Further Education: More Than Just a Master's

By SAIT Modified on December 18, 2019

Are you thinking of a master's degree? There are other options to consider, too.

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The beautiful, modern campus of SAIT, where students from around the world pursue further education to take their careers further.

So, maybe you have finished your bachelor's degree in your home country, and you have decided to join one of the 700,000+ international students who call Canada home. Or perhaps you've completed your bachelor's here in Canada and want to extend your education further. You may be considering a master's degree, as they are common back home, but when you view the different offerings of colleges and universities in Canada, you find a variety of potential degree options and lengths of study. For instance, what is a post-graduate certificate or diploma, and how is it different from a master's degree? What are applied degrees, and how to they vary from diplomas?

Post-Graduate Certificates / Diplomas

One unique qualification Canada offers is the post-graduate certificate or diploma (depending on the province, sometimes they are called a post-diploma). The post-graduate certificate or diploma in Canada was designed for prospective students looking for a more practical / applied learning option instead of the typical, graduate-level theoretical teachings of a master's. Post-graduate certificates or diplomas are often targeted to a specific career or field of study (for example, Technology Infrastructure Analyst). The best part is that many of these programs include some form of a required work placement (co-op, internship, practicum, etc.), so you can get work experience in your field.

If you studied a degree that is very theoretical in nature, these types of programs can be a good idea, as you'll gain the “practical, real-world experience” that many employers are looking for — especially if you have no work experience back home and want to apply for your Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) after graduation.

Applied Degrees

Another unique offering in Canada, which you would typically find only in colleges, is the applied degree. When these were first created, they were intended for students who had completed a 2 year college diploma but did not have a high enough GPA (grade point average) to enter year three of a university bachelor's degree.

However, now many students look at these just like the post-graduate certificate or diploma, as applied degrees offer an opportunity to get into a particular industry by spending only two years instead of another four. Admission requirements often seek graduates of related fields; for example, Engineering for an Engineering applied degree, so you can branch out from your starting point to the field you really want.

There are a lot of choices in Canada to further your education, not just master's degrees. Before you commit, take a look at some of your options. You may find just the right fit for you. Find out more about SAIT on our website.