Which British Columbia Higher Education Track is Right for you?

Whether you are moving to British Columbia temporarily of permanently, for work, pleasure or to support a loved one, the opportunity or necessity may arise for you to further your education. You may want to pursue a new career ambition, build your skills for the benefit of your employer, or simply enrich your life by enrolling in that creative writing or woodworking class you’ve always wanted to take. When you move to Vancouver, you’ll have the opportunities to do any and all of this. Here’s a look at how to determine which British Columbia higher education track is right for you.

Choosing a type of school

In total, Vancouver boasts 1,900 higher educational programs offered through British Columbia’s publicly-funded institutions. There are 11 colleges in the public college system and 11 universities. There are also three institutes of technology and advanced learning. On the private side, British Columbia is home to three private universities, five private colleges, six theological colleges and a diverse collection of private career institutions and colleges that offer specific skills training programs.

Public and private colleges are a wonderful option for people looking for education and/or apprenticeships in trades. They over plenty of study options in carious vocations, careers and even academic fields. Usually, the types of accreditation include certificates, diplomas, associate (two-year) degrees, and some applied undergraduate degrees (Bachelor degrees). This British Columbia higher education track may be right for you if you are an adult learner hoping to transition to a four-year university after gaining an academic foundation, are developing your professional skills, or want to pursue a personal hobby or interest.

Public and private universities are the perfect venue for the serious student. While adult and continuing education options are offered here, most students who matriculate are earning their four-year undergraduate degree, or from one-to-five-year graduate degree (either a Masters Degree or a doctoral degree.) Choosing to attend a university may be the right choice for you if you want to dedicate most of your time to your studies (for instance, if you are not currently focusing on a full-time job or career), if you have not yet received an undergraduate education and want the full “college experience” or if you plan to become a high-level expert in a particular professional or academic discipline or field.

British Columbia’s three Institutes offer unique specialized programs, each with a different focus. There’s a Public Safety Institute (Justice Institute of British Columbia), a trades and technology institute (British Columbia Institute of Technology) and an institute focusing on Aboriginal wish to pursue one of these specific areas of study in an community of like-minded individuals.

British Columbia has an extensive network of private institutions, and thanks to the province’s well-developed transfer program, if you begin studying at one place and wish to transfer to another to finish, you can easily do so. The credits you earn at a public college, for example, will still count towards your degree if you transfer to one of many public institutions, including (Acsenda School of Management, Alexander College, Art Institute of Vancouver, Columbia College, Fraser International College, and others).

British Columbia Higher Education

Choosing the type of diploma, certificate of degree to pursue.

There is a variety of program degrees and certificates that students can pursue depending on their educational and career ambitions:

Certificate programs generally involve two semesters of coursework. Some people choose to pursue a certificate in order to add skills to their resume, which will be helpful in their professional careers. They are offered widely amongst areas of study, and can be quite specific.

If you want to update your job skills and look attractive to prospective employers, why not add diploma credentials to your CV? Diploma programs are about double the length of certificate programs. Like certificates, they are offered for a wide range of subjects, but they tend to be more in-depth, covering more material than certificate programs. Examples include “Accounting,” “Advertising and Graphic Design,” “Tourism and Travel,” “Social Service Work,” and hundreds more. Advanced Diplomas are also offered, and these program take six semesters to complete.

Those pursuing Undergraduate Bachelor’s degree programs full-time get the full higher education experience. Often, they live on-campus, study full time, participate in campus clubs, organizations and events, and immerse themselves with the educational culture. It’s a great options for those fresh our of high school, or looking to completely shift their career paths.

These are four-years university programs and are wonderful options for students who want to acquire theoretical and practical knowledge. Students tend to study the humanities (language arts, history, philosophy, etc.) in addition to their major program of study, which could be in humanities, sciences, mathematics, engineering, fine arts, business, media, or in a number of other areas. In these programs, it’s said that young adults learn “how to think” in addition to professional skills.

Graduate Master’s Degree programs are perfect for students who wish to gain greater expertise in a particular area of study. Programs typically range from one to three years, and can involve creating a thesis or final research project. Master’s programs are heavily based on individualized learning, and focus on a narrowed area of research or study.

British Columbia Higher Education

Graduate Doctorate (PhD) programs are the highest level of study in a particular field. Ph.D. programs are meant to produce  the highest level experts. Many people who pursue these want to devote their life to personal research, teaching at higher education institutions, or working in a field that requires this high level of education (like psychology or medicine).  Programs tend to be about five years long, and are heavily based around personal research and projects. In addition to two or three years of coursework, Ph.D. candidates complete dissertations, which tend to be from 100 to 300 pages in length.

Apprenticeship programs are common for many skilled trades and crafts. Students benefits from working closely with established professionals. Apprenticeship programs exist for electricians, carpentry, plumbing, cabinetmaking, hair styling, auto mechanics, metal smithing and more fields.

From the settle-in.com team, we hope this helps you hit the books with confidence!

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Photos: Mer Chau, Gadget Dude, University of Fraser ValleyJoachim Schlosser

À propos de Georgia

For years, I knew that I wanted to move to Canada to get my postsecondary education. From the exciting and diverse museums, nightlife and dining found in the big cities, to the wealth of natural beauty, I was captivated by the country. I was a little nervous to travel all the way from Australia, but I knew the experience would teach me a lot. It’s true that relocation is never easy. The packing, shipping and visa formalities can all be complicated. But with careful planning and a little help from the veteran relocators (like me!) you’ll be settling in and enjoying the vibrancy of Canadian living in no time. // Depuis plusieurs années, je savais que le Canada était le pays parfait où je pouvais obtenir mon diplôme d’études secondaires. J’étais captivée par les villes du Canada que ce soit par les musées, les soirées, les repas dans les grandes villes ou encore la proximité de la beauté des paysages. J’étais anxieuse à l’idée de faire le voyage à partir de l’Australie mais je savais que cette expérience allait m’apprendre énormément de choses. C’est vrai que la relocalisation n’est jamais facile. L’emballage des affaires, l’expédition et les formalités de visa peuvent être stressants et compliqués mais avec une bonne organisation et un peu d’aide des anciens relocalisés ( comme moi ), vous serez rapidement installé et pourrez profiter de la trépidante vie canadienne en peu de temps.