Open since 1995, Sudbury-based College Boréal is Ontario’s youngest college of applied arts and technology and one of just two publicly funded Francophone colleges in the entire province.
Boréal students can pursue post-secondary education entirely in French, and also learn the specialized vocabulary of their chosen fields in English, preparing students to become fully bilingual professionals.
Boréal regularly ranks as one of the province’s top schools when it comes to graduation rates, graduate satisfaction and employer satisfaction. At nearly 75 per cent, the college’s graduation rate is well above the provincial average, and also the top rate in Ontario for the 19th time in the past 20 years. Boreal receives literal top marks in employer satisfaction, tied with five other colleges at 100 per cent.
Nearly 85 per cent of graduates find work within six months of graduation. The college also offers the “Garantie Boréal,” which promises a second full-time training program at no cost if a graduate doesn’t find work in their chosen field within a year following graduation.
Boréal students can choose from over 80 post-secondary and apprenticeship programs on campuses across the province, including Sudbury, Timmins, Windsor and a new campus in downtown Toronto.
The college is particularly well-known for its strength in health, community services, technology, administration and skilled trades, with a broad range of specialties in each program. Popular studies include diagnostic medical sonography, veterinary technology, medical radiation technology, practical nursing, early childhood education (ECE) and business and social services.
Sudbury, Timmins, Windsor, Toronto
Georgian College is a leader in hands-on education delivered through its vast co-op program. The Barrie-based college has the highest percentage of students enrolled in co-op placements of any college in Ontario, as over 5,000 students train with one of the school’s 6,200 co-op partners.
Georgian offers more than 130 programs to 13,000 students across its seven campuses, providing career-focused degree, certificate and diploma programs in fields including business, health, engineering, design and visual arts, computer studies, hospitality and tourism, community safety, marine studies and skilled trades. Most programs offer formal work opportunities, ranging from paid co-ops to field placements and internships.
The emphasis on hands-on learning seems to pay off for Georgian students, as more than 86 per cent of graduates find work within six months of graduation. Employers seem to agree, reporting 100 per cent satisfaction rate with Georgian grads. The graduate satisfaction rate is just shy of 83 per cent.
Health sciences tend to dominate the long list of popular programs at Georgian. The college’s practical nursing, dental hygiene, dental assisting, occupational therapy assistant and paramedic programs are all popular draws. Applicants are also flocking to Georgian’s two BScN programs, a four-year collaborative degree with York University, and a new four-year honours BSc kicking off in 2022.
Georgian’s three-year marine technology – navigation diploma program is a major draw, as are police studies and social work.
Northern offers more than 75 full-time, part-time, certificate, diploma, and apprenticeship programs across campus locations in Timmins, Kirkland Lake, Moosonee and Haileybury. Its full-time programs cover business, community services, engineering, health sciences, veterinary sciences, welding and trades. Apprenticeships include automotive service, construction and maintenance electrician and industrial millwright mechanics.
Students in the emergency services program get hands-on training in Northern’s unique Integrated Emergency Services Complex, a facility complete with mock courtroom, holding cell, fingerprint and various simulation labs. It also features an advanced disaster management simulator which simulates real-time disaster scenarios, the first simulator of its kind in Canada.
Northern also uses virtual reality technology to create immersive environments and experiences for its trade programs, as well its health, mining and Indigenous studies classrooms.
Almost 87 per cent of Northern students find work within six months of graduation, and those graduates report nearly 81.8 per cent satisfaction with their experience, above the provincial average. Meanwhile, Northern enjoys a 100 per cent employer satisfaction score.
Health studies are a popular pursuit at Northern, both for people and animals; veterinary technology is a popular choice, as is the three-year wildlife rehabilitation diploma program and one-year companion animal physical rehabilitation certificate.
Northern also offers several in-demand nursing programs, both a BScN in Timmins and practical nursing at multiple campus locations.
Timmins, Kirkland Lake, Moosonee, Haileybury
La Cité was Ontario’s first French-language college and its focus on experiential learning aims to fill the province’s need for skilled French-speaking workers.
In that spirit, the Ottawa-based college runs 140 career-oriented programs in 19 fields of study, including business, agribusiness, education, engineering, arts, construction, hospitality, computer science, media, health, legal and more. Courses are primarily in French, although students are also typically taught the specialized terminology of their chosen field in English.
