12 programs to prepare you for BC’s most in-demand jobs in 2020

According to WorkBC’s recent Labour Market Outlook report, between now and 2022, over one million jobs are set to open across BC. This growing economy necessitates a skilled workforce, and 78% of new opportunities are going to require a post-secondary education: 44% will expect a diploma or trade certificate and 34% will need a degree.

BC is entering a new decade of economic opportunity, and it’s going to bring brand new jobs to the workforce—especially for healthcare occupations, trades and equipment operators, and natural and applied sciences, which the report singled out as the fastest-growing groups. 

That’s where BCIT comes in. We offer a broad range of in-depth courses so that you can find the training you need in a field you love. Here are 12 programs that provide a sure-footed path to BC’s workforce in 2020 and beyond.

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1. Engineering

Engineers have always had good job prospects, and they’re only going to get better as BC’s technology and natural resources sectors continue to grow. There are several career options to pursue in the field: for example, power engineers oversee and operate industrial plants, civil engineers envision the buildings and structures where we live and work, and environmental engineers help ensure we have clean air and water—and clean energy. You can enroll in either part-time or full-time engineering programs at BCIT to earn a certificate or bachelor’s degree. 

BCIT Fish, Wildlife and Recreation program
Graduates from the BCIT Fish, Wildlife and Recreation program work in a dynamic and diverse industry.

2. Fish, Wildlife and Recreation

We don’t call our province “Super, Natural British Columbia” for nothing. Natural splendour is all around us, and it needs to be protected—especially since the state of the environment is precarious worldwide. In the Fish, Wildlife and Recreation (FWR) diploma at BCIT, you’ll spend a great deal of time outdoors getting to know BC’s wildlife and habitats, and graduate ready for a range of disciplines related to resource management. You can also continue on to get your full bachelor’s of science in Ecological Restoration, earning your FWR diploma along the way.

3. Medical Laboratory Science

With an ageing population, BC is going to have a lot more people depending on its health systems in the decade ahead. At the heart of these systems are medical laboratory technologists who perform over one million tests each day so doctors and nurses have the information they need to care for patients. BCIT offers a full-time diploma program in this much-needed field, complete with a 38-week clinical placement so that students can learn on the job and build their network. 

4. Accounting

Business is booming in BC, and that means accountants are needed more than ever. These professionals are a must-have for most organizations, and the two-year, full-time diploma program at BCIT is designed to prepare you for entry-level or mid-level positions. If so desired, you can easily take an extra year to obtain your bachelor’s degree and become a designated Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA). 

5. Bridge Watch Rating

BCIT Bridge Watch Rating program
The BCIT Bridge Watch Rating program opens the door to rewarding careers in the marine sector.

The marine industry is a major player in BC’s economy, and there are many roles and responsibilities required on ships. The Bridge Watch Rating program at BCIT prepares students with the skills they’ll need for seafaring, including steering vessels, keeping a lookout, anchoring and mooring, and communications. You’ll also receive industry certifications in first aid, radio operations, and hazardous materials. To foster greater cultural and gender diversity in this field, there are also courses offered specifically to women and indigenous learners.

6. Industrial Network Cybersecurity

As our reliance on technology grows, so too does our susceptibility to cyberattacks—and that goes for our infrastructure as well. The supply chains that deliver our necessities of life, from food and water to power, depend on industrial control systems. These are similar to the traditional IT systems used by companies, yet they’re also different, requiring a unique type of technology professional to operate and protect them. The Industrial Network Cybersecurity program at BCIT gives you the hands-on training you need to graduate into this highly specialized, highly necessary field. 

7. Forensic Investigation of Fraud and Financial Crime

Now that we all carry our digital devices and subscribe to numerous online services, it’s no surprise that scams are a constant threat. Fraud and financial crimes are on the rise in Canada and around the world, and BCIT has responded to the growing need for investigators with a graduate certificate that brings real-world scenarios to the classroom. The five-part program also helps students get ready for the CFE exam, presented by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners.

8. Trades Discovery & Trades Discovery for Women

Once you specialize in a sought-after trade skill, there’s practically no end to the employment opportunities waiting for you. Experts in everything from fabrication, framing, welding, and wiring are needed on job sites province-wide, and the Trades Discovery programs at BCIT provide you with a chance to explore them—and earn industry certifications along the way. Construction, transportation, mechanics, and manufacturing are traditionally male-dominated, so BCIT offers a program for women in order to bring more diversity to these high-paying sectors.

9. Medical Radiography

Hospitals and clinics also rely on technicians who specialize in X-ray imaging, for everything from emergency and trauma cases to interventional procedures and mammograms. If you love helping people and working in a dynamic environment where no two days are ever the same, the two-year diploma program at BCIT—which includes three clinical experiences at different hospitals—may be just what you’re looking for.

10. Nautical Sciences

As Canada’s gateway to the Pacific, BC’s coastal waters are a hub of activity, whether it’s super-tankers importing and exporting goods, or cruise ships bringing boatloads of tourists to marvel at our picturesque province. But to operate, marine industries need qualified Deck Officers, and there’s currently a shortage of them. BCIT is helping to fill these gaps with the Nautical Sciences program, a four-year, full-time co-op where students hone key maritime skills. Over 90% of graduates are employed in the industry.

11. Marketing Management

BC has become a magnet for innovation and investment. Creative new startups are established every year, while larger global organizations move into the neighbourhood, so it’s no surprise that there’s a growing demand for marketers. BCIT offers a wealth of full-time and part-time options in this space, from a marketing-focused diploma in Business Administration to a range of certificates across specific industries. Opportunities for internships allow students to network with the business community and get a foot in the door well before they graduate.

12. Computer Information Technology

There’s some concern that BC lacks the talent pool to supply its burgeoning tech sector, which is why BCIT is pleased to offer a two-year, full-time diploma program for aspiring IT professionals. The versatile curriculum includes computer coding, software configuration, and troubleshooting complex IT problems so that you’re ready for a variety of roles in development, administration, integration, analysis, or security when you join the workforce.

As the job market changes, BCIT has the course offerings you need to succeed. Contact our program advising team or attend an upcoming information session and start exploring your options today. If you want to experience what it’s like as a BCIT student, book a campus tour or sign-up for the spend-a-day visit.

SEE MORE: 9 programs to get you a green job in Canada

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