Congratulations! Completing high school is a reason for celebration, and you should be proud of your accomplishment!

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But, have you decided on your post-secondary education pathway and the steps you are going to follow to your future career?

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No worries! We are here to help you understand the differences between:

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Focus Area

College programs follow labour and economic trends, and focus on the development of:

  • specific,

  • practical,

  • performance-oriented knowledge, skills, and abilities

to address industry needs.

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University programs focus on the development of:

  • deeper analytical skills

that serve as a base for academic, research-based, and regulated professions.

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Educational Credential

Colleges offer full-time and part-time certificate programs, diplomas, and vocational training.

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Universities offer full-time and part-time degrees:

  • Undergraduate degrees (Bachelor's Degree),

  • Graduate degrees (Master's and Doctorate Degree), and

  • Professional programs.

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Laura wishes to become a Dentist, but isn't sure about the educational path she should take after high school. Which of these options is NOT suitable for her future career?


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Colleges: Usually, a certificate program takes one year or less, while a diploma program takes two to three years.

Universities: Degrees typically take three to four years.

Heads Up: All programs vary in length and eligibility requirements. Check out the specific information for your program and institution before applying.

Career Pathways

Colleges are a great option for careers that require practical hands-on training. They are a straight path to jobs in fields such as:

  • Telecommunication

  • Travel Services

  • Game Development

  • Culinary Management

  • Videography

  • and many more...

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University is a better fit if you're more interested in:

  • expanding your horizons throughout analytical and holistic learning,

  • research-based professions (such as Sociologist, Neuroscientist, Astronomer, etc), or

  • professional degrees (Dentist, Lawyer, Veterinarian, etc).

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Colleges usually have smaller class sizes, which means closer guidance from instructors. Most colleges also provide additional practical experience via work-integrated learning (Work Placement and Co-operative Education - Co-op).

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Universities are larger institutions where learners have more independence. To be successful at university, learners need a strong sense of:

  • time management,

  • self-motivation, and

  • self-directed study.

Take Action

Now, it's your turn to find out what best fits your career goals! (Maybe it will even be a combination of both).

When researching your dream career:

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