Polytechnic education is structured to respond to industry demand, ensuring graduates enter the labour market with pragmatic skills and the confidence to put them into action. Industry leaders sit on Program Advisory Committees to inform the creation of curricula. Employers provide work-integrated learning opportunities and work in collaboration with polytechnics to solve their pressing innovation challenges. The ability to design and deploy courses and programs at the speed of business is a significant polytechnic advantage. Experiential education is more than a co-op placement … it is built into every aspect of a program from conception to delivery to graduation.
A Work-Ready Talent Pipeline
Polytechnic graduates are ideally positioned for a smooth school-to-work transition in large part because of a commitment to work-integrated learning (often referred to as WIL). WIL connects students to employers, providing opportunities to develop the hands-on, applied and employability skills in high demand but difficult to develop in a classroom alone.
Types of WIL offered within the programs at our member polytechnics include:
- Applied Research
- Cooperative Education
- Field placement
- Professional practicum
- Service learning
Industry-Academic Collaborative Spaces
Employers know the benefit of working in proximity to the talent on polytechnic campuses. That’s why, across the country, dedicated spaces are springing up that facilitate connection. These collaborative spaces allow students and industry to come together to do tangible research and enhance innovation readiness, all while building real-world experience in students looking to develop critical thinking, problem-solving and communication skills. This kind of exposure helps employers identify future employees and students build a professional network.
Incubators and Accelerators
Recognizing creativity is inherent in all types of applied education, polytechnics have made significant investments in spaces that nurture and support entrepreneurship. These spaces help students and staff navigate supports available on campus and help budding entrepreneurs leverage external opportunities as their ideas develop.