How Do I Choose?
There are a number of ways to find out which post-secondary program will help you build the skills you need. The Alberta Learning & Information Service, also called ALIS, is an online resource designed to help you explore post-secondary program options in Alberta.
Alberta’s post-secondary programs are developed to give you choice in how, when and where you complete your education. This means that your program may be offered by more than one post-secondary institution and in different ways. Before you choose, think about:
Completing this post-secondary planning checklist can also help you find the program that fits your life, budget and learning needs.
Research Different Credentials
The type of credential you’ll need depends on the career you want to pursue. For example, apprenticeships require industry certification. You can get started in some professions with certificates or diplomas, and move up the career ladder by going on to earn a degree. Learn about different types of credentials and which option will help you build the career you’re after.
Changing Programs or Institutions
Alberta’s admissions and transfer system is designed to help you apply what you’ve already learned towards a new post-secondary program or institution.
Earn While You Learn
- Apprenticeship programs are designed so you can work while you learn, so you build necessary skills on the job with guidance and support from industry professionals
- Some industry-focused programs require you to complete a practicum or work placement, though not all of these are paid (check with your post-secondary institution for details)
- Many graduate programs, such as master’s and doctoral degrees, give you an opportunity to earn money as a research or teaching assistant, who often help with grading assignments for large classes, or by teaching classes.
Talk to your post-secondary institution to see if the program you want to take includes opportunities to work while you study. If you can’t afford to take time away from your full-time job for your post-secondary studies, ask your institution about online or part-time learning options.
After You Graduate
Your learner pathway doesn’t have to end once you’ve earned a credential. Here’s how you can continue learning and advancing in your career.
Some programs are designed so you can start with a certificate or diploma, and use that training for transfer to another credential, such as a degree. An example is nursing, where you can start with a Licensed Practical Nurse diploma and use that as a ladder all the way to post-graduate options. This is particularly helpful if you:
- Don’t meet admission requirements for one program
- Are test driving a possible career
- Can’t afford to spend the time or money on a degree
- Want to get to work quickly
Graduate Degree Programs
If you just about finish an undergraduate degree, or have already graduated from a post-secondary program and want to keep learning, a graduate program may be for you. Graduate degrees help you build specialized knowledge in certain fields or professions. Alberta offers graduate degree options at 5 different post-secondary institutions. Explore questions to ask when researching a graduate program, and how to choose the option that's right for you.