To achieve its goal of hands-on learning, the primary Ottawa campus alone houses 100 labs and practical learning facilities, such as the 911 Institute, an emergency training facility housing a police station, fire station and other simulated security and emergency environments. In nearby Orleans, the 57,000 sq. ft. Skilled Trades Institute provides a comprehensive training ground for instruction in welding, masonry, plumbing, electrical, and other specialties.
La Cité graduates find success in the job market, as nearly 82 percent find work within six months of their graduation. Employer satisfaction comes in at a whopping 100 per cent, placing it in a five-way tie across Ontario colleges for employer satisfaction.
La Cité’s course catalogue spans a wide range of specialties.
Health programs are a major draw, including respiratory therapy, dental hygiene, autism and behavioural sciences, electroneurodiagnostics and paramedical studies. The college also offers a four-year degree in biotechnology.
A two-year social work technology program is another popular choice, as are programs in culinary arts, journalism, 3D animation, graphic design, television production and emergency services.
The college’s comprehensive business program includes programs in accounting, marketing and finance.
In the skilled trades, a diploma program in heating, refrigeration and air conditioning is in high demand.
With more than 4,100 full-time students and 80-plus full-time programs across three campuses, Sudbury-based Cambrian College is the largest in northern Ontario.
With an average 22:1 student-to-faculty ratio, Cambrian delivers relatively intimate learning environments for its certificate, diploma, degree and apprenticeships in health, engineering, creative arts, community services, law and justice, business and IT, safety and environmental studies, general arts and sciences, and skilled trades. Some programs, including social work and general arts and science are also provided with an Indigenous specialization.
Cambrian has developed a reputation for punching well above its weight in skill development. Cambrian students regularly dominate at the annual Skills Ontario competition, including two gold, two silver and two bronze medals at the most recent event.
On top of those accolades, Cambrian tops Ontario colleges in graduate employment, with 88 per cent of students finding work within six months, one of just three colleges topping the 87 per cent mark. Graduates report an 81 satisfaction rate and employer satisfaction comes in just past 89 per cent.
Nursing is a popular specialty at Cambrian, both the four-year BScN offered in collaboration with Laurentian University and the two-year practical nursing program.
Cambrian’s engineering technology program attracts many applicants as well, particularly in the electrical engineering and power engineering specialties.
Other top draws are general arts and science, dental hygiene, massage therapy, MRI technology and paramedic studies.
North Bay’s Canadore College is among the smaller colleges in the province, with approximately 5,600 students each year. Nevertheless, it delivers a diverse range of over 80 full-time programs and apprenticeships. Canadore’s 12 schools of study cover art and design, aviation, community justice, culinary arts, environmental studies, health, sports and trades.
Indigenous students make up about 15 per cent of Canadore’s student body, and the college prides itself on its Indigenous studies program, including unique offerings on Indigenous pre-health, Indigenous wellness and addictions prevention and the First Peoples’ Aviation Technology program.
The college delivers programs in three North Bay campus locations, as well as recently opened facilities in Parry Sound where students train in practical nursing, personal support work, early childhood education and photography programs, among others.
There’s also a “general interest” field of study, with individual courses on a wide range of topics, including AI, astronomy, corporate law, critical thinking, motorcycle training and the history of chocolate.
Canadore ranks above the provincial average for postgraduate employment, with nearly 88 per cent of students finding work in their field within six months. Just over 83 per cent of employers report satisfaction with their hires.
Health sciences are a popular pursuit at Canadore, which offers a two-year diploma in practical nursing. Three-year diploma programs in both respiratory therapy and dental hygiene are also in demand.
Apprenticeships such as automotive service technician, general machinist, and mechanical technician – welder-fitter are also popular options at Canadore. The college also offers apprenticeships geared specifically towards female students, such as the general carpenter pre-apprenticeship for women.
Niagara College touts itself as a leader in applied education, and the numbers don’t lie: each year, more than 7,000 students take part in co-ops, internships, field placements and other applied opportunities.
The college, based in the tourist hostpot Niagara region and just west of the Canada-U.S. border, delivers over 130 certificate, diploma, degree and apprenticeship programs in arts, business, engineering technology, culinary arts, health, technology and trades.
Its location in the heart of Ontario wine country lends itself to unique campus facilities and opportunities; the college was the first in Canada to create a teaching winery, brewery and distillery where students can earn their credentials as winery technicians, brewmasters and artisanal distillers. Another unique offering is the commercial cannabis production program, the first such postsecondary program in Canada.
