Is post-secondary right for me? Five things to know about Flexible Learning

Whether you’re a recent high school graduate or a skilled professional looking to make a career change, you may be weighing the pros and cons of pursing a post-secondary education.

Deciding to re-enter the education system can feel daunting, but it can a life-changing experience. Flexible Learning at BCIT is all about giving you the choices and support you need to determine your own path forward. If you’re thinking about going back to school part-time, here are answers to five questions that may be on your mind as you start the process.

Who can attend post-secondary?

Today’s learners come from all walks of life—especially at a polytechnic institute like BCIT. There are high school graduates about to take the next step in their education journey, workers looking to upskill for professional development, or adults who want to start a new path.

All of these reasons and more are valid motivations for continued learning. Once you meet the admission requirements for your desired program, your education can start whenever you’re ready.

AT BCIT, you can choose from more than 300 industry-focused programs – from business and media, computing and IT, engineering, health sciences, trades and apprenticeships, and applied and natural sciences – and in flexible learning options that cater to your needs. 

How much is school going to cost?

You’ll gain practical experiences and skills to be job-ready, but how does going back to school fit into your financial plan? With Flexible Learning at BCIT, learners have options that are customizable and self-paced. Instead of investing up front in a long-term program, you can stay on budget by only taking—and paying for—your highest priority courses. Microcredentials, for example, are powerful tools to provide working professionals with quick and accredited ways of upskilling for the knowledge and competencies needed to support in-demand jobs.

BCIT Financial Aid and Awards offers more information and guidance on available financial support for students.

How long does continuing education take?

Life is busy, and not everyone has the hours to dedicate to full-time studies. But gone are the days when attending post-secondary meant choosing a four-year degree program and sticking to it—nowadays the options are limitless for adult students.

Many polytechnic institutes, BCIT included, offer a wide selection of certificate, diploma, and degree programs in a variety of paces and formats. Even starting small with a microcredential can be a stepping stone into additional badges or a certificate. Attend full-time, part-time, virtually, or in-person—it’s up to you to create your own timeline.

If you’ve already been working in your field for some time but want to make a career change, you’re not alone—new research shows that up to half of Canadian workers could be looking to make a career move in 2023. With job vacancies at an all-time high, there’s no time like the present to think about reskilling and pursuing in-demand roles.

Whether you already have a career in mind or are trying to find your path, it’s normal to wonder if you’re making the right decision. In BCIT’s flexible learning environment, you can pursue your goals at your own pace—and set new ones as needed.

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Can I work and study at the same time?

For many, it’s necessary to keep working while attending post-secondary in order to stay on top of life expenses or support family. Luckily, today’s learning landscape is accommodating to all kinds of schedules thanks to evening and weekend courses or part-time programs.

There’s also the opportunity for school to transition into working hours with co-op placements, internships or apprenticeships. These work experience programs are a valuable way to get hands-on knowledge and build your professional network, since four out of five employers see these placements as a valuable source of new talent.

The very first step to post-secondary — deciding whether it’s the right path — is also one of the most difficult. If you’re still unsure about post-secondary, reach out to BCIT Program Advisors who will guide you in making well-informed decisions to meet your career and life goals.

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