When you think about higher education, what usually pops into your mind is a traditional three or four year college degree. Then you begin to think about where you need to move to study a subject of your choice and how much it’s going to cost you. Finally you think about taking out a big loan that you’ll be repaying while you work like crazy during the first couple of years into your first job.
Doesn’t sound like a great path to take now, does it? No one wants to be riddled with debt in this economy. But what other option do you have, right? Well, you actually do. If you can dare to think outside the box, you’ll see that a career college is an excellent option. Not only for students who’ve just earned their high school diplomas, but also for those who are considering a career change.
What exactly is a career college?
A career college, also known as a technical or vocational school, specifically focuses on teaching you the tools of the trade you wish to be involved in. A career college is a private institution that can be either non-profit or for profit.
Unlike a traditional degree, where you must learn everything on the curriculum, whether it applies to you or not, a career college is focussed on preparing you for your professional life. Here you can, depending on your needs, opt for a diploma or a certificate program.
What subjects can you learn at a career college?
A number of courses that cater to various industries like the health care industry, the business industry, etc. are offered by career colleges in Ontario. Some of the most popular, job-friendly courses are:
- Personal Support Worker programs
- Medical Laboratory Technician programs
- Medical Administrative Officer programs
- Bookkeeping and accounting programs
- Canadian Payroll Compliance programs
- Network Administrator programs
- Network Technician programs
- Network Engineer programs
- Network Security Engineer programs
- Business Administration programs
- Executive management programs
- Paralegal programs
- Culinary programs
- Designing programs
How do you choose a career college?
Though there are many factors that go into finalising on an educational establishment, choosing a career college in Ontario will in the end depend upon the one you feel is the best fit for you. Some of these factors that can help you determine this best fit are:
- The location of the college
- The duration of the course
- The curriculum of the program offered
- The cost of the entire program
- The internship offered
- The flexibility of the class schedule
- The qualifications of the educators
- The job search assistance facility
- The funding options available
Why is a career college a better choice than the traditional ones?
A job specific education is the best reason to choose a career college. A career college in Ontario will typically have a much smaller class size than a university or community college. This leads to more interaction with tutors which facilitates better understanding of the course material and assignments. Flexible timing is another advantage a career college has over other educational establishments. You can work while you study.
For those who have just left school, this means you can possibly pay off the course fee while you study or within a short period after you graduate. For those who are studying to add skills to their resume can work without a career break and without the fear of not getting their job back when they return. Career colleges also offer the option to join these courses several times a year, so you can make the most of any time off. Most programs also include internships, which make you job ready and set you ahead of the competition. Also not only is a career college much cheaper than taking the traditional route, it also offers a variety of ways to fund your education.
What are the funding options?
Since a career college in Ontario is much more pocket-friendly than the traditional brick-and-mortar university campus many students are able to finance their own education via payments by cash or credit card. At a career college in Ontario you can avail various payment options. You may pay your fees in monthly instalments, use an extended plan via which you may be allowed to pay even after you have completed your course, avail the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) or you may even be able to receive financial aid.
So, with all these benefits lined up, a career college seems to be the way to go for the students of today.
Sarah Sharon is a senior professor of education with over twenty years of teaching experience. she has taught across various campuses in Canada, and especially at many a career college in Ontario. she is currently a guest lecturer at several career colleges. she was introduced to the world of blogging by her husband and enjoys it immensely.