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Look Before You Leap Into Training

Surveys and projections show that over 75% of new jobs being created in Canada will require more than a high school education. This means that college, technical, or university level training is critical to future job and career success. The good news is that there are many schools and programs to choose from.

Here are a number of great websites that will help you with researching your training options:

  • Education Planner provides information on all undergraduate programs at BC’s 26 publicly funded colleges, institutes and universities including availability, application dates, tuition costs, admission requirements, and program lengths. You can search for programs by field of study, subject area, length of program, region, institution, and type of credential.
  • BCCCA: This is the site of the BC Career Colleges Association representing privately owned career training centres. Click on the ‘Search for a School’ option at the top of the main page to search by topic of study and/or region.
  • PCTIA: The Private Career Training Institutions Agency (PCTIA) is a government agency responsible for registering and accrediting private training colleges. Make sure that any private training college you consider is registered and preferably accredited by the agency.
  • go2HR Tourism Training Directory: go2HR has a tourism-specific training directory, searchable by sector and region of all provincially accredited programs, from both public and private institutions, over 4 weeks in length.

Of course, once you begin to research the available training options you’ll quickly realize that many of the courses and programs require a significant investment on your part. Before you sign the final registration forms (and cheque), make sure the training will be both appropriate for you and valued by employers. Ask employers in your chosen career field what training they prefer. Be a good consumer; call several schools to determine what is available, and find the program that is right for you. Some questions you should find answers to include the following:

  • What are the minimum entrance requirements to succeed in the course?
  • Do the instructors have recent industry experience?
  • Are the school’s facilities and location suitable for the training provided?
  • Is the equipment up to date and compatible with industry/employer standards?
  • Is the school recognized or accredited by any industry or business association?
  • Does the program cost/length/content compare favourably with other schools?
  • Does the school have any co-op or work placement services included in the program?
  • Can/will they provide the names of past graduates who have found work?
  • How much of the course is self-directed verses instructor lead; labs verses class time?
  • Does the program’s structure, location and hours fit with your lifestyle/other commitments?

By Gregg Taylor, president of Transitions Career & Business Consultants Inc. For more information on career coaching services, visit www.thecareerpeople.ca.

This article may not be republished without the express permission of the copyright owner identified in the article.