Second Career in Ontario

Standing on a career cross path?

Second Career Program offered by the Ministry of Training Colleges and Universities is an initiative offered by the Ontario government to fund eligible laid off workers with required skills to find relevant jobs.

What does it mean?

Your first career is the longest job held in the last five years. Thus, a second career refers to any job that is different from the job held regularly. For general information about the program you  should visit Government website.

Who qualifies for a second career?

There are certain criteria set by the government to be eligible for a second career:

  • Anyone who has been laid off after 2004 and have not been working
  • Anyone who has been laid off and working a temporary job to cover the minimum living costs
  • Candidates who are receiving Employment Insurance, or have in the past, can still apply.

However, one might qualify for second career program if:

  • “Demand Occupation”, there is a demonstrated need in Ontario for specific occupation. Applicant needs to provide labor market information along with the application.
  • “Better Jobs”- Candidate looking to improve skills to get a higher wage opportunity.

How to Plan?

Laid off, better wages, skill-improvement; whatever your reason to choose second career, it is important to plan the move carefully. Educate yourself on market demands, changing trends. Most importantly, match your capabilities and interest to available opportunities. Here are few things you can do to choose second career carefully:

  • Assess your skills, talents, and interest areas in order to decide what you want to do. For instance, a career counselor or a job coach can help you a great deal in making a decision.
  • Research the job market, checkout job outlook websites and employment websites. Go for versatile skill building which allows to be job-ready for varied sectors.
  • Make a long term plan. Consider the pros and cons, most importantly, list down long term gains by making the switch on the new career path.
  • Education is an investment, take relevant classes before moving into your second career. Many companies look for industry certifications, look for schools who offer the same.
  • Get experience wherever you can.  During your training look for part-time, volunteer and intern jobs. Time you spend in real-world within your field will help you network and open more opportunities
  • Keep an eye on relevant job postings. Accordingly, spend time tracking latest trends in your chosen field.

Restarting your career can be a daunting task, but you need to keep your eye on the target and motivated at all time.

What Second Career should I Choose?

Depending on your choice, any career which provides you satisfaction both on personal and monetary level is good. However, some careers have huge potential in Canada, according to Randstad:

  • Sales–  Sales representative are the second most in-demand. You can gain basic skills with a business management programs.
  • Account Managers – Businesses need skilled account managers to grow who can bring new and retain existing clients. One can start with a basic course in business administration.
  • Accounting – Finance is key to any successful business. Professional courses in accounting, payroll and bookkeeping will help you get started in this demanding sector.
  • Registered Nurses– Registered nurses are in demand throughout Canada and it will be one of the top careers in demand after 2020.
  • Software Engineers – Software engineers aren’t just in demand in the tech industry anymore. They can find well-paid jobs in just about any sector.
  • Lab Technicians – Healthcare professionals are in demand, just like nurses, lab technicians and lab assistants are required in varied settings such as hospitals, pathological labs, clinics etc.

Other prominent in-demand careers include  aircraft pilot, psychologists, physicians and vocational jobs such as truck drivers and mechanical.

What applicants pay? Is Second Career free?

Training costs are to be shown by applicants for the training. The loan may vary depending on the gross household income and candidates may have to pay part fee depending on the specific case.

How to choose the right College?

As per the official site of Ontario ministry, it is must to research at least three training institutions for the required training. Applicants should include

  • at least one college of applied arts and technology

Starting a new career may have certain challenges but with right direction and a skill-based education from good college will give you an assured start.

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