Career colleges in Canada are privately owned institutions that offer training programs with practical skills enabling students to get a job in the increasingly competitive world.
These career colleges are also known as institutes of technology, university colleges or CEGEPS. They offer diplomas and certificates rather than degrees. However, there are colleges among the colleges we have on our list that offer degrees rather than diplomas.
As you might have known, to prepare for some careers, you may need to attend a specialized college; an example is a culinary college.
For others, especially more technical jobs, you might need to consider a vocational-technical college.
Schools like this prepare student for specific skill-based careers, and are known as career colleges.
Career college programs generally range from two to four years, depending on the extent of training that is required.
While most students choose to attend career colleges, others pursue their interests at community colleges, which often have lower tuition costs.
Consider which one suits your needs as you explore your options.
In this article, we will be looking at the popular career colleges in Canada, how to access over 600 career colleges in Canada according to the cities and finally, other things you need to know about career colleges.
The Variety of Programs in a Career College
The career colleges in Canada are such that you can find them in just about every city and region in this country, with programs in exactly what interests you.
- Computer technology
- Dental hygiene
- Culinary arts
- Business administration
- Radio and television broadcasting
- Paralegal studies
- Commercial art
- Mechanical engineering
Career Colleges in Canada Academic Programs
In the career colleges in Canada, you typically won’t be taking general education classes in core subjects such as English and Math.
Instead, you focus on courses that are career-related. In most of these career colleges, you complete the program in one uninterrupted period of anywhere from ten to 18 months of study.
When you complete your program, you will receive a certificate of completion or an Associate of Science degree.
Finding the Right Programs
To find an accredited program that fits your specific needs and interests, you have to meet your counsellor and use College Search.
Once you have chosen the schools and colleges that suit you, then you must consider the following:
Cost: The cost of attending school is very important. This is where you put the tuition, books and commuting costs into consideration. You will also have to consider the type of scholarships and other financial assistance the college offers.
Requirements: What kind of classes and hands-on training do they offer? Also, checking if the classes you took in high school will be applied to your requirements is also important.
Credentials: It is important to note if the college is licensed by the state, if it is accredited and by whom?
Other things to consider are the teaching approach of the schools, the qualifications they give, what their classes are like, available internship opportunities and the nature of the student body.
Is there a difference between a trade school and a vocational school?
Trade schools and vocational schools are all great options for students when it comes to pursuing higher education.
Understanding the difference between these two educational paths is an important first step in determining which type of school is best for you.
I hope at the end of our definition of what trade schools and career colleges are, you will be able to differentiate between the two by yourself.
Trade schools, also known as technical or vocational schools focus on career and technical training related to specialized careers.
Unlike other schools, trade schools do not offer generalized education courses, instead, they provide coursework related to a specific job.
Programs typically offered at trade schools include automotive training, HVAC training, culinary arts, computer technology, and healthcare.
Trade schools only offer diplomas and certificates.
Career-focused colleges are colleges that provide a comprehensive educational experience that combines general studies with specialized classes.
Students at career-focused colleges also benefit from hands-on experience, in-field training, and career placement services.
Like trade schools, career-focused colleges teach industry-specific skills that employers are looking for.
Unlike trade schools, career-focused colleges also teach students critical thinking, ethics, and other skills that make them valuable employees.
In a career-focused college, you can earn a certificate, associate degree, bachelor’s degree, and even a master’s degree, depending on your chosen field of study.
What is the duration of study in a career college?
The duration of study in a career college in Canada depends on the program that you have chosen.
There are courses as short as 12 weeks while some other courses stretch to 1 or even two years.
Are career colleges reliable or not?
Private career colleges (sometimes called PCCs) must be registered and licensed by their respective provincial education ministry.
That means instructors are audited to ensure they are qualified and have industry experience.
Can I as an international student work after finishing my program in college?
As an international student, you cannot work immediately after finishing your studies in a career college.
An internal student needs to seek the appropriate visa in order to be able to work in Canada.
Requirement for international students
International students who are enrolled at a Designated Learning Institution (DLI), that is, a school approved by the provincial or territorial government to host international students for programs that takes more than six months to complete, are required to obtain a study permit.
However, international students are responsible for ensuring that their study permits are valid at all times.
Do career colleges offer specific international student scholarships or financial aid?
The answer is yes. However, this doesn’t come always. This is because international student financial assistance differs from school to school.
Admission Requirements for International Students in a Career College
International students are accepted into career colleges provided that they meet the eligibility criteria.
For the different career colleges, admission requirements vary.
However, among the requirements, international students must have the following:
- A valid passport
- Proof of current study permit and visa (if applicable)
- Academic records and resumes
- Proof of age
- Proof of funds/scholarships
- Police clearance certificate or criminal reference check
- Medical clearance
Other pre-requisites may be required depending on the program.
The List of Top Career Colleges in Canada
This is educationplanetonline.com’s list of the top career colleges in Canada based on popularity in no particular order.
