Into the future
The federal government's Can Learn site is chock full of excellent information about educational opportunities after high school. The Student Planner helps students identify skills, interests and goals, explore occupations and fields of study, choose a learning institution and research financing options. Interactive tools compare colleges, universities and commercial institutions.
The best parts are a comprehensive school and program search mechanism and sections on financial planning, debt management and post-secondary lifestyle issues. An online counsellor offers answers to more than 3,000 questions.
After high school
Simple but well designed, the Ontario School Counsellors' Association site offers links under Student Resources to self-assessment tools, career resources and labour-market information. Students can walk through the steps needed to obtain employment.
This Flash site provides hundreds of Ontario university program options. Students click their way to careers of interest. After they've chosen one, they are given a list of universities offering related programs. They can select a university and add it to their electronic backpack.
Once all of these options are neatly tucked into the backpack, they can click on the name and go to the relevant information on the university web site.
College university transfer guide
In our competitive, knowledge-driven society, some students increase their career options by attending both university and college. To accommodate this demand, the College University Consortium Council has created a searchable database of collaborative programs and transfer agreements among Ontario's colleges and universities.
A section for high school students lets them search according to whether they plan to move from college to university or vice versa.
Students who wish to apprentice in a trade can discover everything they need to from the provincial government's Skills Connect site and the Waterloo Region District School Board's Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program, two very comprehensive sources.
Sections include skills and aptitudes, essential high school courses, an extensive list of trades, information on the Real Seal program, loan sources for buying tools and lists of high school courses to take for particular trades.
SchooFinder.com has information on more than 1,400 Canadian universities and colleges. Students will find information on business, law and medical schools plus graduate and undergraduate programs and so on. Sign up for the member's only section of the site, which allows you to customize searches and gives you access to ScholarshipsCanada.com.
Planning Your Next Steps After High School
The provincial government's web site breaks student options into categories, including: I want to go to university; I want to go to college; I want to learn a trade; I need financial assistance for postsecondary studies. The site offers a career planning guide and tips for finding work.
Class to Careers.com
Created by The Learning Partnership, a non-profit organization, this site has one very worthwhile feature for students: they can search for co-operative education opportunities that provide them with real-world work experience. Under "Students", click search.
TVO Career Matters
While most teachers are likely aware of the TVO Career Matters site, it's still well worth mentioning since it offers descriptions for more than 500 careers, including videos of individuals talking about their work, specific job duties and required high school courses.
Ontario association of career colleges
I like this site because its searchable database offers detailed information on all of Ontario's career colleges. Whether a student would like to be a beautician or specialize in fashion design, they can choose the profession, choose a city and receive a complete listing of all schools - with links to their web sites - offering the program they wish to take.
Lynda Scarrow is the College's web editor. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Not all sites are available in both English and French. For additional sites or for French sites related to this topic, Cyberespace.