It is rare to see job postings that require only a high school diploma, let alone zero years of experience. Some ask for zero to two years of experience, and with a minimum high school diploma and college diploma as an asset. However, these are the minimum requirements, and job seekers with more education and experience will likely get interviewed.

Colleges are opening gateways to higher education and practical experience, sough-out by employers across all industries. Centennial College has been particularly active in applied learning, where students connect their classes with real life experiences. From one-year certificate programs to four-year degree programs, all College Programs at Centennial contain a practical component that blends the theory from classes into practical experience relevant to the workplace. Here are the different ways that Centennial incorporates hands-on experience.

On-campus training
The learning begins at school, including practical experience. Students can apply their theoretical knowledge during lab practice, whether it may be in a science laboratory, computer networking classroom, a simulation room with real fire, medical and emergency clinics, or in hangars for planes. Training also come from less active activities such a case studies and major projects that involves real work issues, sponsors from real organizations, and real clients.

Although unpaid, these work placements are valuable to student learning. The mentorship and on-the-job training provided is crucial to student success and can be used as a work experience on resumes. This field experience is usually a mandatory component of a program in the arts, media and communication, and hospitality programs. They generally last about six months but can be as short as three months. Depending on the program, some internships take place simultaneously with other courses, so students attend the employer’s organization a couple of days a week, while juggling assignments and tests.

Co-op work terms
These paid placements at employing organizations must be completed in three four-month terms for most programs, so students can graduate with the designation. They are offered in several programs, including business, IT, and engineering programs enabling students to graduate with an advanced diploma with a co-operative education designation. Students will learn more skills and become familiar with industry standards as they work in their field and with professionals. Many have showed their talents and became employed at their co-op employers after graduation.

Skilled trades often have field placements called apprenticeships, where the skills and work experience is paramount over theories. Students must be able to learn and apply certain methods and techniques in their profession, and pass the checklist before graduating. There are different types of apprenticeship model routes. The two distinct ones are for professionals already employed in the industry who want to obtain college-training to enhance their knowledge and skills, and for students who have yet to find an organization to take them in. Common programs that deal with apprenticeships are youth and child workers and most transportation programs.

Centennial College has outdone itself with its promise on applied learning through its on-campus and off-campus practical training. Its state-of-the-art lab facilities and modern equipment made it possible for students to learn and train on school grounds. Likewise Centennial’s other strength, in forging partnerships and relationships with external organizations, helped students obtain on-the-job training for their internships, apprenticeships, and co-op work terms.