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Vocational education in Canada

The correlation with the Russian system

After secondary education, the canadian students can continue their education in College or technical Institute. The programmes of these institutions have a more practical focus than University.

Part of them can compare with professional education offered by colleges, schools and colleges of the CIS countries. Professional training colleges last from 1 year to 3 years. Their characteristic feature is the possibility of internships during training. This internship program called Co-op (Co-Operative) and is an integral component of professional programs. Some colleges have agreements with universities or a special "transfer" program. With their help, student, professional education, can enter on 2 or 3 year of University. A way of obtaining the bachelor's degree is gaining popularity among foreigners, and among Canadians because of their relative cheapness: the cost of College education is much lower than in universities.

What kind of education do I need for admission?

Admission requirements to canadian colleges vary depending on the specialty and province, but as a rule they are slightly lower than for universities. Applicants must be at least 18 years old, have full secondary education (high school diploma, CIS is usually enough) and good knowledge of English. All colleges test the knowledge of the language in different ways: some accept certificates from TOEFL or IELTS, others offer their own free tests. If Your English level does not meet the requirements to go to College, it may still be subject to intensive language courses. For admission to some technical or creative specialties, you may need to submit a portfolio or pass exams.


The main task of vocational colleges - to prepare specialists for the labour market. The most popular areas of training are such as management, hotel business, IT technology and international trade. Career colleges give two types of degrees: Certificate (after successful completion of a program lasting about a year) and Diploma (after successfully learning on the programme). Recently, in colleges there are more applied baccalaureate programs (Bachelor of Applied Science) in such fields as computer technology and business.

Educational institutions

Depending on the province colleges can have different names: community colleges, colleges of applied arts and technology, technical institutes, vocational schools, trade schools.

But they are divided into two main blocks:

  • Technical or career colleges (Career Colleges), focusing on practical training.
  • University colleges (University Colleges) that offer students practical-oriented certificates and diplomas, and academically oriented training programmes to the universities.

In the province of Quebec colleges of General and vocational education are called CEGEP and mandatory link between the school and the University. Since schooling in this region lasts for 11 years, and bachelor – 3 years, Junior colleges CEGEP level the total number of years spent by Quebecers for higher education, with other territories of Canada.