Nearly 84 per cent of NC graduates find work within six months of graduation and 100 per cent of employers are satisfied with their hires. The college also reports a graduation rate of 68 percent, and 77 per cent of students report they’re satisfied with their educational experience.
Given the diverse program offering, Niagara’s popular program choices cover a wide spectrum of studies.
Culinary management is a popular choice, and students can hone their trade at the college’s award-winning Benchmark Restaurant in Niagara-on-the-Lake.
The college’s school of business is also a major draw, offering numerous programs including honours degrees in business administration in multiple disciplines including accounting, international business, hospitality and human resources.
The commercial cannabis production program attracts plenty of attention, as do the college’s community and justice studies, particularly police foundations and customs border services.
Conestoga College makes an indelible mark in the Kitchener-Waterloo region; according to college statistics, 55 per cent of local adults have participated in some training at Conestoga, and over 5,000 local business are owned by graduates.
With over 235 full-time programs across nine campus locations, Conestoga delivers a vast array of certificate, diploma, degree and apprenticeship possibilities in fields including applied computer science and IT, business, community services, creative arts, engineering, food processing, health, hospitality, workforce development and trades.
The college recently unveiled a 250,000 sq. ft. skilled trades facility to house all its trade programs, such as construction, carpentry, welding, electrical and automotive, among many others. More than 4,000 apprentices hone their skills at Conestoga every year.
Nearly 84 per cent of Conestoga students find work within six months of graduation, and 81 per cent of employers are satisfied with their graduates. Conestoga’s graduation rate is 81 per cent, above average in Ontario, and 82 per cent of students are satisfied with their experience.
What Students Are Saying
“I am not a student but a business owner. My experience recruiting carpentry and woodworking graduates from Conestoga has been excellent. My company depends on graduates from Conestoga for a variety of woodworking jobs and we are proud to support the college in whatever way we can. I would encourage people who want to work with their hands and contribute to building critical infrastructure and homes for people to live in, who enjoy good pay, and who want to take advantage of the many job opportunities available for skilled trades people today, to consider Conestoga. ”Marco Romano, Carpentry and Renovation Technician
Unsurprisingly for a college with over 235 programs, there’s a long list of popular choices at Conestoga.
Diploma programs in aviation are among the most competitive options, as are electrical technician and powerline technician diploma programs.
Conestoga is viewed as a leading school in business education, and its business, project management and global business management programs are also in high demand.
The college’s health program includes several popular programs, such as the BScN program offered in collaboration with McMaster University, the three-year registered practical nursing program and the two-year practical nursing option.
Finally, Conestoga is a favourite among employers in the construction and woodworking industries, as evidenced by the College’s recent investment in a new 250,000 sq. ft. skilled trades facility.
Humber is the biggest college in Canada, delivering over 200 programs to more than 33,000 full-time, 23,000 part-time and 1,800 apprenticeship students.
The Toronto college offers degree, diploma, certificate, apprenticeship and continuing education programs in wide range of studies spanning applied technology and engineering, business, children and youth services, creative arts, emergency services, fashion and beauty, health, hospitality, IT, marketing, media, performing arts and skilled trades, among others.
Humber checks in near the provincial average in 2019 for student employment, with more than 76 per cent of graduates finding work within six months, and 100 per cent of employers reporting satisfaction with their Humber hires.
Humber’s diverse course catalogue lends itself to an equally wide range of in-demand programs.
The college offers 30 honours degree opportunities in specialties such as creative advertising, fashion management, finance, film and media production, healthcare management and interior design, many of which are in high demand.
A BScN program is a popular choice, as well as the practical nursing to BscN bridging program. Other health options are the three-semester certificate program in clinical research and the traditional Chinese medicine diploma, the only publicly funded postsecondary program of its kind in Canada.
Humber is also well-known for cutting-edge public relations and digital communications programs offered by its Faculty of Media & Creative Arts — a training ground for many of Toronto’s media and communications professionals.
Meanwhile, students at the Centre for Trades and Technology can earn degrees, diplomas and certificates in numerous fields, including electrical techniques, carpentry and renovation, HVAC techniques and plumbing.
Named for the region’s historical ties to the Indigenous Mohawk people, Mohawk College is one of the largest colleges in Ontario with over 30,000 full-time, part-time and apprenticeship students.
