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Canada's colleges and universities have internationally recognized quality and are very popular among students from all over the world. Graduating from one of these institutions can help you a lot in getting a good job in Canada and, in the future, your dream immigration. In Canada there are several types of post secondary programs, which are courses for those who have already finished high school. Totem has prepared a summary of each type of course so that you can better understand the country's educational system, and choose the course that best fits your profile.


Firstly, it is important to understand that in Canada there are colleges and universities. Universities are usually more focused on the academic area, while colleges have courses more focused on practical work. Many Brazilians prefer to arrive in the country and start a College instead of a University. One of the reasons for this choice is that Colleges are much cheaper than Universities. A second reason is that you can finish college in less time than university, allowing you to enter the job market faster. If the student decides to go to College first, they can often use their diploma to complete a degree at University. Keeping this difference between Colleges and Universities in mind, we can now explain the different post secondary programs that exist here, let's talk about the options offered in the Province of Ontario, where we have the largest flow of students:

  • CERTIFICATE: It is the most basic and quickest course offered by colleges. Typically, these courses are professional and aimed at those who have just left high school and need to enter the job market straight away. These courses can also prepare you for entry to another, more advanced course at a College or University.

  • DIPLOMA: The Diploma is a two-year technical course, also aimed at those who want to enter the job market straight away, but it is broader than the Certificate. Most of these programs have an internship option, which provides the student with valuable Canadian work experience.

  • ADVANCED DIPLOMA: This course is very similar to the diploma, but it is broader and lasts an average of three years. Many programs within the Advanced Diploma also entitle you to an internship, which can be very important for entering the job market.

  • DEGREE: the Degree is very similar to the Brazilian bachelor's degree and is much broader than the courses mentioned above. The Degree normally lasts four years and is more focused on the academic area, being a more theoretical than practical course.


  • GRADUATE CERTIFICATE: It is a specialization, ideal for those who want a course focused on a specific career and experience in the job market. Most Graduates Cerificates have a work component that allows you to improve your knowledge in practice.

  • MASTER DEGREE AND PhD. The Master Degree is the same as the master's degree in Brazil and the PhD is like a doctorate. These two courses are aimed at those who already have a bachelor's degree and are very focused on the academic area. The Master Degree can last from one to three years and the PhD from four to five years.

Choosing the ideal course at the right institution can make a difference if you are planning to enter the job market. Some Colleges located outside large cities can be a good option for certain areas, because in addition to being specialized in a certain field, they are located in cities with very low levels of unemployment, which can greatly help those trying to get their first job. For example, the Barrie region in Ontario is a hub in the health sector, and if you are looking for a course in this area, this city could be ideal. The Waterloo region is famous for its technology area. Whether your area is tourism, hospitality or cuisine, the Niagara region has great options. For administration, business, or even engineering, the city of London, also in Ontario, can offer you great opportunities.


If you are interested in attending college in Canada, send us a message, and we will be happy to help you take this important step.

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