What are Vocational Courses in Canada?

Vocational courses are designed to help you advance your physical and practical understanding of a specific field. In terms of educational level, these programmes fall somewhere between undergraduate and secondary schooling. In comparison to undergraduate degrees, these courses are less expensive and have a shorter duration. The demand for vocational courses in Canada among international students has increased dramatically in recent years.

Why Pursue Vocational Courses in Canada?

Numerous universities across the world offer vocational courses. Nonetheless, international students find Canada to be a desirable place to pursue vocational training. There are several reasons why this is the case:

  • Vocational courses are less expensive compared to other countries abroad.
  • Numerous Canadian institutions offer many vocational courses as part of their curricula. International students can also take these courses via distance learning and online.
  • At a Canadian university, students can pursue their trade courses and work on campus. If an international student stays in Canada for more than six months, they can additionally opt to work off-campus for up to 20 hours per week.
  • Through vocational courses, students receive significant exposure and gain practical experience that they would otherwise need to obtain through traditional degree programmes.


The following comparison explores the key differences between degree and vocational courses to help you make an informed decision:

Vocational CoursesDegree Courses
Entry requirementsMinimum secondary schoolMinimum highschool
DurationMinimum high school2- 4 years
CostLess expensiveComparatively expensive
Learning approachPrimarily PracticalTheoretical followed by practical
SalaryCAD 53,000CAD 65,000
Flexibility in careerComparatively lowerYes

Top Colleges for Vocational Courses in Canada

  • Picture
    University Name
    University Details
  •  Centennial College
    Centennial College
    Arts and Science Preparation
    Advanced Manufacturing and Systems Automation
    Marketing and Public Relations
    Animation and Design
    Full-time and Part-time
    Tuition fees: CAD 17,000
    Duration: 3 years
    Intakes: Sep and Jan
    Placement: 84%
    Acceptance rate: 68%
  • Mohawk College
    Mohawk College
    Communication Arts
    Community Services
    Preparatory Studies
    Skilled Trades and Apprenticeships
    Online learning programs
    Full-time and Part-time
    Tuition fees: CAD 14,000
    Duration: 3 years
    Intakes: Sep and Jan
    Placement: 96%
    Acceptance rate: 85%
  • University of the Fraser Valley
    Advertising: Media Management
    Baker Apprenticeship
    Business Administration(Co-op)
    Construction Boilermaker Apprenticeship
    Developmental Services Worker – Apprenticeship
    Electrician – Construction and Maintenance Apprenticeship
    Human Resources Management(MA)
    Full-time and Part-time
    Tuition fees: CAD 16,000
    Duration:1-2 years
    Intakes: Sep and Jan
    Placement: 83%
    Acceptance rate: 68%
  • Nova Scotia Community College
    Academic Upgrading and Skills Development
    Building and Manufacturing, Business, Engineering Technologies, Environment, Sustainability and Natural Resources, Health and Wellness,
    Full-time and Part-time
    Tuition fees: CAD 11,500
    Duration: 3 years
    Intakes: Sep and Jan
    Placement: 96%
    Acceptance rate: 80%
  • Durham College
    Durham College
    Arts and design
    Health and Community Services
    Information Technology
    Legal and Emergency Services
    Trades and Technology.
    Full-time and Part-time
    Tuition fees: CAD 13,000
    Duration: 6semesters
    Intakes: Sep and Jan
    Placement: 84%
    Acceptance rate: 41%
  • George Brown College
    George Brown College
    Computer Technology
    Media and performing arts
    Health and wellness
    Hospitality and tourism management
    Social and community service
    Full-time and Part-time
    Tuition fees: CAD 12,000
    Duration: 1-2 years
    Intakes: Sep and Jan
    Placement: 85%
    Acceptance rate: 55%
  • Algonquin Careers Academy
    Algonquin Careers Academy
    Healthcare programs
    Business programs
    Legal programs
    Full-time and Part-time
    Tuition fees: CAD 12,000
    Duration: 1-3 years
    Intakes: Sep and Jan
    Placement: 83%
    Acceptance rate: 60%
  • CTS Canadian Career College
    CTS Canadian Career College
    Health Sciences
    Law and Justice
    Speciality courses
    Brewing Technician
    Full-time and Part-time
    Tuition fees: CAD 11,500
    Duration: 2-3 years
    Intakes: Sep and Jan
    Placement: 77%
    Acceptance rate: 75%


There are many ways through which one can achieve vocational training. These are:

  • Standalone Courses
  • Diploma
  • Advanced Diploma
  • Co- Op
  • Trade courses
  • Certificate Courses
  • Apprenticeships
Health and MedicineDiploma in Fitness and Health Promotion, Diploma in Practical Nurse, Advanced Diploma/co-op in Health Informatics Technology
Business and ManagementDiploma in Business Administration, Certificate in Business Fundamentals, Event Planning Program
Computer Science and ITAdvanced Diploma in Computer Systems, Diploma in Computer Systems Technician, Library and Information Technology Diploma
EngineeringAdvanced Diploma/Co-Op in Aerospace Manufacturing Engineering Technology, Advanced Diploma in Civil Engineering Technology, Certificate in Gas & Oil Burner Technician
Agriculture and Pure SciencesAgriculture Technology Diploma, Current Agricultural Practices Certificates, Certificate/ Diploma in General Arts and Science

Why Should I Consider Attending Vocational School Rather Than a University?

Vocational programmes help you get ready for a fast entry into the workforce because they are career-focused and typically intense. You’ll be well on your way to the career of your dreams because you can graduate in two years. Moreover, professional certification may benefit from or necessitate formal vocational training.

Additionally, training programmes typically cost less than universities, especially when considering the increased fees and additional course and degree requirements that may be imposed on international students. You might be put on a waitlist for future enrollment, though, as admittance to a programme is competitive and there might only be a limited number of spaces available.


To apply to a Canadian university for a vocational programme, students must meet the following requirements:

  • The student must be a minimum of 16 years of age
  • The student should have finished their Secondary Education/ Senior Secondary education/ High School/ Secondary School Diploma- College Level or University level or equivalent
  • The results of at least one English proficiency exam must be submitted by the students. The scores accepted for different tests are:
  • IELTS-overall band of 6.0
  • TOEFL-overall 83
  • PTE-min score of 60
  • CAEL– min score of 60
  • CELPIP– overall band of 7.0


Here is a list of documents required to apply for vocational courses in Canada:

Application Process

The guidelines listed below can be used to apply for a vocational course at a Canadian university:

  • Do some research on the course you wish to take
  • Look up Canadian universities that provide these
  • Go to the official university website
  • Complete the application online using the site
  • Upload the necessary files
  • Fill out the application and pay the required amount


Besides government scholarships, a lot of colleges also provide scholarship facilities to students. Here are the details about a few:

Also checkout the Top 10 Scholarships for International Students


Let us take a look at the job prospects and employment trends after vocational courses across different industries in Canada:

Top fields for JobsJob Prospects
Health and MedicineRegistered Practical Nurse Occupational Therapist Assistant Rehabilitation Assistant Denturist Behavior Therapist
Business and ManagementBusiness Officer
Service/ Sales Manager
Assistant Project Manager
Financial Advisor
Customer Service Representative
Computer Science and ITNetwork/ System Analyst
Cloud Technician
IT Support Specialists
Data Security Specialist
Cyber Investigator
EngineeringAircraft manufacturers
Project Planner/ Surveyor
HVAC Technician
Electrical Design Technologist
Industrial Sales and Services
Agriculture and Pure SciencesQuality Control Technician
Product Development Technician
Food Microbiologist
Sales Representative
Landscape Contractor

Scope after Vocational Training in Canada

  • Take up a job– With minimal time in training compared to degree courses, you can take up a job after the vocational training. Job opportunities at the senior secondary level or above are higher than the secondary level training.
  • Start your own business– You can also look forward to starting your own venture after secondary or senior secondary-level vocational training. Ensure all the legal requirements as it may vary depending on your age.
  • Continue with your training- You may also look forward to enhancing your skills by taking up advanced training programs or internships that complement your vocational training and help you get a high-paying job in the future. 
  • Go for higher studies– If you wish to continue a traditional education system after your vocational training, you can easily apply for admissions to high schools. Compared to a degree program, vocational courses are narrowly focused, take less time to complete and train you for a specific skill.


If you want to add a new skill to your resume, vocational classes can be a good fit for you. Additionally, the expertise may complement the subject matter of your prior degrees. Employers will find you more appealing as a result of this. Because the courses are brief and inexpensive, it will be simpler for you to pick up knowledge and skills at a fair pace.


typical Canadian vocational education With most programmes costing around $6500 annually in tuition, our college is among the most reasonably priced in Canada.

Conventional degree holders should anticipate learning more than simply the technical know-how required for a certain job. Conversely, vocational degrees have a more limited scope. Their goal is to offer instruction and training that is specifically relevant to a given skill or field.

Only 25% of Indian professionals are reportedly “employable.” These figures demonstrate the importance of vocational training in preparing more Indians for the workforce. Get to work early: By preparing you for a particular industry, vocational education makes it easier for you to get employment.

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