Mohawk offers over 180 degree, diploma, certificate and apprenticeship programs in fields including health, biotechnology, business, engineering, arts, skilled trades and professional services. Programs also include a robust collaborative degree scheme in partnership with McMaster University.
A hotbed for apprenticeships, Mohawk trains around 3,000 apprenticeship students each year across 22 different specialties, and was the first college in Ontario to provide a provincially recognized post-secondary credential in addition to its apprenticeship certificates.
Mohawk boasts a track record of graduate success: 77 per cent of students find employment in their chosen field within six months of graduation, and the college consistently ranks in the upper echelons of graduate employment and employer satisfaction.
What Students Are Saying
“I got to work with McMaster University through the BTech (bachelor of technology) partnership program. Through this I was able to complete my diploma at Mohawk and get a degree at McMaster in IT in about 2.5 years. I took the software engineering technology stream and learned more about how to "do" and build technology than some of my friends in university CompSci programs. A lot of my courses were online and I appreciated the free time this gave me to study when I wanted to. As an added bonus, I got a training in business and product development in building software and infrastructure. This is key because it helped me get a job and get promoted faster because I had the technical and PM experience. ”Li Wei, Computer Systems Technology - Software Development
Mohawk is recognized as one of Canada’s top research colleges, and is particularly known for its technology and health education.
The technology space includes 39 programs across a wide range of disciplines, including aviation technology, biotechnology, civil engineering, computer systems, environmental technology and urban planning, to name a few.
In health, students can choose from 28 programs such as behavioural science, pharmacy tech, medical radiation sciences, expressive arts, nursing, personal support work and recreation therapy, as well as new degree program in digital health.
Mohawk’s business program is also a popular choice, with 34 programs running the gamut of specialties, including business management, human resources, office administration, tourism, supply chain management and public relations.
George Brown has a distinct Toronto flavour at its heart, named for a prominent local politician, abolitionist and newspaperman, and the only college located in the downtown core of Ontario’s capital city.
More than 34,000 full- and part-time students are enrolled in the college’s 170-plus programs in arts, business, hospitality and culinary arts, construction and engineering, community services and early childhood, preparatory studies and health sciences.
George Brown emphasizes experiential learning through apprenticeships, co-ops, field placements and similar situations at either real or simulated workspaces. Fully 100 per cent of career-focused programs include at least one experiential learning opportunity. Hospitality and culinary arts students hone their craft at the school’s student-run restaurant and event space The Chef’s House, and health studies take in the healthcare simulation centre, which features a mockup operating room and practice labs.
Just over 70 per cent of George Brown’s students find employment within six months of graduating. George Brown students enjoy success in the workplace, with a 94 per cent employer satisfaction rate.
What Students Are Saying
“I've been taking George Brown's SEO and Paid Search course from their Continuing Education program in early 2019. Overall the course has been really good thus far - it's been nice to get a formalized overview of SEO and the main contributors to a site's rankings, both from the technical side and from a content perspective. The lecturer leads an SEO agency and is therefore both knowledgeable and passionate about the topic. The course won't make me a complete expert in content marketing, SEO, and paid search, but it has helped strengthen my understanding of the topics and it enables me to have a more intelligent conversation of the role they can play within marketing for an organization. Lots of value for the amount charged for this course. ”Candice So, SEO and Paid Search
Appropriately enough for a school central to many of Toronto’s finest restaurants and hotels, George Brown is particularly renowned as a leading institution for culinary arts and hospitality. The program offers more than 20 certificate, diploma, degree and postgraduate fields of study as well as apprenticeship programs split between the Chef School and the School of Hospital and Tourism Management. Prominent graduates of the program include famed chefs Mark McEwan and Jamie Kennedy.
The college’s arts and design programs are top picks as well, with studies in graphic design, theatre, dance, acting, screenwriting, visual effects and other areas of expertise. Once again, the school’s location provides a unique advantage as the proximity to theatres, production houses and the like can provide valuable networking, exmployment and co-op and experiential learning opportunities.
Loyalist College hosts a relatively small population of under 4,000 students on a sprawling 81-hectare campus in Belleville, Ontario. The college offers more than 70 full-time diploma, certificate and apprenticeship programs in fields such as health and human studies, business, media, justice, technology and skilled trades.
