Last Updated on June 2, 2022
Technology is the result of accumulated knowledge and application of skills, methods, and processes used in industrial production and scientific research. Technology is embedded in the operation of all machines, with or without detailed knowledge of their function, for the intended purpose of an organization.
The earliest and simplest form of technology is the development of knowledge that leads to the application of basic tools. The prehistoric invention of shaped stone tools and the discovery of how to control fire increased the sources of food that were available to human beings.
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History of Technology
Starting in the United Kingdom in the 18th century, the Industrial Revolution was a period of great technological discovery, particularly in the areas of agriculture, manufacturing, mining, metallurgy, and transport, driven by the discovery of steam power and the widespread application of the factory system. Technology took another step in a second industrial revolution (c. 1870 to c. 1914) with the harnessing of electricity to allow such innovations as the electric motor, light bulb, and countless others.
Scientific advances and the discovery of new concepts later allowed for powered flight and developments in medicine, chemistry, physics, and engineering. The rise in technology has led to skyscrapers and broad urban areas whose inhabitants rely on motors to transport them and their food supplies. Communication improved with the invention of the telegraph, telephone, radio and television. The late-19th and early-20th centuries saw a revolution in transportation with the invention of the airplane and automobile.
The 20th century brought a host of innovations. In physics, the discovery of nuclear fission has led to both nuclear weapons and nuclear power. Computers were invented and later miniaturized using transistors and integrated circuits. Information technology, particularly the optical fiber and optical amplifiers that led to the birth of the Internet, which ushered in the Information Age.
Humans started to explore space with satellites (late 1950s, later used for telecommunication) and in crewed missions (1960s) going all the way to the moon. In medicine, this era brought innovations such as open-heart surgery and later stem-cell therapy along with new medications and treatments using genomics.
Best technology universities in canada
#10 McMaster University
Program Reputation #9*, Research Reputation #10
Entering the list at #10, McMaster University’s computer science program is run by its Faculty of Engineering, which means that students will be exposed not just to programming, but also information systems design and database development. Hamilton, Ontario’s McMaster University offers a variety of specializations, including mechatronics, software engineering, and even eHealth. Best of all, McMaster boasts excellent job prospects. An impressive 100% of computer science graduates find employment within two years of graduation.
#9 University of Calgary
Program Reputation 12, Research Reputation 8
Problem-solving is at the heart of computer science, and students enrolled at the University of Calgary will be working to build computers that think like people and moulding the future of augmented reality. Students with a passion for computer science research can also take advantage of the university’s leading research labs, where they will have the opportunity to gain first-hand experience as a volunteer or by enrolling in one of the school’s research courses. Many computer science students at the University of Calgary go on to study medicine, veterinary medicine, law, or education.
#8 University of Victoria
Program Reputation #8, Research Reputation #9
Did you know that the city of Victoria, British Columbia’s picturesque capital, is not only home to Canada’s mildest climate, but also one of the country’s very best computer science programs? The University of Victoria recognizes that a degree in computer science opens countless doors for students. Students can opt to take part in the department’s co-op program to gain the experience necessary to hit the ground running upon graduation. It offers students the chance to build meaningful industry connections, as well as apply their knowledge in real-world scenarios in areas such as machine learning and software development.
#7 Simon Fraser University
Program Reputation #6, Research Reputation #7
Coming in at a solid #7, Burnaby, British Columbia’s Simon Fraser University may not be the first school that comes to mind when you think of computer science, but it stands among the best in Canada. Simon Fraser is internationally recognized for its award-winning research facilities. The university has a large international student population, which accounts for 19% of its student body. The computer science program also has a unique partnership with China’s Zhejiang University. Undergraduate students can earn two degrees and learn Mandarin at the same time!
#6 University of Montreal
Program Reputation #7, Research Reputation #6
What if technology could predict that, as a result of climate change, your home faces a serious risk of flooding in the year 2050? A team of researchers at the University of Montréal is using artificial intelligence to accomplish just that. The University of Montréal ensures that students have the technical, problem solving, mathematical, and cross-collaboration skills necessary to change the world. Graduates go on to work in a variety of areas, including mobile and wireless communication; image synthesis for animated films, TV, and advertising; and robotics and automated physical systems—just to name a few!
