When you think about career colleges, what sorts of programs come to mind? Many people instantly think of courses like health care aide, office administration, and computer networking. And while those certainly exist, the full range of course offerings is far more diverse than you might imagine.
Keep reading to learn about some unique career college programs that often go unnoticed but offer a specialized education leading to exciting career prospects.
NON-TRADITIONAL COLLEGE PROGRAMS
- Occupational Health and Safety
- Supply Chain Management
- Broadcasting and Media Communications
- Immigration Case Manager
- Sustainable Architecture
OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY
The field of occupational health and safety is all about protecting employees in the workplace. OHS professionals work closely with business managers and workers to minimize risks, prevent accidents, and continuously improve safety.
College-level occupational health and safety programs cover all the theory and hands-on skills needed for entry-level health and safety officer positions. Topics in Herzing's OHS program include:
- Conducting a workplace safety inspection/audit
- Preventing fire and other environmental health hazards
- Promoting overall worker health and wellness
- Monitoring risk and preparing for emergencies
- Creating and delivering safety training for managers and employees
“Everything I learned in class at Herzing has been of use to me: incident investigations, safe work procedures, workplace inspections, lockout and tag procedures, so many different things,” says Kehinde Akande, who was offered a position at a steel supply company upon graduation.
Graduates generally start out as assistant health and safety officers. You would work under a more experienced supervisor, helping to develop safety programs, conduct risk assessments, carry out inspections, and deliver safety training.
According to the Government of Canada Job Bank, occupational health and safety specialists should be in strong demand in several areas of the country, including Ontario, Quebec, and the Prairies.
The median salary for OHS specialists in Canada is roughly $78,000, based on Job Bank data.
Importance in Workplace Safety
A single serious accident can have a huge impact on a business. There’s the human cost to the employee and the loss suffered by their family. In addition, the company will face an investigation and possible penalties—not to mention loss of productivity, higher insurance costs, and damaged reputation. Occupational health and safety professionals help to prevent all of that from happening.
SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT
A supply chain encompasses every step in the process of manufacturing, storing, and shipping a product from point A to point B. Supply chain management focuses on lowering costs and improving efficiency at every stage of that process. It’s about helping businesses deliver goods faster, cheaper, and more reliably.
Herzing’s supply chain management and logistics program teaches a wide range of skills, including how to:
- Evaluate and choose suppliers
- Negotiate effectively
- Navigate the complexities of contract law
- Manage warehouse operations to get orders out efficiently and accurately
- Make optimal use of different transportation options
“I gained a deep understanding of inventory management techniques and learned to understand the forecasting to predict supply and demand trends,” says Herzing graduate Marikit Dela Cruz. She landed a job as a purchasing assistant after completing her training.
Students who graduate with a supply chain management diploma can go straight into entry-level positions as logistics clerks, purchasing agents, procurement specialists, and contract negotiators.
The Job Bank says prospects for procurement and purchasing agents are good to very good in Saskatchewan, Ontario, Quebec, Alberta, Nunavut, and parts of Atlantic Canada. Production and transportation logistics coordinators should see good demand in Manitoba and Saskatchewan, with moderate growth expected in Ontario, Quebec, Alberta, and Nova Scotia.
A 2023 report pegs the median salary for Canadian supply chain professionals at $81,000 (rising to $87,000 once bonuses are factored in).
More specifically, purchasing/procurement agents earn a median salary of about $68,000. For production/transportation logistics specialists, the median salary is $58,000. Those figures are from the Job Bank.
Role in Modern Businesses
Supply chain management is the backbone of operational efficiency. Done well, it helps companies adapt to changing market demands, minimize disruptions, and stay competitive.
Supply chain professionals keep goods flowing efficiently
BROADCASTING AND MEDIA COMMUNICATIONS
Broadcasting and media communications courses are unique college programs that encompass entertainment industry sectors like radio, television, social media, podcasting, and more. They balance traditional techniques with the latest online media trends.