Notable programs aim to train students for new opportunities created by recent and significant changes in the business and scientific sectors. A newly created course in financial technology introduces students to the rapid digital upheaval in the financial services industry, and a new one-year postgraduate program in cannabis applied sciences provides hands-on education in cannabis biology, cultivation, regulatory issues and product development
Loyalist’s motto is “we put you to work,” and recent statistics seem to bear that out; nearly 86 per cent of students find employment in their field within six months of graduation, and the college reports a nearly 85 per cent employer satisfaction rate. The student satisfaction rate is just under 83 per cent.
Nearly 45 per cent of Loyalist students enroll in the health and human studies program, a broad umbrella that covers specialties like nursing, social services work, early childhood education, fitness, customs border services, police foundations and firefighter education.
Popular areas of focus are the practical nursing and personal support worker programs, with the latter seeing a huge bump in recent enrolments. To meet the growing demand, Loyalist offers aspiring PSWs a one-year program or an accelerated 21-week course.
Lambton College was the second college in Ontario’s public system, opening its doors in 1966 with just 54 students. The Sarnia-based school has grown enormously, now training over 3,000 students across multiple campuses, including two locations in China.
The college’s course catalogue offers more than 70 full-time degree, diploma and certificate programs, as well as micro-credentials, four-week units designed to teach specific competencies required in a career field. Programs include business, community services, education, emergency services, healthcare, hospitality, IT, technology and trades.
Lambton is recognized as a leader in applied innovation in research; it recently ranked in first in Ontario and second nationwide in an annual survey of Canada’s top 50 research colleges.
Lambton grads tend to succeed in the job hunt, with over 86 per cent finding work within six months of graduation. Employers report a 100 per cent satisfaction rate with their Lambton hires.
Lambton is home to Canada’s largest fire school, which uses a fleet of vehicles and replicated buildings to teach and train firefighters and rescue specialists. As a result, the college’s 10-month fire science technology course attracts many applicants, as does the pre-service firefighter education and training program.
The college also recently completed multiple major upgrades on its Sarnia campus to build and enhance facilities for some of its most popular programs. The new 60,000 sq. ft. chemical research centre hosts students in the popular practical nursing and BScN programs, and the recently renovated Centre of Excellence in Energy and Bio-Industrial Technologies is home to Lambton’s chemical production and power technology diploma program.
With over 200 programs catering to 40,000 students, London’s Fanshawe College is one of the largest in the province.
The London-based college provides degree, diploma, certificate and apprenticeship programs in a variety of disciplines including applied arts, agriculture, business, communication and languages, health care, human services, hospitality, media, technology, transportation and logistics, and skilled trades. Fanshawe’s partnership with the University of Western Ontario allows students to pursue collaborative degrees in nursing, finance and music recording arts.
More than 40 Fanshawe programs specialize in skilled trades and apprenticeships, and the college offers more than 60 co-op programs, the most of any college in Canada. Fanshawe also maintains relationships with over 15,000 employer partners to connect students to job opportunities. More than 83 per cent of Fanshawe students find work within six months of graduation, and more than 87 per cent of employers are satisfied with their candidates.
What Students Are Saying
“As a university graduate, the Advanced Filmmaking program at Fanshawe was an incredibly welcome change of pace. It’s allowed me to focus on the hands-on aspect of filmmaking that I did not have the chance to learn while in University. The shift from reading theories and essay writing to producing content and connecting with my fellow filmmakers was exactly what I needed. The environment of AFM is a lot more intimate than the university experience. You are always working in groups to create projects and receiving constant feedback from the professors. If you want to learn the ins and outs making a film, and meet the people who are going to help you do it, there is no better place to go than Fanshawe’s Advanced Filmmaking program. ”Mitchell Brhelle, Film & Television Production
Fanshawe’s aviation programs draws a number of applicants across several disciplines – commercial flight, aviation technology and avionics maintenance are all popular pursuits.
Other major draws are the one year general arts and science program as well as business, computer programming and analysis, accounting and early childhood education, which is offered in 60-, 48- and 45-week programs.
Fanshawe’s robust trades programs include multiple popular options such as specialties in carpentry and renovation, plumbing and building renovation.
A less common but competitive program is the horticulture technician diploma program, which covers studies such as landscape design, plant identification and plant production.
Fleming College is named for Sir Sandford Fleming, the influential Scottish-Canadian inventor and engineer who designed Canada’s first postage stamp, helped engineer the Canadian Pacific Railway and first proposed worldwide time zones.