#5 University of Alberta
Program Reputation #5, Research Reputation #5
The Department of Computing Science at the University of Alberta is one of the largest of its kind in Canada. It’s also the oldest, having been founded in 1964—more than a decade before the first personal computer hit the market. Today, the department offers courses and research opportunities in areas such as artificial intelligence, computer games, robotics, and computer graphics. The University of Alberta has even helped develop some of the fastest computers in the world! Fun fact: The U.S. Department of Energy uses supercomputers that integrate technology developed by a team of University of Alberta computer scientists.
#4 McGill University
Program Reputation #4, Research Reputation #4
McGill University is widely regarded as one of the country’s best universities, so it’s no surprise that its computer science program landed on the fourth spot on the list. McGill’s School of Computer Science ranks second in Canada for research funding and has 34 faculty members, 60 Ph.D. students, and over 100 master’s degree students. McGill students have their choice of 10 program options in computer science, with the option of paid work terms to gain valuable on-the-job experience. Finally, the university’s location can’t be beat: Montréal continues to rank among the top six on QS’ Best Student Cities list.
#1* University of Waterloo
Program Reputation #1*, Research Reputation #1
We have a three-way tie for the top-ranking computer science program in Canada! First up is the University of Waterloo. With over 70 courses to choose from and a faculty of more than 80 industry experts, the University of Waterloo’s computer science department sets students up for success. Co-op is a major focus at the university, allowing students to graduate with up to two years of paid work experience. The university is located in the heart of Canada’s thriving tech sector, so students have access to hundreds of local companies in need of computer scientists, including ApplyBoard!
Best colleges for technology
#1: Cornell University — Ithaca, NY
A top-ranked national research university and prestigious Ivy League member, Cornell is home to one of the best information technology programs.
Three IT bachelor’s degree programs are available, each at a different college:
- BA in Information Science (College of Arts and Sciences)
- BS in Information Science (College of Agriculture and Life Sciences)
- BS in Information Systems and Technology (College of Engineering)
There are also two graduate programs in IT:
- Master of Professional Studies in Information Science
- PhD in Information Science
Students benefit from small class sizes, the opportunity to conduct independent research under the supervision of renowned faculty, and an array of IT-geared student organizations, including the Information Science Student Association and Women in Computing at Cornell.
Finally, Cornell offers a handful of online professional certificate programs in IT-related fields, such as website design and digital leadership.
#2: New York University — New York, NY
NYU is an excellent choice for pursuing an education in IT and related fields at the undergraduate and graduate levels. IT majors at this highly-ranked private institution include the following:
- BS in Information Systems Management
- BS in Applied Data Analytics and Visualization
- BS in Computer Science
Students learn in small class environments and take a diverse breadth of classes, from math and economics to networking and database design. Many IT graduate programs are also availableat NYU, including the following (some of which have an online option):
- MS in Information Systems
- MS in Computer Science
- MS in Computing, Entrepreneurship, and Innovation
- MS in Management of Technology (on-campus or online)
- MS in Cybersecurity (on-campus or online)
- PhD in Information Systems
#3: Carnegie Mellon University — Pittsburgh, PA
World-renowned for its interdisciplinary research, CMU is currently ranked #1 by Niche for best information technology schools, though its key strengths are more geared toward graduate students than they are undergraduates.
CMU has also been ranked #1 by US News on its best computer science graduate schools list.
Undergraduates can pursue a BS in Computer Science. At CMU’s Heinz College graduate school, students have several IT grad programs to choose from, and some of these are available entirely online (noted below):
- Master of Information Systems Management
- MS in Information Security Policy and Management
- MS in Information Technology Management (online)
- MS in Information Security and Assurance (online)
#4: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute — Troy, NY
A renowned technological research university and ranked the #1 information technology school by College Choice, RPI takes a unique interdisciplinary approach to the field of IT.
At RPI’s School of Science, undergraduates have the option to earn a BS in Information Technology and Web Science, whereas graduate-level programs include the MS in Information Technology and the PhD in Multidisciplinary Science (with an IT track).
In both the bachelor’s and master’s IT programs, students can choose an area of specialization from a list of more than 20 concentrations, which include the following:
- Data Science
- Information Security
Students in these programs learn about security/privacy issues, the ethical and legal impacts of technology, and how to communicate effectively with technology.
#5: Lehigh University — Bethlehem, PA
A highly competitive, premier research university and home to more than 7,000 students, Lehigh offers several rigorous programs in information systems and technology.
