SCHOOL’S IN: Planning ahead for college or university

Today if you want to get a college or university education, you better have a plan.

Today if you want to get a college or university education, you better have a plan.

This is especially important for those thinking about university degrees in arts and science, more so perhaps than for other credentials which are tied to work place outcomes (such as a surveying diploma or a degree in nursing).

An education plan is intended to help students who complete less applied programs (such as a bachelor of arts degree with a major in English) figure out their career goal with this degree in mind.

As an example, someone with a degree in English could complete a one-year teaching degree and become a teacher. They might also consider a certificate program in TESL (Teaching English as a Second Language) and embark upon a career teaching ESL either locally or internationally. English degrees also lend themselves well for work in communications, public relations, publishing and writing.

These are career plans that students with this degree need to consider before they begin their studies.

The problem with planning is that most young adults I know aren’t always certain of the kind of work they want to do, let alone at a point to build a career plan that will guide them to determining what college or university credential they need to get there.

Many need to start taking courses to help them figure this out. That’s why it is so difficult for some of them to wrap their head around the idea of going to school and linking this to a viable working career.

One of the best ways to help young adults build a career plan and to make the best post-secondary decision is to have them talk to those people working in jobs they might want to consider.

This may seem like a hard thing to do – but right now most post-secondary institutions across Canada are hosting career fairs where they invite professionals from a number of sectors to attend.

The goal of these fairs is to connect people in the know with high school student and adults currently looking at career and education options.

At Okanagan College’s upcoming career fair on Sunday, November 3, a new event focused on how to plan for post-secondary has been added to help those who have been out of high school for a number of years and soon-to-be high school graduates.

This seminar (called Admissions and Advising) is geared towards those who are just starting to figure out what their options are and where the planning begins.

It starts at 11:30 am and is located in E103 – in the Centre for Learning building, Kelowna Campus on KLO road. (The Career Fair runs from 10:30 to 3 p.m. Admission and parking are free.)

Another favorite event at the OC Career Fair that is often well attended is College Prep 101 for Parents.

This session is geared towards parents so they can help their son or daughter navigate through the number of post-secondary options available to them – both locally and provincially.

It starts at 1 p.m. and is in the lecture theatre.

Most things in life need a plan, whether it is a vacation, building a new house or changing your job. Education is no different.

Jane Muskens is the registrar at Okanagan College. Comments can be forwarded to