The Peterborough college carries on his legacy of versatility and creativity, offering more than 50 programs ranging from glassblowing and museum management to biotechnology and business administration. Fleming’s diploma, certificate, apprenticeship, post-graduate and continuing education programs cover 11 schools, including art and design, business and IT, environmental sciences, justice and development, health, and trades and technology across four campus locations. The college also offers collaborative degree programs in partnership with Trent University, where students can earn their BSc in nursing or ecological restoration.
Fully 81 per cent of Fleming students are employed in their field within six months of graduation, and employers report a satisfaction rate of nearly 93 per cent.
The list of Fleming’s popular classes is a mixed bag, true to the varied talents of its namesake.
The two-year wireless information networking certificate program is in high demand, as is the one-year certificate program in project management.
Fleming’s unique conservation and environmental law enforcement program is another top choice.
The school of health and wellness attracts many applicants, particularly to its programs in personal support work, physiotherapy and practical nursing.
With 30,000 full-time students across 10 campus locations, Seneca is among the biggest colleges in Canada. The Toronto-based college offers more than 300 full-time, part-time and continuing education programs in aviation, business, creative arts, education and social services, engineering, fashion and esthetics, health, hospitality, media, science and more.
Campus locations are concentrated in the Greater Toronto Area, except for locations in King City and Peterborough, home of the aviation campus and fleet of 22 aircraft.
In 2019, Seneca unveiled the $85 million Centre for Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship, a high-tech hub for applied sciences and engineering technology such as robotics and mechatronics as well as a data analytics research centre and entrepreneurial incubator initiative, HELIX.
Seneca’s highly diverse student body counts 7,000 international students representing more than 150 countries.
More than 71 per cent of Seneca students find a job in their field within six months of graduating. Employer satisfaction is 84.6 per cent, slightly below the provincial average.
Seneca’s business school is a popular destination, particularly for its three-year accounting and finance diploma and two-year accounting diploma programs.
In IT, a three-year diploma in computer programming and analysis provides fundamental software development skills including an optional co-op placement.
Seneca offers one of Canada’s top fire programs, with areas of study including fire investigation, wildland fire suppression, and fire-related computer software systems. Students can earn a three-year advanced diploma in fire protection engineering technology or complete the firefighter pre-service certificate in three semesters.
Toronto, King City, Peterborough
Algonquin College is one of Ontario’s largest, training over 19,900 full-time students on its three campuses in Ottawa and nearby Perth and Pembroke.
Algonquin’s course catalogue features a dizzying array of 357 programs to choose from, including 52 co-op programs, 10 BAs and a number of collaborative degrees offered in partnership with Carleton University and the University of Ottawa. Fields of study include the faculties of advanced technology, business, construction, health, hospitality, media and design, and public safety. In the technology field, Algonquin’s “We Saved You A Seat” initiative aims to narrow the gender gap in the STEM fields by actively recruiting women to select programs and reserving up to 30 per cent of classroom seats for qualified female candidates.
A one-year certificate program called Pathways to Indigenous Empowerment develops common career skills like math, communication and computer sciences alongside courses on traditional Indigenous knowledge and individualized career coaching for First Nations, Métis and Inuit students.
Nearly 80 per cent of Algonquin graduates find work in their chosen field within six months of graduation, and employers report an 92.3 per cent satisfaction rate, up from 85 per cent in 2017.
What Students Are Saying
“My company paid for this certificate and I have no complaints whatsoever. The program gave me a blueprint for getting management and IT to work together, which I'm pretty sure helped me get the biggest promotion of my career. Lots of people here with undergrad degrees looking for real job skills. Definitely worth a look! ”Terry Norton, Change Management Foundation & Practitioner Certification
Algonquin is widely regarded as a top choice for practical and hands-on learning due to the sheer volume of co-op and apprenticeship programs available. Among those are the three-year computer engineering advanced diploma and two-year computer programming diplomas, both of which include paid co-op work terms.
Business studies, including marketing and intelligence system infrastructure also include paid co-ops, although non-co-op options are also available.
Other popular programs are early childhood education, film and media production, animation, dental hygiene, practical nursing and an honours BA in digital marketing communications.
St. Lawrence College
St. Lawrence College’s recently expanded and modernized campus sits on the banks of the St. Lawrence river in historic Kingston, on 23 hectares of former farmland purchased from the Ontario government for one dollar.
Students can choose from over 100 full-time programs across three campuses, ranging from one-year certificates to four-year degree programs, and apprenticeship training. Students with previous diplomas can also pick form a variety of one-year “fast-track” programs in fields such as business administration, police foundations, human resources and environmental technology, among others.