At Lehigh’s College of Business and Economics, students can enter the BS in Business Information Systems program, which requires them to take courses on management information systems and business data management. Students can also take classes on risk management, cloud computing, and software ventures.
Additionally, Lehigh offers a BA in Science, Technology, and Society through its College of Arts and Sciences. This program focuses on the social aspect of technological innovation and scientific research. (Note that this program is currently not accepting new majors or minors.)
If you’re interested in the educational application of technology, Lehigh has an MS in Instructional Technology as well as a PhD in Teaching, Learning, and Technology.
#6: Brigham Young University — Provo, UT
Those looking to study IT in a more traditional and openly Christian environment will enjoy BYU’s top-notch IT program.
At BYU, students can choose between two IT-related majors: a BS in Information Technology and a BS in Cybersecurity. Six areas of concentration are available for both majors:
- User Experience Design (UXD)
- Mobile and Web Development
- System and Network Administration
- Internet of Things (IOT)
- Penetration Testing
- Digital Forensics
IT students must complete a year-long capstone project, which involves meeting the technical needs of a client who sponsors the project. Elective topics include cyber-physical systems, digital forensics, database administration, and web technologies.
In addition to undergraduate IT programs, BYU offers an MS in Technology with an emphasis in information technology.
#7: Purdue University — West Lafayette, IN
A top-20 computer science school and home for more than 30,000 undergrads, Purdue is a great choice for those wanting to study information technology and related fields.
At Purdue’s Polytechnic Institute, students have many options for information technology majors in the Computer and Information Technology Program:
- Computer and Information Technology
- Network Engineering Technology
- Systems Analysis and Design
Furthermore, Purdue offers an MS in Computer and Information Technology with specializations ranging from bioinformatics to cyber learning to information security. Some master’s programs in IT are even available online, such as the MS in Information Technology Project Management and the MS in Information Technology Business Analysis.
#8: University of Washington — Seattle, WA
One of the top public research universities in the US, UW is currently ranked #2 by US News for its information systems program, making it a great option for IT students.
At the Seattle campus, students can earn a BS in Informatics (which is similar to IT and draws upon various fields, including computer science, sociology, design, psychology, and information science).
Several areas of concentration are available in the Informatics major, including data science, cybersecurity, human-computer interaction, and so on. In addition, there are six core areas of the Informatics major curriculum:
Students in this program must take courses on research methods, databases and data modeling, and design methods, in addition to completing a capstone project.
Undergraduates at UW also have the option to get a BA in Business Administration via the Foster School of Business where they can incorporate into their major the study of information systems and operations management.
Lastly, UW offers highly ranked master’s and doctoral programs in information systems.
#9: Illinois Institute of Technology — Chicago, IL
Illinois Tech is a small, private institution mainly known for its impressive range of engineering and tech programs, including a top Information Technology and Management Program.
In total, 11 career-oriented specializations are available in this program:
- Cyber, System and Network Security, and Forensics
- Data Management and Analytics
- Digital Systems Technology and Embedded Systems
- IT Entrepreneurship and Management
- Management Information Systems
- Networking, Information, and Communications Technology
- Software Development
- System Administration
- Systems Analysis
- Web Design and Application Development
- General Course of Study (for undecided students)
Many of these courses of study are available as bachelor’s degrees, graduate degrees, and certificates. As part of the IT program here, students work with faculty on cutting-edge projects, examples of which can be viewed on the official website.
Moreover, Illinois Tech has several online information technology and management courses (both undergraduate and graduate).
#10: Rochester Institute of Technology — Rochester, NY
A pioneer in computer science and technological education, RIT is a reputable private institution based in New York. At RIT’s B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences, students have several options for IT degrees, including the following:
- AS/AAS/AOS in Applied Computer Technology
- BS in Computer Science
- BS in Computer and Information Technologies
- BS in Computing Security
- BS in Web and Mobile Computing
As part of RIT’s value of experiential learning, most of these IT programs have a cooperative education component, in which students get paid to work full-time in technological corporate settings.
RIT also has several graduate degrees available in IT, from an MS in Computing Security to a PhD in Computing and Information Sciences.
Finally, many IT courses are available online through RIT’s online learning platform, allowing students to have a degree of flexibility in their schedules.