Canada Online Coding Courses Overview

Setting up in a new country is a big step. Pursuing a career in that country is an even bigger step. Learning to code takes time and effort, but we shouldn’t ignore the work that goes into integrating into a new culture, learning the language, and navigating an unfamiliar job market.

Those wanting to get into tech need to know they’ll have the necessary supports that go beyond mastering JavaScript and Python and that’s one of the reasons we exist.

Learning to code in Canada

Traditionally, there are three routes when it comes to mastering coding. The first is a four-year university degree, the second is self-teaching, and the third is a bootcamp.


This option is usually popular for students who have just finished high school. University can be an enriching experience that opens the door to multiple leadership opportunities, especially for young people. For those who are new to Canada, depending on your educational and professional background, a university degree may end up taking less than four years.

However, this option isn’t great for those looking to change careers or enter the job market quickly. It’s also the most costly option.


An economical way to get into the working world, self-teaching can be done on your own time. There are loads of free or cost-effective ways to learn online. Lighthouse Labs offers six free courses in JavaScript, HTML & CSS, iOS, cyber security, and Python.

Intro Courses

Introductory courses allow you to learn the basics and see if you’d like to deepen your knowledge with a bootcamp. Depending on your current employment, the skills you pick up could be an incredible value-add to your role and even open new avenues in your career.

Newcomers to Canada within the last five years can get access to our six-week introductory courses in Intro to Web Development, Intro to Front-End, and Intro to Data Analytics via the CIE Program, a cost savings of up to $2,000 CAD. These courses are instructor-led so you can ask vital questions and receive answers in real-time instead of having to wait for feedback. Delivered on a part-time evening basis, you can work full-time while completing the program.

While self-teaching is the most flexible option and can save money, many find it hard to stick to learning as they have the added challenge of navigating the mass amounts of languages and resources out there alone. A more structured approach can give clear vision to which technical and soft skills employers are looking for.


Bootcamps are fast and furious. They’re designed to teach you the right technical and soft skills you need to land that first coding job in a short amount of time. Bootcamps, like the Web Development Program from Lighthouse Labs also offer Career Services (for life!) and the chance to build a network (a key aspect of job hunting) through building relationships with mentors, other students, and instructors. We also offer two options, an intensive 12-week schedule or a more flexible 30-week program.

Those looking to get into Data Analytics, Data Science, or Cyber Security will also need sharp coding skills. Lighthouse Labs’ programs’ learning environment mimics the real-world job atmosphere and are remote meaning you’re not limited by provincial government restrictions on out-of-province education.

Should I take a bootcamp?

As a newcomer to Canada, it might be hard to gauge whether you should jump into an intensive learning situation. Here’s some tips to help you decide if you’re ready.

  • We recommend that you be in the country for at least 12 months before applying so you don’t risk any immigration hurdles that could interrupt your education.
  • If you’re still exploring tech, we have multiple free resources and a 21-day challenge you can try out to see if coding is something you’d be interested in.
  • If you’re sold on tech but unsure of which tech path to follow, we put together a Tech Skills Quiz that analyzes your strengths to match you with your ideal tech career.
  • You can also sign up for one of our free info sessions for more information about our programs.

The Canadian Job Market: Skills Needed

Due to the large talent gap in the tech industry, Canada is currently experiencing a job-seeker’s market, meaning that employers are offering major incentives like higher salaries and benefits. Their aim is to keep employees long-term so they’re willing to negotiate terms. By 2024, the industry is expected to increase by 22.4%. In cyber security alone, the industry needs 10% more trained professionals a year for the foreseeable future.

Due to the ever-evolving nature of technology, there is a large diversity of jobs. Web developers can pick between frontend and backend development or fullstack, UX/UI design, and project management. Cyber security grads can be penetration testers, security analysts and consultants, or incident responders. Data professionals wind up as analysts, data scientists, or machine learning engineers.

