There are many avenues to take when it comes to post-secondary education. It is important to remember that a specific university or college is not the only option for every individual. All schools have a lot to offer and it is worthwhile to take all into consideration when determining your academic goals.
Factors to Consider
Before students can make an informed post-secondary decision, they must consider all factors. Firstly, it is important for prospective students to research their chosen career field before deciding if attending a college or university is best. There are many resources available online outlining the high school level requirements for admission to post secondary programs, and the types of careers college and university programs lead to. Each institution will provide students with a different set of qualifications, even for similar programs. Co-op placements in school are also a fantastic way to try out a field you may be interested in, while establishing connections that may help you down the road.
4 Reasons Why you should know your Career Path before you choose a school
- Save Time – If you are struggling with a career choice and jump into a University or College course, you may end up switching streams after year 1 or year 2 which can slow down your career process. All that said, most students are young enough that they are not in a great hurry to graduate and jump into the workforce. Always speak to your high school guidance office and look into co-op placements. You may want to become a lawyer, work 3 months at a co-op internship at a law firm and realize it is not for you.
- Get Scholarships – Knowing what degree or diploma you are going for is a great idea when trying to gain assistance through scholarships. You can find a complete guide to University Scholarships in Canada here https://www.univcan.ca/programs-and-scholarships/ You can find information on Ontario Scholarships here https://www.ontario.ca/page/student-loans-grants-scholarships-and-bursaries#section-2. You can also find Canada wide info here https://www.canada.ca/en/services/finance/educationfunding/scholarships.html
- Smooth Transition to the Work World – If you are in the right stream and have a good idea of your career path, your chances of landing a job are better than most. Networking events, connections through graduates, joining clubs and if co-op or internships are available, you will open many doors to your career.
- Save Money – If you are undecided on your career choice while enrolled in university or college you may decide to make a change and this can be costly. If you switch degrees, change courses, relocate to a new campus, the cost of new books, and find living accommodations, can all lead to an expensive transition while at school. As mentioned above, talk to people in a field you are interested in, look for high school co-op programs to help you make the right choices
Students should also take their financial situation into consideration. Tuitions may differ slightly depending on the program and Institution and typically University fees will be higher than college. In addition, the length of a university program can take between 3 to 5 years to complete, while most college programs may only take 2 years.
For those considering post secondary in Ontario they are fortunate to have a diverse wealth of choices that can appeal to any student. Those who thrive
in a more intimate setting may prefer to look at a small school, others may
like the action in the middle of large downtowns. Simply put, todays colleges and universities provide students with greater opportunities to study and work in a specific field than ever before.