Why Edmonton is the best place to get a degree and start a career

Edmonton is quickly becoming Canada’s greatest city, but here at UAlberta we might be a little bit biased, so we’ll let the facts speak for themselves. Here’s the top reasons Edmonton is the best place to get a degree and start your career!

A hub for innovation

Still of students in laboratory from the Faculty of Science


The University of Alberta is quickly becoming a major center for innovation. From ground-breaking projects like nano-sized solar panels to life-altering discoveries like the ability to slow down cancer, the future is being made here and that’s definitely something to get excited about.


UAlberta consistently ranks in the top 100 universities in the world and in the top 5 in Canada. We’re also one of the top 3 most research funded institutions in Canada. So, there’s no need to a have fear of missing out, because you’ll have your finger on the pulse and, who knows, maybe you will be the next great innovator?


You can afford to live here AND get paid well

Edmonton’s downtown 104 street market.

So, let’s imagine you’ve graduated. You have a respected degree from UAlberta and you’ve fallen in love with Edmonton. Well, guess what? It’s actually affordable to stay here.


Unlike other major cities in Canada, Edmonton has a provincial sales tax of only 5% (most other provinces tax at least 10% up to 15% on most consumer goods) and a moderate cost of living. So, it’s not hard to see why so many students decide to stay living in Edmonton after graduation. Plus, international students are eligible to work in Canada for three years after graduating, as long as they obtain a post-graduation work permit and a job offer is not needed to obtain the permit either.


On top of that, rent prices in Edmonton are approximately 25% lower than Toronto and a staggering 35% lower than Vancouver.* Our province also boasts a higher average wage than anywhere else in Canada, so you will most likely be able to stay living in the centre of the city and enjoy an active social life without compromising personal space.


*Information found on Government of Alberta

Growing technology and start-up scene
People working inside StartUp Edmonton.

Trying to figure out what type of career you want might seem far off if you haven’t started university yet, but location is the key. You might not know exactly what you want to do and that’s ok! Situating yourself in a place that has ample opportunities is the best way to explore various routes of work.


Here in Edmonton, we’re lucky to have a growing technology and start-up* scene. The famous video game company, Bioware, now a division of EA games, was started out of the University of Alberta and still calls Edmonton home. Over the last decade, so many small innovative companies were being created that support institutes called StartUp Edmonton and TEC Edmonton were created to foster and mentor new companies that had good ideas.  


The results have been amazing. Since StartUp Edmonton’s inception in 2009 it’s launched over 60 companies, including the incredibly successful shoe brand Poppy Barley and the mobile business app Jobber.


The province of Alberta also has well-established energy and tourism industries that have provided a steady flow of jobs for many years, so there’s a wide range of sectors to choose from after graduating from UAlberta.


*Definition: A startup company is an entrepreneurial venture which is typically a newly emerged, fast-growing business that aims to meet a marketplace need by developing or offering an innovative product, process or service.

A culture capital in the making

A race track made of ice winds it's way from downtown Edmonton into the river valley for the Crashed Ice festival.

We know there is more to an amazing city than having a great university and job opportunities. You can feel reassured that there is plenty to do in your free time in Edmonton. There is an ever-growing, creative community, with major festivals all-year-round and a well-established arts scene.


The city center boasts major arts centres like the Art Gallery of Alberta, the Royal Alberta Museum, the Citadel Theatre and the Winspear Centre - all within 2 city blocks of each other! In the last few years, Edmonton has also attracted some major international events like Red Bull Crashed Ice, Nuit Blanche and FIFA Women’s World Cup. Expanding development of the downtown core is happening every year, so there’s no doubt that the city’s cultural hubs will only continue to grow and more amazing events will happen in the years to come.

Adventure is just around the corner
Photo of Alberta Mountains by @Giuseppi2005 on instagram

You’ve probably heard that Edmonton is only a few hours away from the Rocky Mountains, but did you also know that our province has desert-like valleys in the south, almost arctic conditions in the North and rolling prairie valleys around the middle? Alberta is a vast province, and this can be difficult to imagine if you come from a smaller or more densely populated country, but the possibilities for adventure are almost limitless here.


In fact, if you were to drive from the Northernmost point of Alberta to our Southern border, it would take you approximately 15 hours (without stopping!). Edmonton is located just south of the middle of the province, which means you’re at the heart of it all.


Edmonton has a population of about 1 million people, so you can enjoy the bustling city life, while having easy access to a vast array of wilderness in any direction.


Ready to start your adventure? Find out more and apply to UAlberta today >



Written by Alyssa Ott


Edmonton skyline photo by Henryk Sadura/ Getty Images. 


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