St. Lawrence checks in above the provincial average in graduate employment, with more than 80 per cent of students finding work in their field within six months, with the College’s employer satisfaction score at 85.7 per cent. St. Lawrence reports slightly above-average student satisfaction as well, at 81 per cent.
Health sciences are among St. Lawrence’s most popular choices. Practical nursing and the BSc. Nursing program are highly popular choices, as are behavioural psychology, medical laboratory sciences, social services work and the pre-health sciences pathway to advanced diplomas and degrees, a two-year certificate program designed to equip students with the skills to meet admission requirements for diploma and degree programs in health.
Students also flock to the general arts and sciences certificate – pre-trades program, which provides foundational learning for those considering the skilled trades, covering bases such as communications, critical thinking, carpentry, masonry, plumbing and electrical.
Kingston, Brockville, Cornwall
St. Clair College
Windsor-based St. Clair College continues to grow exponentially, with enrolments jumping from 8,500 to more than14,000 full-time students in the past five years.
St. Clair currently offers 135 certificate, diploma and degree programs across its six campus locations in Windsor and nearby Chatham on the shores of Lake St. Clair. Areas of study include business, IT, community studies, engineering, health sciences, media and design, and skilled trades. The college also runs a standalone school of nursing, separate from its health sciences program. Both faculties use the state-of-the-art Centre for Applied Health Sciences, a sprawling facility with a simulated hospital environment, full dental clinic and specialized labs for ultrasounds, cardiovascular technology and respiratory therapy.
Nearly 77 percent of St. Clair graduates find work in their field within six months of graduation, and fully 86 per cent of employers are satisfied with their St. Clair grads.
St. Clair delivers multiple nursing programs, a four-year BScN in collaboration with the University of Windsor and the two-year diploma in practical nursing.
Other health studies in high demand are diplomas in dental hygiene, fitness and health promotion, medical laboratory science, diagnostic cardiac sonography, gerontology and veterinary technology.
St. Clair’s media art and design program is another top choice, with three-year diplomas in graphic design and 2D/3D animation among the popular options.
Confederation College’s main campus is in Thunder Bay, the sunniest city in Eastern Canada – averaging 2,121 hours of sunshine per year – and the largest city on the shores of the largest freshwater lake in the world, Lake Superior.
From Thunder Bay and its seven regional campuses across northwest Ontario, Confederation delivers 56 full-time programs across 11 areas of study, including aviation, business, engineering, health, hospitality, media, natural resources, protective services and skilled trades. The college is regarded as a leader in Indigenous education, establishing its focused Negahneewin (Ojibwe for “leading the way”) Student Services Department to accommodate the unique needs of Indigenous learners.
Confederation graduates tend to flourish, as nearly 81 per cent find work in their field within six months, and employers reported 62.5 per cent satisfaction with their hired graduates (down from 100 per cent in 2017). Almost 84 per cent of graduates are satisfied with their Confederation experience.
Aviation – flight management is a top choice for Confederation applicants. The two-year advanced diploma program has students in private flight training within the first week of the first semester, training at the Aviation Centre of Excellence (ACE) in Thunder Bay.
Confederation’s broad health program also attracts many applicants, particularly to the three-year dental hygiene diploma program in Thunder Bay, as well as the medical lab assistant, practical nursing and social service studies, which are offered at multiple Confederation campuses.
In the skilled trades, the college’s comprehensive 32-week welding certificate program is another popular choice.
Durham College runs over 140 full-time programs in the fields of hospitality, business and IT, health, justice, media and design, science and engineering, among others. The School of Skilled Trades, Apprenticeship & Renewable Technology (START) delivers training in 17 trades such as automotive technology, carpentry, construction, electrical engineering, HVAC and welding, complete with numerous co-op and apprenticeship opportunities.
Programs are delivered on campuses in Whitby and Oshawa, where Durham shares a campus with Ontario Tech University. The two schools also share a collaborative diploma-to-degree program in multiple fields, including business, HR, marketing and IT.
Among Durham’s unique program offerings are a new honours BA in healthcare technology management, the only such program in Canada, and a certificate program in Esport business management. Complementing that program is Esports Gaming Arena on the Oshawa campus that offers recreational and competitive esports.
Nearly 77 per cent of Durham graduates are employed in their chosen field within six months of graduation, and employer satisfaction rates 80 per cent.
