If you're a student in the health-care sector in Sault Ste. Marie, you're going to find employment with relative ease once you graduate.
Lynda Bowyer, coordinator for employment solutions at Sault College, said the school is noticing high rates of employment after graduation in many of its health-related courses.
“The programs that we're finding the greatest employment success in would be in our health sector, which would include our collaborative bachelor of nursing, our practical nursing, and our personal support programs,” she said.
She additionally anticipates positive results from a new pharmacy technician program. The school introduced the course for the first time this year in response to demand from constituencies across the province.
The two-year program provides graduates with both in-class and practical experience—providing fieldwork placement across the four semesters—which can lead to eventual work in hospitals, pharmacies, nursing homes, health-care institutions and the retail sector.
Bowyer anticipates employment statistics, which will be available in two years following the graduation of the inaugural cohort, will show support for the program.
In addition to health-care professionals, technology grads are also in demand. Bowyer said the civil, mechanical and electrical engineering technician programs are all doing well, and positive feedback has been received from grads of the metal fabrication program as well.
But the two-year early childhood education course, which qualifies graduates to work with youth up to 12 years of age, stands out as a particular success.
“That one, we can't seem to get enough grads out there, even locally,” Bowyer said. “So that one's doing very well. We have employers come on campus every year actively recruiting the class.”
Thanks to an articulation agreement with Nipissing University, students seeking to become elementary school teachers can further their education by applying credits earned at Sault College to Nipissing's well-known education degree programs.
Bowyer said a spate of construction in the Sault right now is feeding the need for engineering technology grads, while an aging population is fuelling the demand for health-care workers.
But she believes that, if students are willing to relocate after completing their education, they can find work in just about any field they want, and any of the college's programs will help propel them forward.
“The hot jobs are local and regional, but if you're prepared to move, a lot of the other ones would fall into play too,” she said. “Of course we have other people who are from here, but then we have people from away who want to stay in the Sault because it's a great place to live.”