Through a blend of theoretical and practical approaches, students will delve into the fundamentals of simple network operations, Ethernet, protocols, and network operating systems. Discussions will further encompass Local Area Network (LAN) and Wide Area Network (WAN). The course aims to develop foundational networking skills, focusing on understanding protocols, network architecture, and essential troubleshooting techniques.

This course provides an introduction to programming using the C and C++ language.The course introduces students to program development and prepares students to producing readable and maintainable programs following industry standards. Students will be introduced to using a Git repositories while completing assignments and labs. Topics covered include: variables, data types, assignment/arithmetic, input/output,repetition, selection, arrays and file output.


This course is an introduction to the interaction between hardware and software. Students study the functions of and interactions between major hardware components in computer systems. The relationship among system software, application software and data is included in an explanation of how a computer system works. Students develop the skills necessary to properly use and care for a personal computer from outside the case will be covered.

This course develops students' ability to programatically manage computer systems. This includes both automating tasks and using programatic tools to diagnose and resolve operating system level issues. Building on introductory programming experience, this course introduces scripting languages that are optimized for operating system management. On completion of this course, students can effective manage heterogenous computer system environments using the languages taught.

Prerequisite(s): COMP1016 Introduction to C++ Programming 

In this course, students develop advanced knowledge of and skills in using the Linux Operating System. Students discuss Linux Administration and O/S Virtualization in terms of installation, configuration, and maintenance. This course focuses on administration, running, and maintenance of Linux Server environments including configuration of DHCP, DNS, CUPS, and SAMBA.

Prerequisite(s): COMP83

This course builds on students' introductory knowledge of networking concepts to develop their competency in switching and routing technologies. Students learn the detailed operation of Ethernet technologies and advanced network switch configuration. Internetworking concepts are mastered and students learn how to implement various routing schemes on network devices. Techniques for troubleshooting network issues area explored. The role and configuration of ancillary network devices, such as firewalls and load balancers, is introduced.

Prerequisite(s): COMP 1017 - NETWORKING 1 

This course is designed to teach students the fundamental concepts of the Linux Operating System. Students are introduced to the essentials of Linux in terms basic Linux operation, command line, configuration, and maintenance. This course emphasizes the development of students skills in operating, running, and maintaining Linux systems. Topics include administration of common tasks such as User and Group management, File System management, package management as well as System Performance monitoring and troubleshooting. This course begins preparing students for the LPIC-1 certification.

This course grants students a foundational knowledge of Microsoft Windows operating systems, with the aim to adeptly install, configure, and maintain Windows-centered computer systems. Key system settings and concepts are explored, equipping students with the tools to effectively administer and troubleshoot Windows environments within a larger enterprise framework. While the primary focus revolves around Windows client systems, aspects of Windows server systems are also incorporated into the instructional scope.


This course provide students with the skills required to provide technical support to end users. Students master troubleshooting skills using critical thinking, industry best practices, research, and system utilities. Processes for supporting the enterprise computing environment are introduced and rehearsed familiarizing students with contemporary service desk practices. Students also become familiar with applications used to administer computer systems at scale.

Prerequisite(s): COMP30 + COMP203 + COMP83

In this course, students take a practical approach to deployment of web server technologies hosted on a public Cloud platform. Students deploy, optimize, secure, monitor, and backup their infrastructure. By the end of the course, students have a public facing content management system.

Prerequisite(s): COMP 83 & COMP 1022 

This course prepares students for a career in the information technology field. Students gain an understanding of various technical roles and their impact on the enterprise. Using an understanding of these roles, students learn to develop career plans. Job search, resume, and interview skills are taught with an emphasis on technology-related conventions. Students also develop the ability to operate as continuous learners, guiding their own development.

In this course, students will develop skills in programmatic problem-solving, focusing predominantly on cloud infrastructure applications. The curriculum introduces Infrastructure as Code tools, with emphasis on Terrform, to manage infrastructure translations effectively in both public and private cloud domains. Additionally, the course provides hands-on experience with scripting technologies like PowerShell to tackle cloud management hurdles. Complementary to the above, an inquiry into vendor-specific cloud solutions that enable programmatic access and control will also be incorporated.

Prerequisite(s): COMP1016 - Introduction to C++ Programming

This course equips students with advanced proficiency in managing the Windows Server operating system. Students will learn about the installation, provisioning, configuration, and operation of Windows Server. This course provides an in-depth understanding of specific technologies, including Identity and Authentication Management, Network Services, Resource Sharing, Storage Services, Security, and Monitoring.

Prerequisite(s): COMP 1022 WINDOWS 1

In this course, students develop advanced knowledge of and skills in using the Linux Operating System. Students discuss Linux Administration and O/S Virtualization in terms of installation, configuration, and maintenance. This course focuses on administration, running, and maintenance of Linux Server environments including configuration of DHCP, DNS, CUPS, and SAMBA.

