Barrie Public Library - Enriching our Community

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PLEASE NOTE: Public Internet Computers and Wireless Access will be unavailable on Sunday, September 24th at the Downtown Branch, while we upgrade our network. The Painswick branch will have all services available.

Careers and Higher Education

Careers and Higher Education

Many young adults are looking to the future as their high school years come to a close. Often post-secondary education is the next step to consider. What are your options and how do you make the decision?


Planning for your future, means preparing for a career. Choosing a career can be a very complex and confusing task. With rapidly evolving technological developments, social changes and economic upheaval, it is difficult to know where to begin when planning a career path. It is important to use useful, relevant and current information. 

Career Cruising is an online career guidance resource you can access with your Barrie Public Library Card. You can find careers that match your interests using “Career Matchmaker”, a career assessment tool. Find out which skills you need to work on in order to prepare for a particular career. You can also explore hundreds of in-depth career profiles using several search options.

Each career profile includes:

  • A detailed job description
  • Describes working conditions, including hours or work or potential safety issues
  • Salary information – what you can expect to earn
  • Education and training requirements
  • Links to related college and university programs
  • A list of related occupations
  • Interviews with people in each occupation
  • If you are unsure what you want to do after high school, and need more information about your career options, then be sure to explore Career Cruising.
Choosing a University or College

Once you know what education you need, you have to decide where you can get it. Choosing a college or university may seem like a daunting process, but there are lots of resources to help make it easier.

The Career Cruising Database has a complete online database of community college, university and apprenticeship programs available across Canada and the United States.

You can search for a particular school by name or by selecting a province. Each school profile contains key contact information, as well as information on admission requirements, programs, and athletics. You can also type in a program name to find locations offering a specific program, including apprenticeship training programs. For each program there is a profile that includes a detailed description and information on credentials granted, length of study, and fees.

There is even an option to create your own career portfolio to save your searches, and keep track of your schooling and career plans.

Barrie Public Library have several resources you can use when choosing where you want to go to school. For these resources, the latest edition is located in the Ready Reference area and does not circulate. Previous editions may be borrowed and are kept in the nonfiction collection. Please ask staff for assistance.

Funding Options

Even if you have been saving, post-secondary schooling can be expensive. There are several types of funding. Learning the difference is important, as some types will cost you interest.

  • Loan - Money that you receive that must be paid back over a period of time
  • Scholarship - Money that you receive to finance your education that you typically do not have to pay back and it is typically awarded based on academic merit and other factors
  • Bursary/grant - Money that you receive to finance your education that you typically do not have to pay back and it is typically awarded based on financial need and other factors.
Applying to Schools

Once you've picked the school(s) you are interested in, the next step is applying.

  • Check that you have all the required prerequisites for your program of choice
  • Speak with a guidance counselor at your high school to make such that you have all the requirements.
  • In addition to completing an application, you may need to supply a portfolio or write a statement about your interests and career plans.
  • You can link to undergraduate calendars for all Ontario universities from Ontario Universities' Application Centre (OUAC)

When you are ready, you can apply online in a few easy steps:

Private Career College / Vocational School

If University or College just isn't your thing, it doesn't mean it's the end of the road for education. If you are interested in being a chef , a welder, or working as a hair stylist, a private career college or vocational school may be a good choice for you. Private career colleges prepare you to work in a specific field or job.

Private Career College database - For more information on private career colleges in Ontario and the certificate/diploma programs they offer search this database availalbe through Service Ontario. You can search the by program name, college name or name of city.


Earn money and learn at the same time. An apprenticeship is hands-on training for people who enjoy learning by doing. Apprentices are paid while gaining work experience, and their wages increase with their level of skills.

The Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities has a number of ways to help you get started in an apprenticeship including information on apprenticeship scholarships, co-op Diploma Apprenticeship Programs, Loans for Tools and more.

For complete details see the Ministry of Training site.