Computer Systems Technician (CST) Frequently asked Questions

Are students getting jobs when they graduate?

Yes! The majority of our graduates have Information Technology (IT) jobs. They are well prepared for the role of technical support in the areas of client/server computing, enterprise networks and network management. Employment opportunities exist not only in our local community but also in many locations across Canada and even in the United States.

Is there a work placement?

Yes! In the final semester of the CST program, students work 2 days per week (16 hours) in an organization’s IT department. The placement provides excellent experience on a resume as well as hands-on work experience in the field. In some cases, students have been offered employment at the end of their work placement.

Where do CST grads work?

Our graduates are hired by many businesses including both federal and provincial governments, corporations, military, hospitals, and in the education sector. Some graduates have started their own successful business in networking, repair, and web design fields too. Graduates from the CST program work in network administration, computer hardware, help desk, application support, and technical support.

Why St. Lawrence College in Kingston?

St. Lawrence College offers students new state-of-the-art wired classrooms, a fitness facility, residence and upgraded computer labs. Varsity sports, intramurals and student-run events complete your college experience. All students receive a membership to our YMCA fitness centre and receive a bus pass.

What will I learn?

You will receive hands-on training in computer hardware, applied Internet technology, software installation, scripting procedures, diagnostics, network and design installations, operating systems, maintenance, user support and Web site administration.

Will I need a computer?

It is recommended that you have a computer and internet service. But, well-equipped computer labs are available for your use. A portable storage device is highly recommended (USB stick).

When can I start?

Semester 1 starts in September or January. Students who start in January are required to take semester 2 in the spring in order to continue onto year 2 in the fall. Spring courses are shortened to 10 weeks instead of the usual 15 weeks. As a result there is more in class instruction per week.

Are these programs Engineering focused?

No! We focus on the business world.

Do I need to know very much about computers?

No! We assume that most people have “surfed the net” but we start teaching the basics and build to advanced levels. Each semester builds on the knowledge and skills from previous semesters.

Do I need to know a lot of math?

No! The program concentrates on technology solutions for the business environment.

What types of funding are available?

There is a wide variety of financial assistance available including OSAP, awards, bursaries, scholarships and others.

How long is the program?

The program is 2 years, or 4 semesters. A typical semester has 6 courses at 3 hours each week. One semester is 15 weeks.

What do I need to get accepted?

You need a grade 12 high school diploma or GED. You do not have to take any more courses than are required by your high school diploma.

I don’t know whether to take CST or Computer Programming Analyst

No problem. The first semester courses for both programs are the same. The courses introduce you to both programming and networking. By the end of the first semester you will be able to make an educated decision about what to major in.

What are the professors like?

All of the professors are on a first-name basis with students. The professors not only have education in the field, but were technical support specialists prior to teaching at the college.

What does a CST grad do?

Computer networks link individuals so that they can communicate, share hardware and Software and ensure data security. The demand for individuals who can design, implement and maintain networks and support Server environments is virtually insatiable. Technical support is always required for anyone using a computer.

Numerous positions exist for people with varying levels of expertise in this field of computer technology.

More questions? Please email