At Herzing, broadcasting and media communications students learn about areas like:
- Audio and video production
- Reporting for documentaries, consumer reports, and current affairs
- Announcing techniques
- Media relations
- Content creation for websites and social media
“I learned production of commercials and things like that. So I know how to put beds behind audio and manipulate the audio with different levels,” says Herzing-graduate-turned-radio-show-host Naomi Penner. “We also worked on on-air talking, which really helped me since I now do mostly on-air work.”
Herzing instructor Bev Edmondson has more than 25 years of experience in the broadcasting industry. She says there are plenty of opportunities in radio, audio production, and journalism. Video production and social media are particularly big right now.
“More companies want how-to videos and testimonials on their website and more videos posted on their social media,” says Bev. “So there is a lot of opportunity in video production.”
The diverse range of careers within this field makes it tough to pin down an average salary. However, here are a few examples of median salaries drawn from Job Bank data:
Influence on Media Industry
Broadcasting and digital media have redefined how news, entertainment, and information are accessed and consumed. As the industry continues to change and evolve, new opportunities for skilled content creators will continue to emerge.
IMMIGRATION CASE MANAGER
Also known as immigration assistants or case workers, immigration case managers handle the administrative tasks that go along with securing visas, study permits, and other important documents.
They provide invaluable assistance that helps licensed immigration consultants and lawyers manage their caseloads and keep clients’ applications moving forward.
In Herzing’s immigration case manager program, students learn how to:
- Carry out legal research
- Manage client files
- Prepare application forms and submission letters
- Handle billing
- Communicate professionally
- Behave ethically
"I learned a step-by-step process for conducting research,” says graduate Michelle Peralta, who went on to work for CJC Canada Immigration Services.
“I also learned how to be organized and pay attention to details. You have to be very particular about each client’s file because every case is different. You can’t miss a letter or a date or a place or an address. Everything must be correct.”
Graduates of such specialized college courses can find opportunities with immigration law offices, immigration consulting firms, settlement agencies, and companies with in-house immigration counsel.
According to the latest federal data, Canada plans to welcome 485,000 new permanent residents in 2024, increasing to half a million in 2025 and 2026. Those are the highest targets the country has ever set, meaning there should continue to be strong demand for immigration case managers.
According to Glassdoor, immigration case managers earn a median salary of $45,000.
Impact on Immigrants’ Lives
An immigration case manager education prepares you to help applicants navigate the paperwork and procedures that come with settling in Canada. This work can alleviate newcomers’ stress and uncertainty, leading to smoother transitions and greater opportunities for immigrants to build new lives in this country.
Immigration case managers manage the paperwork for people relocating to Canada
Sustainable architecture focuses on preserving the environment by using eco-friendly building methods and materials. The field is dedicated to protecting precious natural resources and promoting a better quality of life for all.
Sustainable architecture is a unique college program that does not qualify you to become a licensed architect. Instead, it is a shorter program that trains you to become an architectural drafter or technician who specializes in green buildings.
Topics covered in Herzing’s sustainable architecture program include:
- Architectural drawing with AutoCAD
- Eco-friendly building techniques
- The National Code of Canada and the LEED rating system
- Sustainable design for interiors and landscaping
- Renovations, green upgrades, and retrofits
Rising demand for energy-efficient, cost-effective, environmentally responsible structures is creating new opportunities for firms that specialize in sustainable building. The skills you gain in your training can be applied to both traditional and sustainable architecture projects, doubling your employment possibilities.
The Job Bank says drafting technicians should see moderate demand across most of the country over the next few years.
The median salary for drafting technologists and technicians in Canada is about $60,000, based on Job Bank data.
A sustainable building shows respect for its ecological environment. A career college program in sustainable architecture trains you to play a key role in creating structures that are functional and safe, and have the least possible impact on the surrounding ecosystem.
EXPLORE CAREER COLLEGE PROGRAMS
Herzing College offers a wide variety of programs in areas like business, design, education, legal studies, healthcare, technology, and media. Click below to learn more about our courses and how they can help you begin a new career.