- Academy of Arts and Design / Teccart Institute
- Le Cordon Bleu Ottawa Culinary Arts Institute
- Sprott Shaw Community & Degree College
- Academy Canada
- Imperial Hotel Management College
- LaSalle College International, Vancouver
- Vancouver Film School
- Vancouver Premier College
Academy of Arts and Design / Teccart Institute
Academy of Arts and Design / Teccart Institute: The TECCART Institute has been operating in Quebec for over 60 years.
It is a private, funded college that offers high-quality programs in technical college education.
They are experts in the areas of new information and communication technologies (ICT) and Industrial Electrical Engineering technologies, leading to a DEC and/or an AEC.
In the year 2007, the TECCART Institute acquired the Academy of Arts and Design (AAD). Afterwards, they added programs in fashion design and trade, interior design, advertising design and 3d animation.
This institution has programs in Animation, Computer Science, Design, Education and Teaching, Fashion, Finance and Banking, IT, Management, and PR.
Le Cordon Bleu Ottawa Culinary Arts Institute
Le Cordon Bleu Ottawa Culinary Arts Institute: Le Cordon Bleu Ottawa Culinary Arts Institute is the only campus for Le Cordon Bleu in North America.
This is one of the career colleges where students from all over the world, representing more than 100 nationalities, attend their campus to share a common bond in their passion for pastry and cuisine each year.
For more than a century, Le Cordon Bleu has enabled aspiring culinary professionals to turn their ambitions into reality. They offer the following programs:
Cuisine: This course helps you master basic to advanced culinary techniques that apply to any style of cuisine. You will also be able to explore French culinary traditions, global cuisines and current trends.
Pastry & Confectionery: You discover the art of Pâtisserie through this course.
Courses in this program range from specialized ateliers, basic through advanced levels of pastry, as well as confectionary craft making.
Bakery, Danish Pastries & Artisan Breads: Through this program, you will learn typical French bread making techniques and processes making bread.
Gastronomy & Nutrition: Through the Gastronomy & Nutrition program, you will be able to explore gastronomy through practical culinary skills alongside the principles of nutrition.
Other programs they offer include Culinary Arts & Business and Gourmet & Short Courses.
Sprott Shaw Community & Degree College
Sprott Shaw Community & Degree College: Sprott Shaw College has a long-standing reputation for equipping its students with innovative ways of thinking through hands-on training and practical programs.
Across their 16 government-designated campus locations, they have over 130 career-focused college programs. They also offer monthly start dates, flexible scheduling, and career placement assistance.
Most of their campuses feature smaller class sizes, qualified instructors, hands-on training, and a friendly learning environment for students of all ages.
Some of the reasons why this college is a good option are its ability to offer lifetime job placements assistance, course refreshers, and skills upgrading.
Sprott Shaw College is an accredited post-secondary institution in British Columbia.
Some of the programs they offer include:
Administration: Shaw College’s Administration Programs equip students with the skills and competence to become astute professionals in a variety of administration-based careers.
Business: Sprott Shaw College’s business program helps its students to develop the skills and expertise in order to be able to independently conceive strategic business plans, manage project plans, and communicate effectively in business settings.
Child, Family and Community Support: Sprott Shaw is a provincial leader in early childhood, special education, counselling, and community support training. Their program prepares students to work with and support young children, families and vulnerable kids.
Nursing and Healthcare: Sprott Shaw College can train you with the skills to change lives. They have a variety of programs that includes practical Nursing, Dental Assistant, Health Care Assistant, Health Unit Clerk, Pharmacy Assistant, and more.
Trades and Design: Sprott Shaw College’s Trades and Design Programs provide students with tactical hands-on training to become certified electrical apprentices and designers.
Academy Canada: Academy Canada students are a special group of people. Academy Canada helps you build a career as an entrepreneur, master tradesperson, medical professional, computer expert, as well as an animal advocate.
There is a diversity of over 200 students attending this institution and that makes their campus an amazing place to be.
Some of the programs they offer include:
- Adult Basic Education
- Health & Personal Care
- Business, Travel & Administration
- Construction, Trades & Mining
- Creative Studies
- Animal Care & Nature
Students attending Academy Canada have many options from which to select when financing their education. The following list of main sources comprise of student’s funding options:
- Student Loan: Government
- Student Loan: Chartered Banks
- Sponsorship by the Department of Immigration, Population Growth and Skills
- Academy Canada Scholarships and Bursaries worth over $200,000
- Other Scholarships, Bursaries, and Grants
LaSalle College International, Vancouver
LaSalle College International, Vancouver: LaSalle College Vancouver is a boutique-design school offering applied arts programs that help graduates build rewarding, lifelong careers.
They have over 30 programs offered in small-sized classes in order to give their students a premium education experience.
This institution delivers programs with credentials ranging from Bachelor’s Degrees, Diplomas and Certificates and has been consistently named the top undergraduate school in Canada for video game design by the Princeton Review.
