Humber College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning is the biggest college in Canada, delivering over 220 programs to more than 38,000 full-time, 19,000 part-time and 1,500-plus apprenticeship students. It’s also a highly competitive one, receiving over 120,000 applications each year.
Humber offers degree, diploma, certificate, apprenticeship and continuing education programs in wide range of studies across six faculties: applied sciences and technology, business, health sciences, liberal arts and innovative learning, media and creative arts, and social and community services. In 2021, the college opened its International Graduate School providing specialized business and tech-focused training for international learners.
A Humber education provides a strong footing in the job market, as 82 per cent of graduates find work within six months, and 93 per cent of employers are happy with their Humber hires.
What Students Are Saying
“I have completed my second semester, so about 8 months, at North Campus in business. It's a BIG campus with a great vibe, food options and classrooms and facilities. The professors are pretty good. Out of 12 courses, 11 professors were outstanding and one was just okay. They are respectful and make sure you understand the materials. My Principles of Management prof is a favourite. He would teach for 30 minutes then do in-class exercises and simulations designed to teach us how to run different companies and compete against classmates. It was amazing. You learn by doing and he would walk around to help us communicate within teams and manage time and learn how a business works from the inside out. Student support is also outstanding. Blackboard is used to get assignments and grades, and to communicate with profs. It's not the best, but IT support is available in minutes if you need help. I know plenty of students who use academic services like the writing centre and counselling too who say only the best things. Last but not least is campus life. It is really good. People at least in business work hard but also have fun. It's a multicultural campus with people from India, Canada, China, Brazil, London, you name it. This has added so much to the experience and I'm proud to study here. ”Praveen Singh, Business - Marketing
With so many programs and courses, Humber has numerous in-demand options. Health sciences are a popular pursuit at Humber; the four-year bachelor of nursing (BScN) program is a major draw, as are practical nursing programs, with both four- or six-semester options to accommodate your schedule. Paramedicine, physiotherapy and medical lab technician programs also attract many applicants.
Humber is also well-known for innovative public relations and digital communications programs, which produces many of Toronto’s media and communications professionals. Its digital engagement strategy co-op program is a popular choice in 2024.
Humber is currently expanding its Centre for Skilled Trades and Technology, which offers state-of-the-art learning labs in engineering, construction and renovation, electrical techniques, plumbing and more. Post-secondary diplomas in aircraft maintenance and avionics maintenance are among the top choices, with classes at the specialized aerospace campus.
George Brown College is a major presence in downtown Toronto, with three sizable campus locations and over 30,000 full- and part-time students earning degrees in its 170-plus programs.
Looking for hands-on experience? George Brown makes it a focal point of your education, with apprenticeships, co-ops, field placements and more at either real or simulated workspaces. All of GBC’s career-focused programs include at least one experiential learning opportunity, such as honing culinary skills at the college’s student-run restaurant or treading the boards at the Young Centre for the performing arts in Toronto’s trendy Distillery district. Students at the WAVE (wellness, applied research and visionary education) centre deliver dental and hearing assessments in a state-of-the-art clinical setting.
Eighty-one per cent of GBC students land a job within six months of graduating, and more than 83 per cent of employers express satisfaction with their GBC hires.
George Brown is a top destination for anyone interested in culinary arts and hospitality. The faculty currently offers nine programs, including advanced and beverage business management, hotel operations, event planning and an honors bachelor of business administration in hospitality. Baking and pastry arts management is among the popular choices in 2024.
The faculty of health is another top draw, with competitive programs in autism and behavioural science, dental hygiene, practical nursing and a four-year BScN.
Other popular programs run a wide gamut, with specialties such as carpentry and renovation, construction techniques, interior design and marketing management.
An innovative new offering in 2023 is the deafblind and intervenor studies certificate, a one-year program training students to help those with deafblindness, and the only program of its type in Canada.
With 30,000 full-time students across eight campus locations, Seneca is among the biggest colleges in Canada. The college offers nearly 300 full-time, part-time and continuing education programs in aviation, business, creative arts, education and social services, engineering, IT, fashion and esthetics, health, hospitality, law, media, science and more.
Seneca campuses are dotted throughout the Greater Toronto Area, except for the Peterborough campus which is home to the college’s strong aviation program and fleet of 22 aircraft. In 2022, Seneca christened Seneca Downtown, its hub for executive and professional-level training and microcredential programs just steps from Toronto’s Financial District.
