By Daniela Ramirez
Humber’s degree, diploma and certificate programs offer field work experience but different theoretical training. Meanwhile, the work force has shaped into a mix of both education and field work experience, which makes what Humber does so great and accommodating to the changing times.
According to its official website, Humber College is home to 31,200 students with 10,000 annual graduates. Eighty-three per cent of those graduates are employed within six months of completing their studies.
How much do students benefit from studying in the degree programs instead of the lower-level programs the college offers?
Humber offers over 180 programs, majority of which offer co-op placements or work term — an opportunity to gain work field experience, build connections and give students a chance for further employment after graduation.
“I chose the hotel and restaurant management diploma program at Humber because I am more of a hands-on type of person…so it was set to my abilities,” says Humber College 2016 graduate Ellesia DiMartino.
DiMartino says she chose the two-year diploma program over the four-year Bachelors of Commerce – Hospitality and Tourism Management because the business aspect of hospitality did not interest her as much as the back of house work.
“This type of work is so practical that I don’t think it requires [one] to be in school for four years,” she says.
Humber is a polytechnic school, which allows students to receive an education that combines “deep, theoretical learning with applied, hands-on experience… that gives students the very best chance to succeed in their personal and professional lives,” according to the website.
DiMartino did her work term at the Courtyard Marriott on College Street in downtown Toronto, where she says she “gained a lot of social skills, practical skills and discovered this is what I really wanted to do.”
Humber offers a variety of programs at with different levels of documentation: Ontario certificates, diploma, advanced diploma and bachelor degrees.
Program levels vary in length, theory and practicality with the degree programs typically giving the students a taste of every aspect of the field, while diploma programs are more focused on a particular aspect.
According to the 2017 Key Performance Indicators for Ontario Colleges in a student satisfactory survey, a question that asks “Overall, your program is giving you knowledge and skills that will be useful in your future career,” Humber ranked in at 86.9% for very satisfied, 9.4% for neither satisfied nor dissatisfied and only 3.7% for dissatisfied.
Ashley Cajucom is a 2018 graduate from Bachelor of Commerce – Fashion Management, a four-year program that focuses on the business management aspect of the fashion industry through Toronto’s eyes.
“I would like to work for a high-end designer company but above store [retail] level,” says Cajucom.
When asked if Cajucom would have received the same theoretical/practical experience from the Fashion Arts and Business diploma program, she said the degree program covered many different fundamentals in fashion and also in business.
Cajucom did her placement at Kollar Clothing, a men’s luxury streetwear/essential clothing line where she worked with a designer, the creative team and their buyers.
“I’ve only worked in retail, so working closely with them was a very positive experience…and offered a different type of insight into this field,” says Cajucom.
Programs like fashion management offer placements in work fields that would be otherwise out of reach. Most students end up working in the retail front.
“I currently work as a floor manager at All Saints in Yorkdale Mall. However, being fresh out of school, I didn’t expect to get a job right away,” says Cajucom.
For 2017, the Key Performance indicators for Ontario Collages states Humber has an 84.5% graduate employment rate.