As grade 12 students across the country embark on their last year of school, the mounting pressure to make a decision regarding their futures after high school can be hard to handle. And there are many questions to consider: College vs. university? College vs. a polytechnic institution? Which is better: a bachelor’s degree from college or from a university? And which of them is required to help you attain the job you covet? Here’s a quick explanation of the three main post-secondary options institutions in Canada.
Universities are generally the largest post-secondary institutions, offering courses in a broad spectrum of areas. They offer four-year programs leading to a bachelor’s degree as well as extensive graduate programs from which you can earn your master’s, doctoral or professional degree. Universities tend to focus more on scientific research when compared with other types of post-secondary institutions, and are also more selective when accepting applicants. Students can choose to live on campus with the large student body and participate in endless social and extra-curricular opportunities, which include frosh week, student-run clubs and varsity sports teams.
Colleges are usually smaller than universities, offer much of the same in terms of academics and students can earn two-year associate degrees and diplomas. Colleges tend to have smaller class sizes than universities, which allow for more personalized attention and more access to professors. Offering close-knit community environments, some students may be more comfortable with college campuses as opposed to universities, which can have classes of around 200 students. The tuition fees for college courses are also typically more affordable than those of universities.
Also known as trade, technical or vocational schools, institutions are the most career-focused type of post-secondary education, and they are divided according to specialized areas. The programs offered at institutions can range from six to 12 months, or even a few years, but they are usually aimed at students who know what they want to do and just need the skills to get there. These programs are a great way to get certified and jump into the workforce in a relatively short amount of time. Courses focus on job training and preparation, and upon graduation students will receive a diploma, a certificate, a license or an associate’s degree based upon their area of study.Login or register to post comments. All comments have to go through a queue for approval to keep the nasty stuff out, but we'll post yours as soon as we can.