Seneca has recently expanded its partnership with Niagara University to co-deliver graduate degree programs, including an MsC in information security and digital forensics.
More than 76 per cent of Seneca students find a job in their field within six months of graduating, and employers report a 75 per cent satisfaction rate with Seneca alumni.
Given its huge course catalogue, Seneca has a wide range of attractive programs. The college’s nursing programs are highly sought after, including its new standalone four-year BScN and the five-semester practical nursing program.
Seneca’s arts programs are a major draw. The college’s animation program recently placed fifth worldwide in the influential Animation Career Review rankings, and its programs in 3D and game animation are highly competitive. Other popular arts programs include graphic design, acting for camera and voice, and a one-year visual effects teaching cutting-edge digital artistry.
Seneca is also known for its strong firefighting programs, with areas of study including fire investigation, wildland fire suppression, and fire-related computer software systems. The three-semester certificate program in firefighter pre-service is a particularly hot option in 2024.
Since its founding in 2011, BrainStation has firmly established itself as a recognized leader in digital education. Embracing the slogan, “be future-proof,” the private tech academy has helped over 100,000 learners kickstart or accelerate their digital careers.
BrainStation students benefit from active career support, offering interview workshops and networking events to connect with industry professionals and recruiters. Its network of over 6,500 hiring partners includes Amazon, Shopify, Samsung and all of Canada’s “big five” banks.
BrainStation self-reports a 90 per cent employment rate among recent graduates, and the most recent statistics also show a 100 per cent employer satisfaction rate.
What Students Are Saying
“My instructors were incredible. The online portal for learning is impressive. The community of people, including the students, administration and professionals who speak at events and hire from BrainStation were all important parts of my experience. And did I mention it was all OSAP eligible? Yup. This was honestly a game changing experience for me and is a big part of the reason why I have a job in the field. ”Sarah Lee, Data Science Diploma
While BrainStation is arguably best known for its award-winning coding bootcamps, it offers training in more than a dozen tech specialties, in accelerated full- and part-time formats or regular courses for a less-intensive learning experience.
For the bootcamp-inclined, BrainStation hosts intensive programs in data science, UX design, digital marketing and software engineering. The latter, which tops CourseCompare’s ranking of the best coding bootcamps, delivers a comprehensive full-stack education in just 12 weeks.
There are more than a dozen certificate courses on offer as well, with training in data, design, development, marketing, product and leadership. BrainStation’s digital marketing certificate course delivers the core skills in a business-critical discipline and also earned a spot in our list of best digital marketing certificates of 2023.
In 2023, Lighthouse Labs marks its 10th year of transformative tech reskilling and upskilling courses, teaching “coding as the ultimate craft.” Previously known for its expansive in-person training, Lighthouse Labs recently transitioned to a fully online experience coinciding with the boom in remote work.
Lighthouse is a leader in fostering diversity in the tech field. It takes an active role in diversity initiatives including Women Learning to Code, the Indigenous Digital Equity Strategy Project, Digital Skills for Youth, and other programs to open doors to successful tech careers. Lighthouse also continues its commitment to offering one million dollars in needs-based scholarship funding to new students, and created a “breaking barriers” scholarship to support LGBTQA+ learners.
Lighthouse describes itself as “outcome-obsessed,” and offers lifetime career services. Nearly 75 per cent of graduates find work within six months, although Lighthouse reports its bootcamp grads enjoy a 90 per cent employment rate within a year.
What Students Are Saying
“Lighthouse Labs is all about community; a community of people who will push you to your limits while building you up into something better than you thought you could be. My bootcamp experience was second-to-none. I'm extremely grateful to the teachers, mentors and staff who helped me through my career transition. Totally unforgettable experience. ”Erin, Web Development Bootcamp
Bootcamps are the name of the game at Lighthouse. Its 12-week data science bootcamp is a top choice, and the recently launched eight-week data analytics program promises to be a popular option as well. Another new bootcamp in cybersecurity is one of the first of its kind in Canada, and teaches all the key skills to join the sector with the lowest unemployment rate in the country. For aspiring coders, Lighthouse delivers a strong web development bootcamp, which also made our list of top coding bootcamps in 2023. It the bootcamp environment isn’t your style, Lighthouse recently introduced slower-paced “flex options” for all bootcamp programs, allowing you to work at your own pace.
