BCIT (British Columbia Institute of Technology) celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2014. When it first opened its doors in 1964, the institute had 498 students (almost exclusively male). Now the school has a student population of almost 50,000, (nearly 30,000 are part-time) with over 3,000 international students. BCIT’s main campus is in Burnaby on Willingdon Avenue, but it also has five other campuses: Downtown Vancouver, East Vancouver, Richmond (aerospace technology), Delta (heavy-duty mechanics) and North Vancouver (nautical sciences and marine engineering).
A Smart Choice to Launch Your Career
Why choose BCIT? It prepares students to hit the job market running. It has co-op programs and an intense workload. Students must be prepared to put in long hours and a huge effort into their studies. University degree programs are longer in length, more broadly-focused, and put more weight on theory and the “why”, as opposed to the “how”. In short, BCIT focuses on the practical side of education, as opposed to the theoretical.
In the early 1960s, BC lacked technicians in its workforce, and workers were often hired from eastern Canada or the UK. Obviously, this was not ideal, so BCIT was launched. The school has grown rapidly, and is successful because the job placement after graduation is high. Companies seek out BCIT grads because they already have the needed skills, and require less training from the outset. A common refrain and complaint about traditional universities is because the degree programs are more focused on theory, the students do not have the practical knowledge to get a job in their chosen field. Wynne Powell, former CEO of London Drugs, one of BC’s most successful companies, is a BCIT grad, and chose BCIT business school over UBC as the program was more condensed and he could “fast track” his education.
BCIT Programs are Closely Tied to Industry Needs
BCIT has “advisory councils” for all its programs, and they are comprised of people who have achieved success in their field. As a result, BCIT courses and programs are constantly evolving to adapt to the needs of industry. “I think our hallmark is working with industry.” says BCIT president Kathy Kinloch.
BCIT has hundreds of programs ranging from computer science, to nursing, to business administration, and all the skilled trades. The largest concentration of international students can be found in BCIT’s business, applied sciences, and engineering programs. The possibilities are endless, and BCIT has the experienced faculty that know what employers are looking for.
Co-op Programs Give BCIT Graduates Practical Experience
There is also a major co-op and project component, which means that BCIT grads have project credit, relevant work experience, and hands-on skills on their resume that can make all the difference to an employer.
While theory, a less-frenzied pace, and a more well-rounded education at a traditional university may appeal to many, there are a lot of young people who want to get out into the workforce faster, and know that they have the cutting-edge skills upon graduation to get hired immediately. If this sounds like you, then BCIT may be the right fit.