Are you nearing that age where everyone is expecting you to make up your mind about the next phase of your academic career? Half of you reading this likely have a solid plan for the next four years of your life, while the other half is having greater difficulty deciding. College or university isn’t for everyone, and there is certainly no harm in taking some time to think about one’s future before diving into a new school environment; but in the meantime, why not weigh your options? For students who aren’t sure which is better suited for them, here are the main differences between college and university:
Why Choose College?
Colleges are becoming practical choices for students who want to pursue careers in non-academic fields. While it may not sound as prestigious as a university degree, earning your college diploma can fast track your future career and get you a job soon after graduation. The stigma of a college education is quickly fading, as students are moving on to achieve great success in a wide variety of respectable fields, such as:
- Small business ownership
- Fashion design
Generally, Ontario colleges are less expensive than university and often provide more tactile learning experiences. The downside, however, to receiving training for a career at college is that if you suddenly decide to jump careers further down the road, you likely have to start schooling all over again.
Why choose college? Because of the time and money spent on a university degree, you’ll have less field experience, a broader education, and therefore less chances of finding work within your field. With a college degree, you will have focused on a single program, hence be more specialized in your chosen field, and you will have also entered the job market sooner; so a college degree may actually offer you a better chance of finding a career as soon as you graduate.
Why Choose University?
There’s no denying that one of the biggest attractions to attending university is the prestige. There’s something gratifying about seeing those credentials after your name and describing yourself as university educated. But if that’s your only reason for looking into higher education, then perhaps university isn’t entirely right for you. One of the reasons that university is considered such an accomplishment is that it is the toughest four years of your life—the toughest, but also the most rewarding. You will likely make lifelong friends, gain a wealth of knowledge, and discover what your true interests really are. Professors will constantly challenge your beliefs and shape you into the person you’ll eventually become. University isn’t just about the education—it’s about the culture. It fosters openness, acceptance, and an unquenchable curiosity for life.
Financially, however, university is the more expensive route, so applying for scholarships is always encouraged. Classroom sizes are also typically bigger, and since the job market is so competitive, you may have to go beyond a bachelor’s degree to be a contender. However, your university degree can act like a skeleton key by giving you access to a number of different career paths, and not just the one you initially had in mind.
Have You Made Your Decision?
Are you any closer to deciding on college or university? No matter what path you choose, it’s important to pick a school for the right reasons. At Bright Minds Online School, we’re all about thinking outside the box—that’s why we will never tell you what path to take. The bottom line is that there is no one-size-fits-all answer to the common question: college or university? That largely depends on who you are and what you see yourself accomplishing that will lead to a lifetime of fulfillment and happiness. If you’d like to learn more about the options available to you, contact us today.