The Michener Institute of Education at UHN
The Michener Institute is a unique entry on our list, being the only postsecondary institution in Canada with an exclusive focus on healthcare education. It’s also the oldest school in our ranking, having opened its doors in 1958 as a pilot program at Toronto General Hospital.
Nearly 17,000 students train at Michener’s five campus locations, studying in full-time, part-time, post-certification and bridging programs.
Hands-on experience is a key element of the Michener experience. The school boasts one of the largest simulation-based learning hubs in Canada, with over 20,000 sq. ft. of clinical exam rooms, simulation suites and classrooms with state-of-the-art equipment. And with an average class size of 25 students, you’ll have an intimate learning experience and plenty of instructor focus.
According to its most recent statistics, nearly 80 per cent of Michener graduates land a job within six months of graduation, and employers report a 100 per cent satisfaction rate.
What Students Are Saying
“My education in this building set me up for a fabulous career that took me around the world several times, working with some of the brightest and most creative minds in diagnostic imaging. ”Debra Sheridan, Ultrasound Program
While Michener’s current course catalogue is relatively lean, with just 26 programs available, it delivers top-flight training across a wide range of medical specialties.
Among the most competitive programs on offer are the post-diploma programs in cardiovascular perfusion, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), ultrasound, chiropody and genetics technology. Applicants also compete for entry to the three-semester program to become an anesthesia assistant. Popular post-secondary programs include medical laboratory science and respiratory therapy.
Continuing education is another key part of the Michener education, with an array of courses, workshops and microcredentials on offer, covering disciplines such as critical care nursing, clinical research, cannabis education, AI, quality management, radiation sciences and many more.
Open since 1995, College Boréal is one of Ontario’s younger public colleges, but has quickly developed a strong presence, with seven campuses across Ontario including its Toronto campus at the foot of Yonge Street.
Boréal is one of just two publicly funded Francophone colleges in the entire province, and has a mission to produce a highly skilled bilingual workforce. Students can pursue post-secondary education entirely in French, and also learn the specialized vocabulary of their chosen fields in English.
Boréal regularly ranks as one of Ontario’s top schools in graduation rates, graduate satisfaction and employer satisfaction. At 75 per cent, the college’s graduation rate is nearly 20 per cent above the provincial average and also the top mark in Ontario for the 20th time in the past 23 years. Nearly 91 per cent of graduates find work within six months of graduation. Backing that up is the “Garantie Boréal,” which promises a new full-time program at no cost if a graduate doesn’t find work in their chosen field within 12 months of graduating.
Boréal’s Toronto campus offers a focused but comprehensive catalogue, offering just 20 programs but a selection that covers a wide spectrum: business, computer sciences, general arts, child and youth care, practical nursing social services.
Among the popular options are the pre-health sciences pathway programs, which deliver the knowledge in anatomy, physiology, math, chemistry and other foundational skills to succeed in a health sciences career. Graduates can be admitted to a Boréal health program of their choice, including dental hygiene, paramedicine, massage therapy, physiotherapy and practical nursing.
The Toronto campus also recently debuted a two-year diploma program in social entrepreneurship, teaching business and entrepreneurial skills to promote positive social change. The unique new program is offering in partnership with Ottawa’s Saint Paul University, giving graduates the opportunity to pursue an accelerated honours bachelor in social innovation.
General Assembly began as a co-working space in 2011, but has since blossomed into an international pioneer in digital training, upskilling and future-proofing. The private tech academy brands itself as the “solution to the global skills gap,” delivering experiential education in some of the most in-demand career skills today: tech, data, design, business and more.
GA prides itself on its elite instructors, industry experts drawn from leading businesses such as Google, eBay and Salesforce delivering real-world training. And the school’s dynamic course designers update each course at least twice per year to keep pace with the evolving digital landscape and ensuring students experience the very latest learning features and content.
GA established a foothold in Toronto when it acquired Bitmaker Labs in 2016, absorbing a downtown campus and vibrant community of seasoned and aspiring technology professionals.
