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Webinar Recap: The Canadian Higher Education System

Thursday | March 14, 2019 | by WES Advisor

Canada higher education

If you missed our live webinar on Canadian higher education, this blog post will summarize the key points and tips shared by our panelists. You can also sign up here to watch the on-demand webinar and receive access to helpful online resources on Canadian colleges and universities.

The webinar featured two higher education panelists in Ontario: Risha Toney, Admissions Officer at Humber College, and Carolyn Ford, Director of International Undergraduate Recruitment at Western University. Risha and Carolyn discussed academic program options at colleges and universities, and offered their perspectives on post-graduation tactics for marketing and utilizing your education.

Keep reading to see their expert insights from the webinar:

Deciding Between a College or University

Below are several points to consider when deciding which option—college or university—is right for you:

  • Length of study time: While a bachelor’s degree at a university is a full four year degree, college diploma programs are often shorter, cheaper, and focused on immediate career outcomes.
  • Long term goals: Colleges prepare students for entry level positions in a variety of fields and trades. For students seeking to enter certain professions, such as law or medicine, a university degree is required. Also, employers may prefer a university degree over a college diploma for higher level positions and management roles.
  • Program offerings: Colleges and universities have some overlap in their program offerings. For example, colleges in Ontario offer certain degree programs. However, universities have both undergraduate and graduate programs, whereas colleges do not offer graduate studies.
  • Learning approach: While colleges emphasize practical, applied learning, universities focus on academic and professional programs. In addition, universities stress the importance of building hard skills, such as critical thinking and analytical abilities.

These are just some of the key differences between colleges and universities noted by our webinar panelists. Watch the webinar for more information on Canadian colleges and universities.

Using Education to Meet Employer’s Needs

Just as it is important to fully research which academic program aligns with your needs, you must also consider how to utilize your education to best meet the demands of today’s workforce upon graduating. Our panelists shared the following advice for students on preparing for future employment:

  • Build on skills employers require.
  • Seek practical learning to supplement your education.
  • Before applying to jobs, research employer’s needs.

Canadian colleges have historically focused on technical education and are therefore well equipped to help students be responsive to the immediate needs of the labour market. University students, on the other hand, may need to look for further opportunities to build these skills outside of the classroom. Such opportunities may include internships, volunteering, work-study, and work-integrated learning.

We covered many other topics during the webinar, including admissions criteria, specific work-integrated learning opportunities, transfer programs, and pathways from colleges to universities. Sign up here to watch the full webinar on Canadian colleges and universities.

We regularly host webinars on a variety of topics relevant to international students and immigrant professionals. Check out our upcoming and past webinars on our Events page to stay informed and up-to-date on all WES events!

Related Reading

Canadian Colleges and Universities: A Guide to the Canadian Higher Education System

How to Apply to Canadian Colleges and Universities

WES Advisor is an initiative of World Education Services, a non-profit organization with over 45 years of experience in international education. We provide advice and resources for international students and skilled immigrants to help them make informed decisions about education, employment, immigration, and integration opportunities in the U.S. and Canada.