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Helping adult children choose careers

I recall listening to an electrician being interviewed on CBC radio several years ago. 

She talked about her passion to be an electrician since she was in high school and about the barriers and prejudices she faced for having chosen this career. 

But she persevered and now she was an inspector with a large company and an inspiration for young people wanting to pursue non-traditional careers with excellent income opportunities regardless of gender.

As parents, many of us counselled our children toward traditional careers, often through a university education; but there are so many other high paying, satisfying careers from which to choose. 

It is now not just a matter of a university education or a college education. 

There are pathways between both forms of post-secondary education and many students are choosing to follow these pathways or apprenticeships to find fulfilling well-paying careers. 

Back then, I had requested the Institutional Research Team at Centennial College to provide data that would help in guiding young people and their parents. 

They graciously provided some excellent research information which showed that there will be labour shortages in the Greater Toronto Area in Information Technology, Engineering and in Architecture and Design so graduates who are studying for careers in these fields are likely to have good opportunities. 

They also pulled together information for graduate employment rates across Ontario and reported that in the following areas people have been successfully employed soon after graduating from College. 

The range below, top to bottom, illustrates that 100 per cent of college graduates in Recreation Therapy found employment soon after graduation, down the list to 93.4 per cent of graduates from the Bridging to Nursing program who found employment soon after graduating:

  • Recreation Therapy
  • Advanced Care Paramedic
  • Ophthalmic Dispenser
  • Registered Nurse – Critical Care Nursing
  • Behavioural Science Technology
  • Fashion Arts – Modelling and Fashion
  • Visual Merchandizing Arts
  • Creative Writing
  • Recreation for Special Populations
  • Apparel Manufacturing Management 
  • Health Office Administration
  • Registered Nurse – Operating Room
  • 911 and Emergency Services Communications
  • Medical Laboratory Technology
  • Funeral Services Education
  • Sport Management
  • Journalism – Print
  • Veterinary Technician
  • Communicative Disorders Assistant
  • Bridging to University Nursing

This list is from a few years ago and the top picks may have changed, but it is a good pointer to non-traditional career options.

You will also find useful information on public websites such as www.tcu.gov.on.ca/eng/labourmarket/employmentprofiles and www.tcu.gov.on.ca/eng/labour market/ojf/. 


• Dr Vicki Bismilla is a retired Superintendent of Schools and retired college Vice-President, Academic, and Chief Learning Officer.

Posted: Nov 2, 2018

February 2020

Centennial College

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