Prerequisite(s): COMP83

Students design and implement contemporary computer networks using knowledge gained in previous networking and operating systems courses. Students learn the principles of LAN and WAN design and create their own network designs. Students learn to use computer-drawing tools to document their designs. Network requirements for the integration of voice, data and multimedia are studied. Advanced network troubleshooting techniques using specialized utilities is explored in depth. The automation of network configuration and administration through scripting languages is taught. Emerging trends in network design and management are introduced and discussed.

Prerequisite(s): COMP3014

This course is designed to teach students concepts of virtualization and containerization. Students study and apply techniques to setup, manage and maintain a scalable, redundant and secure cloud computing enviroment. This course focuses on understanding the difference between, when to use, and how to apply both virtualization and containerization in a cloud environment.

Prerequisite(s): COMP83

This course represents the culmination of the student's progress in modern networking technology. It introduces advanced topics in TCP/IP networking to develop the skillset needed to optimize a computer network's performance. Additionally, it delves deeply into network security, providing hands-on exploration of this important aspect. The course emphasizes the importance of robust network monitoring, as both optimization and security rely on it.

Prerequisite(s): COMP 223 - Networking 3

The rapidly evolving field of Internet of Things (IoT) Technologies is briefly interrogated in this course. The curriculum is aimed at providing students a comprehensive understanding of the core concepts and principles of IoT. With a focus on its application and potential for transformation across various sectors, the course also outlines the broader implications on privacy, security, and ethics. The course balances theoretical knowledge with practical applications, creating well-rounded comprehension across all aspects of IoT Technologies.

Prerequisite(s): COMP 1017 NETWORKING 1

This course allows students to experience working in an IT role and to demonstrate their mastery of the CST skillset. Under the supervision of an industry employer, students leverage the skills developed in the program to meet their organization's IT goals. Aided by faculty coaching, students learn to embody the essential employability skills necessary for career success.

Prerequisite(s): CARE10

This course provides students with a simulated work experience where they take on the role of an IT professional. Under guidance from a facilitor, students demonstrate their mastery of both the CST skillset and the essential employability skills necessary for career success. Students work both individually and in teams to achieve their objectives.

Prerequisite(s): CARE10


Admission Requirements

Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) with the majority of Grade 11 and 12 courses at the C, U or M level including the following prerequisites:

  • Grade 12 English at the C or M level
  • Grade 11 Math at the C, or U level

For OSSD equivalency options, see Admission Requirements.

If you are missing prerequisite courses, enroll in the Career/College Prep program - free for Ontario residents who are 19 years or older. 

Other Requirements

Technical Requirements

Students require their own laptop computer: 

  • CPU: i5 minimum.  i7 recommended.
  • RAM: 8GB RAM minimum. 16GB recommended.
  • Hard drive: 256GB SSD minimum. 512GB recommended.
  • Webcam and microphone (built-in or external).
  • Operating System: Windows 10 (free upgrade available through SLC).

Students will use the laptop for lectures, labs, assessments, and coursework. Students cannot share laptops. St. Lawrence College will provide most or all software required for the program.



Program Fees
Ancillary Fees
$2,721.36 CAD
Program Fees
$150.00 CAD
Ancillary Fees
$1,002.63 CAD
$3,873.99 CAD

Fees are estimates only.  Tuition is based on two semesters.

Program Fees
Ancillary Fees
$16,430.00 CAD
Program Fees
$150.00 CAD
Ancillary Fees
$1,771.65 CAD
$18,351.65 CAD

Fees are estimates only.  Tuition is based on two semesters.


Our Cornwall campus has a brand new library, new health simulation labs, renovated student common areas and more to make your transition to college life an easy one.

Cornwall Campus

Career Opportunities

Prospects for both employment and ad­vancement in the Information Technology industry are excellent. Over the past few years, the demand for IT professionals in Canada has doubled as baby boomers opt for retirement.

CST graduates are employed in:

  • Hardware/software support
  • Network administration
  • Help desk support
  • Internet resource management
  • Network support and installation
  • Network design

Our graduates find employment in:

  • Government
  • Corporations
  • Military
  • Hospitals
  • Education sector

Other Information

Information about Placement

Students have a placement  during the final 4th semester for 2 days per week.  Students find their own placement with the assistance of a faculty coordinator.  The faculty coordinator approves and monitors the placement. Students have found placement at Empire Life, MOH, Providence Care,  small business and local consultants.

Student Placement Facilitator (SPF) Support

Confirmation of placement

Complete SLC placement Requirements

  • 6 training modules
  • Student Declaration/Oath of Confidentiality
  • Student Covid 19 Waiver

Student Placement Facilitator will notify student of Agency specific requirements e.g.:

  • Immunizations (hospital/LTC)
  • CPIC - VULNERABLE SECTOR if required by site