We are often asked, “What is a polytechnic?” The simple answer is that polytechnics are post-secondary institutions that offer advanced technical education. The polytechnic model is hands-on and industry-responsive. Programs encourage learning by doing, developing the practical skills and competencies required in today’s workplaces and giving our graduates a leg-up in the labour market.
Distinct among Canada’s post-secondary pathways, polytechnics focus on applied, industry-aligned learning — with real-world experience built into the curriculum. The result is highly employable graduates who are ready to hit the ground running with the skills employers demand.
Polytechnic education is:
- Applied and hands-on, ensuring students spend time in a real-world work environment, giving them opportunities to put theory into practice and develop industry-specific knowledge. As leaders in work-integrated learning, polytechnics help students develop a network of prospective employers while they hone their skills.
- Industry-driven and responsive to industry demand, with industry at the table to co-design curricula and ensure it is of the highest relevance. Working so closely to design curriculum and create work-integrated learning opportunities means there is a well-developed institution-to-industry pipeline to support smooth labour market transitions for polytechnic graduates.
- Flexible and built for lifelong learning, with a breadth of credentials designed to respond to labour market demand. Many programs are modular, with stackable credentials that allow students to move between education and the labour market. Polytechnics are constantly innovating the way credentials are delivered and at what speed, recognizing the requirements of both learners and industry.
- Innovation-oriented, delivering graduates with experience working on and with up-to-date technologies used in their field. Through participation in applied research, polytechnic students work with firms to solve technology-related challenges while building innovation-enabling skills.
- Focused on full-spectrum workforce transition, offering education and training to those entering post-secondary education for the first time and serving the needs of mid-career workers. Whether employed in the workforce and looking to modernize a skill set or temporarily displaced and looking to reskill, polytechnics have a solution. Partnerships with employers, continuing education options and bridge training build resilience, enhance skills and maximize workforce productivity.