Career outcomes continue to be a major focus for GA to this day, which offers personalized career coaching, job-search prep and extensive networking opportunities through its 10,000-plus hiring partners including Microsoft, Nike, Starbucks, PayPal, Pfizer, Google and Deloitte. According to GA’s data, nearly 85 per cent of students participating in the school’s career services program found work within six months of graduation, and nearly 96 per cent landed a job within a year.
What Students Are Saying
General Assembly’s Toronto campus offers a streamlined course catalogue of two full-time and six part-time courses. Its full-time software engineering immersive program is in high demand, with a beginner-friendly, comprehensive curriculum teaching the fundamentals of full-stack web development. Over 12 weeks, students build a professional-grade portfolio to showcase coding and collaboration skills to potential employers, creating full-stack web applications that leverage modern programming languages, frameworks, and tools like React, Python, Django and more.
For part-time learners, GA delivers courses in product management, front-end web development, Python, UX design and digital marketing. The 10-week, part-time data analytics course is a popular choice for students.
Centennial College was Ontario’s first public college, opening in 1966 (one year ahead of Canada’s centennial in 1967). It has also masqueraded as one of Canada’s best-known high schools, being the filming location for dozens of episodes of the iconic TV series Degrassi High.
Centennial delivers more than 250 diploma, certificate and degree programs across its five Toronto-area campuses, and the course catalogue covers a wide range of disciplines, including advertising and marketing, aerospace and aviation, arts, automotive, business, hospitality, media and IT, as well as unique and highly specialized programs in advance manufacturing and systems automation, and sustainable design and renewable energy. Centennial puts a heavy emphasis in experiential education, with most programs including lengthy co-op components to earn you valuable real-world experience. And in some cases, we mean lengthy; the automotive program in particular includes a “modified apprenticeship” option where students can work as long as eight months, getting paid and earning practical experience.
Centennial is a major destination for international students. In its 57 years, the College has trained more than 50,000 learners from abroad and regularly boasts the largest international student body among Ontario colleges.
More than 75 per cent of Centennial students find work in their arena within six months of graduation, and employer satisfaction clocks in at an even 75 per cent.
Centennial’s nursing program remains a top choice in 2024, with three competitive programs: 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. Aspiring paramedics also compete for spots in the two-year paramedicine diploma program.
Centennial has a cutting-edge aerospace facility, and applicants flock to the aircraft maintenance and avionics maintenance diploma programs.
Other popular choices include police foundations, firefighter pre-service and digital engagement strategy, a one-year program offered through the College’s business school.
Toronto School of Management (TSoM)
True to its name and purpose, the Toronto School of Management (TSoM) is located on College Street in Toronto’s downtown core. Although relatively new on the college scene, first opening its doors in 2017, it’s quickly earned a reputation for its hands-on focus, strong programs and student satisfaction. The school recently won “Best Adult Education” in the Toronto Star Reader’s Choice poll for the third consecutive year and is also a two-time winner in the “Best Business and Career Training” category.
TSoM’s 2,000 students come from over 130 countries to earn certificates and diplomas in business, hospitality and tourism, accounting and finance, technology, legal studies and English.
Real-world education is key to the TSoM experience. Nearly 75 per cent of its certificate and diploma programs include extensive co-op placements ranging from 12-36 weeks, giving plenty of time to apply your learned skills in a practical setting.
What Students Are Saying
“My experience with TSoM has been the best, their teachers are amazing in my case I had excellent classes I learned a lot, and the team of the college is very kind, they help you in all areas as an international student, where you can live, how to create a resume, how search work. Besides, they have amazing activities to do. Now I started my co-op with them and I can not be more than happy. I recommend TSoM to study. ”Xiomara Rojas Martinez, Diploma in Digital Marketing Specialist Co-op
With 12 certificate and diploma programs, as well as preparatory and English courses, TSoM delivers a diverse range of training options.
Among its top programs is the cybersecurity specialist co-op diplom, which also ranks on our list of the top cybersecurity certification programs of 2023. The one-year program includes 240 hours of co-op learning and provides a solid foundation in all aspects of cybersecurity, including blockchain, risk management, big data and the Internet of Things (IofT).
TSoM’s digital marketing certificate is a comprehensive 36-week program powered by the Digital Marketing Institute, and also made our list of best digital marketing certificate programs in 2023.
Big data is another popular training path at TSoM, which offers a one-year diploma and co-op in data analytics.