A key element of job-seeking in Canada is that employers value soft skills as much as technical skills like collaboration, time management, and communication. In an interview, employers will often want to know how you fit into the team, not just what skills you bring to the table. For this, you’ll need to be able to develop a “personal brand”, in other words, what you uniquely offer to the company. Of course, knowing your strengths and how to sell yourself takes practice. That’s why our Career Services will help you determine your best strengths and communicate your brand to employers.

The Canadian Job Market: Work culture

Work culture can vary from place to place, so we’ll just be focusing on tech culture. Generally speaking, punctuality is highly valued. Breaks and lunches remain paid, but there is an expectation that you will use that time responsibly and not take too long of a break. However, working in tech normally means you have a flexible schedule, either fully remote or hybrid. This flexibility also translates to appointments and last-minute responsibilities that pop up; employers are usually open to letting you step out without having to schedule time off.

Having a certain level of flexibility can greatly benefit those in the middle of navigating the immigration process, alleviating the mental and emotional load that comes with having to negotiate the necessary time off. Speaking of time off, tech employers usually offer generous paid time off packages - especially in this seeker-driven market.

It goes without saying that you’ll need to make sure your english-speaking skills are good enough to communicate clearly with colleagues. Beyond navigating the workplace, good English skills will help you build camaraderie with your coworkers, a highly-valued aspect in most Canadian workplaces. To see where your communication abilities currently fall, you can access an English Comprehension Assessment Test. If you’re struggling to know just which terms are used in interviews and at the office, our team will guide you through all the -isms, metaphors, and common jargon.

The Canadian Job Market: How do I know if I’m a good fit?

It’s normal to have hesitations when entering a new stage in life, especially starting a new job. But you’re not alone. Everyone struggles with imposter syndrome and insecurity - even if they’ve been at the tech game for a while. Canada is a multicultural country and many companies are working to increase diversity so you’re likely to see a familiar face.

To know if a job in the Canadian tech landscape is for you, ask yourself the following four questions:

Do I have the passion and determination?

No matter which career path you choose, or how you get there, you are going to face challenges. Learning to code isn’t an easy process, and if you’re looking into taking a bootcamp, know that it will take a solid dose of determination to complete this rewarding program.

If you’re creative, a natural problem-solver, and open to learning new things, tech is a good option for you.

What are my reasons for wanting to gain tech knowledge?

Many people will pursue a tech career for the benefits. While this can definitely be one reason for taking on the challenge of a bootcamp ro entering the industry, it shouldn’t be your only motivating factor. Those who enter solely for the good salary and career advancement opportunities will likely drop out.

However, if you already have a tech background, recently discovered a passion for a certain tech area, or have already been dabbling and see yourself in the field, then tech has a place for you!

Where am I in the immigration process?

As we mentioned earlier, applying to a bootcamp or any other educational program when your Canadian status isn’t stable could lead to problems not easily solved. You don’t want to lose money or progress because of immigration hurdles.

If you’ve been in the country for at least 12 months, you’re most likely in a good place to take the first steps toward a tech career.

Do I feel that you have enough support to make it through formal reskilling training and enter the job market?

For most people, the answer here isn’t certain. That’s why we have a team committed to your success.

  • Career Services for life! Our Career Services team will work with you to create a custom job plan. Dipping into our network of over 400 hiring partners, the team will find the best for you.
  • Mentors Beyond practical help, our mentors are a valuable first connection to the job market. Also, a good number of our mentors are immigrants that have successfully navigated bootcamp and job hunting successfully.
  • Knowledgeable professors Our professors are professionals who have worked in their respective fields or still do.
  • Financial guidance Bootcamps cost money, enough money that most who enroll will need some sort of financial aid. Our team will help you navigate the sometimes crowded world of scholarship, loans, and grants. In the meantime, check out our Financial Guide to start exploring.

More free resources for newcomers to Canada

Meetup is a platform that brings together people of varied interests. With everything from outdoor enthusiasts to cultural groups, Meetup is a good resource for newcomers looking to integrate into daily life.

The Government of Canada has a site where you can search free resources for immigrants in your area.

Acquiring the right coding skills as a newcomer to Canada may seem intimidating, but with the right tools and support, anyone can make their mark on the tech industry.