Albertans know they can pursue one of the hot careers of the 21st century at Red Deer College.
On Saturday, hundreds of visitors attended RDC’s annual open house to speak with instructors and other staff about what kind of schooling might be good for them.
The Donald School of Business, offered at a downtown satellite campus, was also open for the public on Saturday.
Caitlin Moffat, a Grade 12 student at Hunting Hills High School, and her home-schooled friend Stephanie Schmidt say they’re looking at careers that will be viable for years to come.
Moffat said she’s considering real estate law because she likes the legal system and think it’s a career she’d enjoy. Nursing appeals to Schmidt because after her mother was sick in the hospital for a while, she thought she’d like to help people.
Kelsie Connors, of Fort Saskatchewan near Edmonton, believes business, social work or teaching will remain popular. She plans to take Open Studies at Red Deer College and eventually go into psychology.
“I think counselling is something I’d like to do because I really like to help people and with their issues,” said Connors.
Tara Amonson and Agnes Cairns, both Grade 12 students at Sturgeon Composite High School in Namao north of Edmonton, both say teaching and nursing will continue to be sought after. They filled out their applications on Saturday for nursing school.
“There’s a lot of things you can do with the degree, it’s not the same your whole life,” said Cairns.
“I like it too because I don’t want to do the same thing every day,” added Amonson.
Amonson is interested in RDC’s program because it’s a University of Alberta collaborative nursing degree program that’s offered in a smaller setting.
“I like that it’s a smaller setting too and that you’ll get more hands-on experience,” said Cairns.
Tareq Lafi, who recently moved to Red Deer from Vancouver, is looking at making a career switch after being an adventurer instructor and taking youth-at-risk on adventures on Vancouver Island or in the mountains of B.C.
“Usually, this kind of work doesn’t pay much,” he said. “With the trades, they pay more. So financially and finding something I would like to do is important.”
The 37-year-old wants to work with his hands.
“It’s hard to say what the hot careers are. I think it’s doing what you want.”
Red Deer College, founded in 1964, offers more than 75 different programs, including full degree programs and skilled trades programs.
Having prospective students from throughout the province come to Saturday’s big day was good news for college President Joel Ward.
“We’ve made an intentional effort to make sure we aren’t Alberta’s best kept secret anymore,” said Ward.
Prospective students are learning more and more about all the comprehensive programs the college is offering, he added. Plus, he said it helps to have small classrooms, an environment where everybody knows everybody, and a safe campus.
“We’re a serious player in post-secondary education and we want everybody to check us out,” said Ward.
Ward said things change so rapidly in this world that it’s hard to say what the hot careers will be for the future.
Statistics Canada and employers are telling the college that some good careers to get into include technology, engineering, anything related to science and math, plus business, nursing and practical nursing.
“Social media is huge now and we’re looking at integrating social media into everything we do because that’s where we see things happening,” added Ward.