LaSalle College Vancouver is a member of the LCI Education network composed of 23 campuses on 5 continents.
LaSalle College Vancouver is registered with the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training
LaSalle College offers the following programs:
- Bachelor of Design in Fashion Design
- Bachelor of Applied Design in Graphic Design
- Bachelor of Applied Design in Interior Design
- Bachelor of Science in Game Programming, and
- Associate of Arts Degree programs
Vancouver Film School
Vancouver Film School‘s 15 post-secondary programs deliver the industry-standard techniques and applicable skills that you will be needing to start a rewarding career in:
- Film and television production
- Game, or VR/AR design
VFS graduates join an alumnus of creative professionals that become industry leaders.
In the year 2021, alumni were credited on all 10 of the highest-grossing films, 8 of the 12 best-selling games, and 5 of the 15 top-rated TV shows.
VFS offers a unique and accelerated education model that balances intensive and industry-led theory and direct production experience.
In just one year at VFS, students become entertainment and creative media professionals.
VFS constantly adapts its acclaimed curriculum to meet the evolving demands of the industry.
Vancouver Premier College
Vancouver Premier College own the following separate colleges:
- Vancouver Premier College of Arts and Science
- Vancouver Premier College of Business and Management, and
- Vancouver Premier College of Hotel Management
These colleges have distinct programs, policies, instructors, classroom space, scholarships, credit transfer and PTIB, EQA and DLI designations.
At Vancouver Premier College of Arts and Science, the following programs are offered:
- General Studies Diploma
- English as a Second Language (Approved)
- English as a Second Language (Approval Not Required)
- Post Graduate Diploma in Big Data Analytics
- Post Graduate Diploma in Cybersecurity
- Post Graduate Diploma in Information Technology
Vancouver Premier College of Business and Management offer the following programs:
- Business Management Diploma
- Post Graduate Certificate in Digital Marketing
- Post Graduate Diploma in Digital Marketing
Lastly, Vancouver Premier College of Hotel Management offer the following:
- Hospitality Management Diploma
- Hospitality Operations Diploma
- International Hospitality Management Diploma
- Rooms Division Management Certificate
- Advanced Diploma in International Hospitality Business with Co-op
- Post Graduate Diploma in Hospitality Management
That’s not all the career colleges in Canada there are, read on to see other career colleges in Canada where they are arranged according to province and city.
Frequently Asked Questions on the Career Colleges in Canada
Let us look at the most common questions people ask about career colleges in Canada.
Is the Canadian career education college accredited?
C.C.E.C. Canadian Career Education College is a Government-approved ISP and a Designated Learning Institution (DLI) DLI #O262228554872.
They are “Registered as a private career college under the Private Career Colleges Act, 2005”.
Canadian Career Education College is authorized to offer vocational programs that are approved by the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities Ontario, Canada, and any non-vocational education program in compliance with the Private Career Colleges Act and Ministry’s guidelines.
Can I study in Canada at 30?
The answer is yes. People do not become criminals or monsters after the age of 30. It is just a number.
You can study in Canada at the age of 30. However, a student visa is required for international students. The only thing is that you might be paying more for health insurance if you are above 30 years.
What are some scholarships there are to study in Canada?
If you are an international student or a Canadian student who wants to fund your studies while studying in the career colleges in Canada, there are awards offered by Canadian governments, non-governmental organizations and international organizations.
Canada-ASEAN Scholarships and Educational Exchanges for Development (SEED) – for mid-career professionals:
Global Affairs Canada is offering short-term scholarships to mid-career professionals from member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) for professional development through short-term courses in Canada. See details.
Study in Canada Scholarships
Students from Algeria, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Egypt, Nigeria, Ghana, Ethiopia, Ivory Coast, Jordan, Senegal, Kenya, Libya, Morroco, Nepal, Nigeria, Rwanda, Taiwan, Tanzania, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, and Ukraine.
The Study in Canada Scholarships provide students from post-secondary institutions located in the countries and territories listed above with short-term exchange opportunities for study or research in Canadian post-secondary institutions at the college, undergraduate and graduate levels. Check out other scholarships HERE.
Canada-ASEAN Scholarships and Educational Exchanges for Development (SEED) – for students
The Canada-ASEAN Scholarships and Educational Exchanges for Development (SEED) program provide students, from member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), with short-term exchange opportunities for study or research in Canadian post-secondary institutions at the college, undergraduate and graduate levels. See details.
Over 600 Career Colleges in Canada
A directory of Canadian Career Colleges and Vocational Schools in Canada/Trade schools sorted by province and city.
These types of career colleges in Canada provide students in Canada the opportunity for learning a new profession or trade.
The directory provides information and detailed descriptions of over 650 schools covering 140 cities or towns in Canada.
Click HERE to access these career colleges in Canada sorted by province and city.
What are your thoughts about these career colleges in Canada? Please share your thoughts about this article below.