Doubling Down on Education Boosts Employability
Updated: Apr 19
Imagine being able to graduate with a university degree plus use some of those same courses to earn a diploma or a certificate at the same time. More and more students are doing exactly that and taking advantage of concurrent programming to walk away with additional credentials and skills.
Robin Markel, Head of Career & Professional Development, says it’s a smart way to earn an additional credit. “For instance, a student might complete the Public Relations Certificate along with their English degree as a way to specialize and enhance their employability.”
The concept has been gaining traction as academic advisors in other faculties are promoting the options and benefits of this approach to students. One of those students is Makayla Sicat who completed the Certificate of Administration Level 1 concurrently with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology.
“I actually had no idea that this was possible until my third year of university when I met with an academic advisor,” says Sicat. “As a Faculty of Arts student, I needed to take a certain number of electives but I wondered if there was something else I could do to advance my resume and build more career opportunities in this lane. This certificate meshed really well
with my degree.”
Markel notes that student demographics have changed over the last ten years contributing to the growth in concurrent programs. “Before our students were mostly in their 30s and 40s but now we’re seeing a lot of younger students right out of high school, like Makayla, because of the concurrent enrolment piece. The ability to earn two credentials at the same time provides incredible value for students who want to make the best use of their time and money.”
With the number of students taking concurrent programs tripling in the last five years, it’s a concept that is catching on.
“The workforce is changing and it’s quite competitive so having a certificate on my resume in addition to my degree differentiates me in the marketplace,” says Sicat. “I’m very proud of it and it’s something you can do at any point in your academic life. I think it really set me up for success.”