Choosing the right college program – understanding the workforce

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As September rolls around, quite a number of college bound students will be making a critical decision that would significantly impact their future.  They will have to decide which college program to enroll in.  While there will be plenty of advise from friends, family members and college program advisors, ultimately it will come down to their interest.  With the tightening of the Canadian workforce in the last few years, it is important for college bound students to choose programs that would lead to recession proof professions.  These are professions that are hardly affected by the twists and turns of the economy; in other words, they remain unresponsive to the dictates of the economy. Such programs are offered in all the 24 colleges in Ontario and across the country.

In this piece, I will identify four that in the last few years have attracted hundreds of college bound students. Software engineering leads the pack. This is one of the

fastest growing industries in Canada and the United States. This should not be surprising given the ever increasing demand for technology in the workplace. In fact, with the current demand for these highly skilled professional, colleges will be compelled to churn out more graduates in this area.

Jobs in the service industry, specifically in hotel and tourism remain secure as demand for these professionals has risen steadily in the last decade.  This demand is expected to be sustained as the Canadian government embarks on a vigorous campaign to attract tourists to boost its economy.  Analysts have predicted a significant spike in tourist numbers in Ontario and BC for two reasons; their well developed tourist industries and their proximity to economically buoyant American states—New York and Washington.  Each year, Ontario attracts 70 million Americans who flock to Niagara Fall to catch a glimpse of its breathtaking views. With the Pan American

and Parapan games set to dominate affairs in Toronto in 2015, hotel and tourism will remain a mainstay for years to come.

The demand for program managers has soared exponentially as government, educational institutions as well as various organizations look for skillful professionals to manage programs in the most effective and efficient way.  This demand is augmented by Canada’s stable and prosperous economy that has emboldened corporations, etc., to experiment and build more capacity.

Network Engineers are a gem, so to speak, as their demand is quite high with the rise of online connectivity across all sectors of the economy. They are compensated handsomely, upwards of $80,000 per year to maintain complex computer systems that could cause significant disruption to economic activities  at the slightest fault.  In the last three years alone, demand has tripled.

Article By Prof. Phil Tam-Al Alalibo





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