Lucas Crandall / Staff reporter
University and college degrees have been the main post-secondary option for years, but recently, this has started to change.
Universities are still one of the largest and most recognized post-secondary option in Canada and many people still think this is the only way to go. Pauline Chau, career centre counsellor noted that there are some other options for post-secondary.
One of the main points she noted about was school trades programs. This program starts in high school where instead of taking regular classes, you take a trade course where you can learn a specialized trade such as automotive or electric engineering for school credits. After this program is completed, you are awarded with your first year towards you red seal and $1000.
Trades programs are beneficial because the school will pay for your first training year and after this, you can become part of the workers union and work towards your red seal. During you 4 years towards your red seal, you are paid during your learning depending on what level you are at.
“The great thing about this program is that you will be making a wage you can live off of as soon as 21 years old.” Said Pauline. “People with their red seal are often earning $60 000 to $70 000.”
When you graduate from this program, you will only be about 21 years old. This means you are making a livable income at a young age, with a guaranteed job, where you would still be in university or looking for a job.
“I think going into trades would be an interesting experience if anything,” Said Jeffery Ho, Student “But, I don’t think it is for some people, including me.”
Sharon Crandall, Actor, spoke about her career. Sharon did not attend any formal training for acting, but instead went to UBC for phycology.
“There is actually formal training for becoming an actor, but I did not go that route. At first, the training I received was by doing the job. Now I actually take regular acting classes when I am not in a project.’ Said Sharon when asked about how she trained for her career without formal training.
“I think this worked for me because I started at the time that I did and when I was still young, and because learning by doing is what I’ve been doing, I continue to learn as I do even until this day. There is much more competition these days. So training, either formal or not, is key.”
To her, the main reason she would want to go to university for acting would be for the connections with industry professionals, which you don’t get as easily when training on the job. “I had to make connections with industry professionals on my own.” Said Sharon “The one thing I wish I went to formal training for is that. The industry connections. I had to start as a nobody and made a name for myself from zero.”
“It is a hard business because there is no guarantee of success, even if you are good.” Said Sharon when asked about some of the cons to this career “You constantly have to be ready for auditions and to be on set with very little notice and work can be at any time of day or night, any day of the week, including some holidays.”
Recently, Sharon has had an experience that tested her skills to get past these cons. She was told by her agents that she had 4 auditions all due 2 days later. This meant that she had to drop whatever she was doing for the next couple days and practice, film, edit and send the audition tape to her agents. “With this career,” Said Sharon “you sometimes just can’t have a life outside of it.”
“I’m pretty lucky I get to do what I’m passionate about. And when you’re on a job, there is nothing like it in the world.”
Something that have gotten more prominent during the last few years has been taking a gap year between high school and post-secondary. People usually take gap years to go work in other countries or to just travel. Working in other countries Is very beneficial because you can get some of the knowledge and experience you may not have gotten working in your country.