Practical nursing is a top draw at Durham, delivered as a five-semester diploma program with a flex delivery option with intensive classes from Friday to Sunday and six hours of online work during the week. An accelerated four-semester program is available to nurses who have trained outside of Canada.
Durham’s popular trades offerings include diploma programs in elevating device mechanics, electrical techniques and automotive service. The college’s crane operation, rigging and construction techniques certificate program is the only one of its kind in Ontario.
Sheridan College is one of Ontario’s largest and is widely recognized as one of the top animation schools in the world. The college has produced multiple Academy Award-winning animators, and graduates regularly find work in powerhouse animation studios such as Pixar and Dreamworks.
More than 22,000 full-time students attend Sheridan, earning certificates, diplomas, degrees and micro-credentials in five faculties: animation and design, health and community services, applied science and technology, humanities and business. The college delivers classes in Mississauga, Oakville and Brampton.
Sheridan offers nine trades programs, as well as a Technology Fundamentals program for students who may be unsure which trade is the right fit. The program introduces students to the basics of chemistry, engineering, architecture, IT and trades.
Nearly 71 per cent of Sheridan graduates find work in their field within six months of graduation, and employer satisfaction is at 86 per cent. Sheridan also has an above-average graduation rate in Ontario at 70 per cent.
Sheridan’s four-year animation degree is the marquee offering, but the college also delivers other blockbuster media and arts programs including degrees in film and television, photography, illustration, game design and music theatre performance. Students can also earn a two-year diploma in makeup for media and creative arts or a three-semester certificate in advanced special effects makeup, prosthetics and props.
Outside of show business, applicants also flock to the one-year certificate in animal care and two-year veterinary technician diploma.
Mississauga, Oakville, Brampton
Centennial College was Ontario’s first public college, opening in 1966 (one year ahead of Canada’s centennial in 1967). It may also be one of the most recognizable colleges, having been a shooting location for multiple big- and small-screen productions, including Robocop (2014), Man of the Year and Degrassi High.
Centennial’s five campuses in Toronto deliver 160 programs to 26,000 full-time and 19,000 part time students. Schools of study include advanced manufacturing, advertising and marketing, animation and design, automotive, business, food, health, IT, media, and sustainable design and renewable energy. Most programs include co-op and placement opportunities, allowing students to graduate with as much as a year of practical work experience in their field.
The college’s renowned aerospace program is housed at the 138,000 sq.ft. Bombardier Centre for Aerospace and Aviation, a space large enough to accommodate commercial airliners.
Centennial is proud of its diverse makeup, noting its student body represents approximately 100 ethno-cultural groups speaking 80 different languages.
More than 66 per cent of Centennial students find work in their arena within six months of graduation — a decline from 80.7 in 2017. The college scores above average in employer satisfaction at 88.2 per cent.
Centennial’s popular nursing program provides three options of varying length and intensity: a four-year BScN, a two-year practical nursing diploma and the practical nursing – flexible route, which consists of six consecutive semesters, but with classes only on 3-4 days per week. Another in-demand program is the four-year BSc in paramedicine offered in collaboration with the University of Toronto.
The college also delivers apprenticeship programs in engineering, child services and transportation. The transportation program includes eight apprenticeship options as well as “modified apprenticeships,” where students can work for as long as eight months in real-world environments with employers like Canadian Tire, Toyota and General Motors.
Sault (“Soo”) College is centrally located in Sault Ste. Marie near the shores of Lake Superior and a stone’s throw from the Canada-U.S. border. Delivering over 70 programs available to some 4,500 students, the college boasts small class sizes and intimate learning settings with a student-to-faculty ratio below the provincial average.
Students at Sault pursue certificates, diplomas and upgrading programs in health, culinary arts, community services, business, engineering, general arts and science, media and design, information technology, engineering and aviation. Apprenticeships span a dozen specialties, ranging from ironwork to hairstyling.
Sault graduates have an employment success rate of 75 per cent working in their field within six months of graduation. Employers report a 67 per cent satisfaction rate and 86 per cent of graduates are satisfied with their experience.
Sault is known for its strong aviation program, and its three-year flight program is a popular choice, open both to rookies and those with previous flight training experience.
In the health sciences, Sault’s two-year practical nursing and four-year BScN programs are also sought after and fill up quickly.
Other popular specialties are in Sault’s business program, particularly certificate programs in project management, supply chain management and global business management.
Sault Ste. Marie