With a student population of just 3,654, Loyalist is among the smaller colleges in Ontario, but considers size one of its greatest strengths. The modest student body provides intimate learning experiences with plenty of personal and even one-on-one attention.
And while Loyalist is small – those 3,654 enrolments are the college’s highest-ever – it’s also expanding its course offerings and locations, opening new campus locations in Port Hope in Toronto in recent years, with a distinctly international student focus.
Loyalist’s former motto was “we put you to work:” a tagline that still rings true, both before graduation and after. Most programs offered at the Toronto campus include 14-week co-op placements, giving you plenty of time to apply your learning in a real-world environment. And the experiential approach pays off: Loyalist boasts the highest graduate employment rate in Ontario, nearly 94 per cent. The college is also tied for the top employer satisfaction rate at a pristine 100 per cent.
The course catalogue at Loyalist’s Toronto campus is small but sophisticated, delivering 13 diploma and certificate programs in in-demand disciplines such as cloud computing, business sales and marketing, software development, project management, wireless networking, hospitality management and more.
The newest program on tap is a graduate certificate in artificial intelligence and data science, one of the most in-demand specialities in Canada today. Over two years, the program covers the key elements of “big data” work, including deep learning, programming languages, statistical modelling and data visualization while also establishing a professional-grade portfolio along the way.
Algonquin College is one of the largest in the province, and its footprint is growing with its recent expansion into Toronto. In 2022, Algonquin struck a partnership with Toronto-based CDI College to deliver a select menu of sought-after courses in the GTA, offering diploma and certificate programs in art and design, business in technology.
In the technology programs, Algonquin offers a unique initiative to narrow the gender gap in the STEM fields; the “We Saved You A Seat” program actively recruits women to select programs and reserves up to 30 per cent of class space for qualified female candidates.
Algonquin’s mission statement is “to transform hopes and dreams into lifelong success,” and the college seems to get students off on the right foot; nearly 85 per cent of graduates find work in their field within six months, and 100 per cent of employers report satisfaction with their hires.
Algonquin’s partnership with CDI is starting small, with six programs on offer for 2023 such as international business management, business management and entrepreneurship, project management and web development.
One of the most popular Algonquin programs available at the Toronto campus is its computer programming diploma. Over the two-year program, students build the foundation for a career in software development, honing skills in industry-standard programming products and languages such as Oracle, CASE, Java and SQL. The final semester includes a development project with an external client, earning real-world experience.
Another top choice is Algonquin’s interactive media design program, a two-year diploma teaching a diverse skillset in media project planning and development. Elective courses allow students to focus their career path towards motion graphic design or web development if they choose, or stick with a generalist path to keep their career options open.
International Language Academy of Canada (ILAC)
In the 25 years since its founding, ILAC has built a reputation as one of the strongest English-language schools in Canada. The college has racked up multiple local and international awards, including the global ST (StudyTravel) “leading star” award in 2022, a recognition it’s earned for five consecutive years. ILAC offers career-focused business education, supporting international students develop language skills while gaining Canadian work experience.
Real-world experience is a keystone of the ILAC experience. Each of its programs features a substantial co-op placement – ranging from 24-40 weeks, depending on the program – giving students ample time to apply their skills and strengthen English fluency. ILAC also guarantees a co-op placement, easing the challenge of finding your own while focusing on your studies.
Going by the most recent stats available, 50 per cent of ILAC students earn a job within six months, while boasting a 100 per cent employer satisfaction rate.
What Students Are Saying
“I'm studying at ILAC for 6 months. This school is amazing. They have the best teachers and also a good learning structure. They plan fun and activities after the classes and make sure you get all kinds of opportunities to learn. The building and classes are beautiful too. The best part is the people and all of the friendships I am making. ”Natty Parra, Pathway to University
ILAC delivers four core programs: service excellence for business, sales & marketing, and business administration. The fourth, service excellence with business communication covers much of the same ground as service excellence for business – with elements like sales fundamentals, event planning and front desk service, among others – but with a stronger focus on English-language proficiency, through courses on business communication and professional presentation skills.
Given its international focus, ILAC programs also feature courses on Canadian workplace essentials or working across cultures, helping students from abroad learn the key skills to adapt and thrive in a Canadian business environment.