Studying in Canada

The scoop on how to choose schools and subjects.

  • Should you study at a university or a college? Which one is better for getting a job?
  • What major will bring more opportunities to students? These are the questions people ask who want to study in Canada.
  • Here are some suggestions based on the differences between universities and colleges to help you decide.

University or college?


The education system in Canada offers practical training programs in colleges that provide highly qualified human resources to meet the market demand. Colleges are a good study option for a large number of domestic and international students.

Education programs at colleges focus on practical and application skills, providing more detailed career orientation. There are numerous types of programs based on the courses offered including:

  • Certificate: Study one year full-time.
  • Diploma: Study two to three years full-time.
  • Bachelor degree: Study three to four years full-time.


Education programs at universities tend to be more academic and geared to professions. The types of degrees include:

  • Bachelor degree: Study three years full-time.
  • Bachelor’s Honors Degree: Study four years full-time.
  • Master’s degree: Study two years after attaining a Bachelor’s Honors degree.
  • Philosophy Doctor (PhD): Study four to six years after attaining a Master’s degree.
  • Professional courses for law, pharmacy and dentistry: Study four years.

Both universities and colleges are excellent choices. Choosing the most suitable option depends on the situation and ability of each person. To make your decision, you must consider several factors such as:

  • Study time: One, two, three or four years.
  • Tuition:  Fees at a university are higher than at a college.  You need to estimate your financial ability to complete your studies.

Which major should you choose?

When choosing a program, international students need to consider not only hobbies, personal strengths, job opportunities, tuition, wages, and competitive rates but also permanent resident opportunities.

The main groups of jobs for those who want to immigrate to Canada (through express entry and provincial nomination) include:

  • Category O: Management positions such as restaurant supervisor and others.
  • Category A: Expertise jobs that need bachelor degrees such as doctors, dentists, architects and others.
  • Category B: High tech and skilled jobs that require college degrees or work licenses such as chefs, electricians and others.

Following is a list of 10 jobs that  easily received the invitation to register permanently in 2016 and 2017:

RankTop 10 2016Top 10 2017
1NOC 2171 – Information Systems Analysts and ConsultantsNOC 2171 – Information Systems Analysts and Consultants
2NOC 2173 – Software EngineersNOC 2173 – Software Engineers
3NOC 2173 – Computer Programmers and Interactive Media DevelopersNOC 2173 – Computer Programmers and Interactive Media Developers
4NOC 6322 – CooksNOC 1111 – Financial Auditors and Accountants
5NOC 6311 – Food Service SupervisorsNOC 1241 – Administrative Assistants
6NOC 4011 – University Professionals and LecturersNOC 1123 – Professional Occupations in Advertising, Marketing, and Public Relations
7NOC 5241 – Graphic Designers and IllustratorsNOC 4011 – University Professionals and Lecturers
8NOC 1123 – Professional Occupations in Advertising, Marketing, and Public RelationsNOC 1112 – Financial and Investment Analysts
9NOC 1111 – Financial Auditors and AccountantsNOC 1122 – Professional Occupations in Business Management Consulting
10NOC 6211 – Retail Sales SupervisorsNOC 0124 – Advertising, Marketing and Public Relations Managers

Source: IRCC

Search for information:
You can easily research fields, courses, and schools by yourself for free. Most universities and colleges have their own websites. Those channels are the most accurate and full of current information. If you have any further questions related to a field of study, contact the school directly. Their contact information will be on the website. Following is a list of useful websites to view before making a final decision.

This content is also available in: Tiếng Việt


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