Education/Career Choices

Discuss career paths and education with your children

You can talk to your children about your own work and educational experiences (or education/careers you may have been interested in). If they are younger, you may want to do some research related to subject areas they are interested in and discuss related careers. If they are older, they can start researching careers and their educational requirements.


Here are some internet resources with information about careers (including the educational requirements, job prospects, working conditions and income).


Explore careers: The Government of Canada website allows you to explore careers by occupation, educational program, wage, outlook, skills and knowledge. The database includes information on what graduates think about their degree and their current jobs, and how many jobs are available in different occupations by region.


OCCinfo: A resource offered by the Alberta Learning Information Service that provides profiles on over 500 occupations including duties, working conditions, valuable personal characteristics, and educational requirements. You can search by job title, interest, subject, industry and more. Most of the information is applicable to all Canadians.


School finder: Search for career profiles by category or find out what careers are on the rise in Canada.


Regional labour force information: Many regions provide labour force information online – including salaries, skill shortages and future demand for occupations. Choose your province or territory below:


Across Canada         Alberta         British Columbia          Manitoba         New Brunswick        Newfoundland  & Labrador

Northwest Territories          Nova Scotia               Ontario               Quebec               Saskatchewan                 Yukon

Discuss the benefits of education with your children


Post-secondary education (PSE) includes university and college degrees and diplomas, and apprenticeship certificates.


♦ There are many potential benefits to having post-secondary education, including higher earnings, lower unemployment risk, community engagement personal development (see Benefits of Education), and more. However, benefits may depend on the program, individual characteristics, job prospects and more. Therefore, it is important that careers and education options are discussed.


♦ Some PSE programing is more directly linked to specific kinds of job/careers than others. Some develop skills and abilities that are transferable to a variety of jobs and careers. For example, employers across different fields are seeking skills that are learned in Arts programs including verbal communication, writing and critical thinking (for more information, see the Benefits of Education).

Should my child take a break before starting their post-secondary education?


♦ Taking time off school before entering PSE can have both advantages and disadvantages for your child:


◊ Benefits include figuring out what type of education and career they want to pursue. They can also gain work experience, earn money, travel, and volunteer.


◊ For some people, taking a break from school may decrease the likelihood that they will ever return.


◊ See the 2008 Maclean’s article on the pros and cons of being a "gapper".


♦ If they do take time off, it is important that they think about their finances and make a budget in order to estimate how much money they will spend and save during their time away from school.

Challenges and stress for students


Your child may experience challenges and stressful situations as a student:


♦ If they are having difficulty with the program requirements, they can see a tutor through their post-secondary institution and/or see an academic advisor to discuss their options.  


♦ If they are experiencing high levels of stress, they may want to see a counselor and/or lighten their workload. Learn more about dealing with stress.


♦ If they are not sure their program is right for them, they can explore alternative careers and programs (see Benefits of Education).