Private Career Colleges
Career college offers route to self-employment
After working in business for years, Dianne Day was exhausted and in need of a career change. Day decided to do something she loved — so she enrolled in the Aesthetician program at the Salon + Spa Career College in Toronto. After graduating, she launched her own business called DayLily Aesthetics last June.
Krista Seggewiss, Special to QMI Agency
“DayLily Aesthetics represents the fruition of my dream: to own and operate a business that educates people and helps them to relax, rejuvenate and restore their beauty and inner self through natural and organic products and services,” Day says.
Self-employment in Canada is on the rise. A recent Statistics Canada report shows more than 100,000 people joined the ranks of the self-employed between October 2008 and October 2009 — a 4.3% increase. A major portion of the newly self-employed were in the services sector — and about 58% were women.
Day moved the business into her Coldwater, Ont., home in April.
“The home is set up nicely for a day spa in the country,” she says. “I have met all of the goals set out in my business plan.”
Like Day, many career college graduates choose to be their own boss. With programs such as web and graphic design, esthetics and massage therapy, many career college offerings lend themselves to self-employment.
Career colleges have played an important role in training mature students during the recent economic downturn.
“In times of economic uncertainty, career colleges take on an essential role in helping people prepare for new careers,” says Paul Kitchin, executive director of the Ontario Association of Career Colleges (OACC).
OACC is a non-profit organization representing about 250 registered career colleges. OACC’s members offer 2,423 programs in a range of areas, including: business, IT/electronics, services, human services, health services, the trades and applied arts. More than 45,000 people graduate from Ontario’s career colleges every year — the majority of them attending OACC member campuses.
“Growing numbers of people are choosing to attend a career college to gain the skills they require to re-enter the work force,” says Don Thibert, OACC past president. “Career colleges provide hands-on instruction that allows students to be job-ready sooner.”
Students can earn a diploma or certificate at a career college in an average of 12 months or less.
Career colleges have a strong graduation rate. The 2009 Survey of Canadian Career College Students found participants graduated at a rate of 98%. The study of 4,065 graduates was jointly funded by the Canadian Millennium Scholarship Foundation and Human Resources and Skills Development Canada.
The survey also indicated that six to nine months after graduation, 79% of private career college grads reported they were working full time (60%) or part time (19%.)
“The strong graduation and employment rates have a lot to do with the high-quality training students receive at career colleges,” Kitchin says.
For more information on the Ontario Association of Career Colleges, visit www.oacc.ca.
To explore career college programs, visit OACC’s student portal at www.ontariocollegesearch.ca/web/oacc/.