Post-secondary Pathways

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  • A combination of on-the-job training and classroom instruction.
  • 80-90 percent of apprenticeship training is provided in the workplace.
  • 10-20 percent involves classroom instruction at a  college or another approved training organization.
  • Length of the apprenticeship varies depending on the trade.

Why choose the skilled trades?

  • Changing technologies are also creating more new jobs every year.
  • 40 per cent of new jobs will be in skilled trades and technologies in the next two decades.
  • Skilled tradespeople earn higher than average incomes.
  • Many skilled tradespeople own their own businesses.
  • Transferable skills and knowledge.
  • Graduate without student debt.
  • Rewarding careers with many opportunities for growth and change.


  • Be at least 15 years of age.
  • Can work in Canada and a social insurance number.
  • Meet the educational requirements for the trade (often Ontario Secondary School Diploma).
  • Have an employer in Ontario who meets the criteria.

For additional information



  • College education provides a blend of academic learning and practical skills training.
  • Ontario’s public colleges offer over 4500 programs, ranging from one-year diplomas to 4-year degrees in Applied Arts, Business, Health and Human Services, and Technology.
  • Collaborative programs are offered jointly between a college and a partner university, in some areas of study such as business, health care, information technology, and science.
  • Can lead to many careers, including arborists, conversation officers, dental hygienists, journalists, paralegals, paramedics, and website technicians.
  • High employment rates for college graduates.
  • College instructors are often industry professionals and create real-world connections in the classroom.
  • Costs vary between programs and tuition can range from $3,000 to $5,000 per year.
  • There are currently 29 colleges in major cities throughout Ontario.

Consider the college pathways if you…

  • Meet basic admission requirements which require an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) and some programs may have specific course requirements.
  • Find success in hands-on learning and applied curriculum.
  • Enjoy smaller classes and the personal approach to instruction.
  • Want to explore career options in a broad study program before specializing.
  • To build confidence and connections in industry and professional partners.
  • Have specific career goals that require a college education.

For additional information



  • Special Education staff, parents, and community support agencies work collaboratively to plan and prepare students for life in the community upon exiting secondary school.
  • Options include, but are not limited to volunteer work, paid employment and participation in recreational programs.
  • Some students may be able to access specialized programs offered at Ontario Community Colleges (i.e. CICE – Community Integration through Co-operative Education).
  • Student may remain in secondary school until June of the year that the student turns 21 years of age.

This pathways is for…

  • Students with Special Education needs who are primarily accessing non-credit courses leading to a Certificate of Accomplishment need to display significant progress in completing individual, personal, and educational goals.
  • Students working towards an Ontario Secondary School Certificate [OSSC] need to successfully complete a minimum of 14 credits including seven compulsory and seven optional courses.

For additional information



  • Most programs allow students to explore their subject of interest.
  • The purpose of a university education is to help refine higher order thinking skills.
  • Only select programs will train you for work in a specific job area; for example, business, engineering or nursing.
  • Most programs allow students to explore their subjects of interest.
  • Can lead to careers such as teachers, engineers, doctors, accountants, computer programmers, researchers, psychologists, and lawyers.
  • Ontario public universities offer undergraduate degrees, graduate degrees, co-op programs, and professional programs, ranging from 3-10 years of study.
  • There are currently 21 universities with campuses in 30 communities throughout Ontario.
  • Costs widely vary between type of programs and tuition can range from $5,000 to $15,000 per year.

Consider the university pathways if you…

  • The basic requirement for admission of 6 marks in “U” or “M” (U/C) courses.
  • Enjoy abstract concepts associated with course material and academic/theoretical learning.
  • Are able to complete much of your work independently.
  • Have specific career goals in mind that require a university education.

For additional information



  • About 50% of secondary school graduates enter the workforce first before considering an apprenticeship, college, or university program.
  • Many careers require an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD), followed by specific on-the-job training.
  • There are a variety of entry-level positions in different careers including: real estate agents, animal care workers, bank tellers, photographers, web site designers, and construction labourers.
  • Some employment provides opportunities for paid educational training and advancement.
  • Gather information on the labour market and future opportunities for growth.
  • Participate in various programs throughout high school, such as co-op, dual credits, OYAP, and SHSM, to gain certifications and training that can help build a resume and meet initial work requirements.

Consider the workplace pathways if you…

  • Have specific career goals that allow you to go directly to the workplace for on-the-job training.
  • Want to gain work experience and transferable skills in a particular sector.
  • Make connections to industry partners and employers.
  • Want to explore employment opportunities that matches your goals, skills, interests, availability, and job satisfaction.

For additional information

Contact us

If you have any questions, please contact your local school or fill in the Pathways Questions Form.

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