All the Canadian School Programs You Can Take Instead of Business

From making cabinets to just reading books that are good, you can pay for it all because capitalism.

|
Sep 25 2018, 6:32pm

Image source: Shutterstock 

If I could go to school for the pleasure of learning and enjoyment, I would. However, the reality of life under 21st century late capitalism is that you are expected to go to post-secondary in order to get a job that will help you barely get by. Leading by example, the most common major field of study in Canada has been programs like business, management and marketing.

But studying “business” just because your mom said it will result in a paycheque or whatever is its own kind of lazy, as there are plenty of other career paths that are… literally anything but business. We might not have as many funky degrees as Europe, but here are some Canadian school options that at the very least will land you a less boring job than a businessperson (at your own risk, of course).

ALBERTA

What is it?
Sport coaching: As part of the faculty of Kinesiology, Sport, and Recreation, you’re preparing to be a professional coach with this bachelor. “The program emphasizes real-life coaching scenarios, as well as the integrated and complex nature of coaching and all that underlies the practice,” reads the site.

Where can you study it?
University of Alberta

What can you do with it?
Most of us have never thought about the education behind the coaches to our favourite team. But to become the ultimate coach that ever did coach, you’ll need all the aspects of theoretical coaching although we still question why you need math in order to be one. With all this science and knowledge of human body movement you can also become a much sought after Youth Sport and Physical Activity Research Assistant.

What is it?
Funeral Service Diploma: This certificate program teaches you to plan funerals, know the acts and regulations of funerals in Alberta and “Practice the companioning aspect of caregiving.”

Where can you study it?
Mount Royal University

What can you do with it?
This obviously leads to a very direct career path, and I imagine that jobs in the sector are… stable. This job obviously isn’t for the faint of heart, or people who are bad at handling emotions. But, how many funeral service workers does a city need? Would you have to move around for work if you couldn't find a job? If you ever wanted to change your mind, I’m not sure how else this applies to other jobs. If you can’t get a job in this industry where do you go???

NEW BRUNSWICK

What is it?
Great books: You can spend four years completing this major to read the classics of the Western world.

Where can you study it?
St. Thomas University

What can you do with it?
Some of the first jobs on the program website list that grads go on to be lawyers and work in government which is slightly concerning because books can only prepare you so much to work with so much authority. This could be good for people in these careers though, because at least they will be able to talk about books while on dates instead of their boring jobs.

SASKATCHEWAN

What is it?
Retail meat specialist: Out of the school of hospitality and tourism, this applied certificate will give you the “skills you need to be successful in the meat-cutting industry.” You’ll learn about the preparing meat and seafood, and things like sanitation (good, good).

Where can you study it?
Saskatchewan Polytechnic

What can you do with it?
This is meant to help you break into the meat market, but it’s not clearly defined what that means. Become a butcher? Open a butcher shop. Work in a butcher shop. Or go more low-key and find a deli or abattoir that you’d like to start your career at. Hey, we need these good people to put meat on our tables.

***

What is it?
Stucco application: Although there is very little information provided about prices or program length, the site does say that “you will learn how to select, mix and apply stucco to exterior walls to produce plain or decorative surfaces.”

Where can you study it?
Saskatchewan Polytechnic

What can you do with it?
Build walls, join a building product company, apply stucco. Straight forward stuff. Even though applying plaster might seem to be an easy feat—it can cost you thousands of dollars to fix a botched job so just call the professional.

MANITOBA

What is it?
Print media: While you have varying degree options, print media will focus on just that. Yeah, you can get a bachelor of fine art in print media.

Where can you study it?
University of Manitoba

What can you do with it?
You COULD go into magazine or other print media outlets if there were any jobs there. Lemme tell you that industry isn’t looking bright. Journalism ain’t dead, we just moved online and we’re all just hanging on. You might be better going with any of the other degree focus options like video, or illustration.

***

What is it?
Icelandic: A Bachelor program dedicated to learning the language, literature, film, and everything in between about the country of Iceland.

Where can you study it?
University of Manitoba

What can you do with it?
The first tangible jobs that you could try for are as a translator or researcher. Otherwise, maybe there are other industries that generally need someone who know a lot about Iceland. Hollywood loves to film there, so maybe you can consult with Chris Nolan on his next movie.

ONTARIO

What is it?
Chamber music: For this diploma you should apply if you’ve already got some sort of music education. If you’re part of a quartet you’re encouraged to all apply together.

Where can you study it?
Laurier University

What can you do with it?
This degree is definitely more for the ability to grow musically but I’m not sure what the market for musicians is looking like. One might think that chamber musicians are out of style, but even as I write, there are currently chamber musician jobs on Indeed that pay pretty well in Canada.

***

What is it?
Digital humanities: This minor program offers aspects of coding and computer skills with a “potent mix of both theory and practice: students are taught to apply the methods and perspectives of the humanities to the digital medium.”

Where can you study it?
University of Western Ontario

What can you do with it?
Since you are “harnessing the processing power of the computer” to explore topics like music, art and literature, it sounds like you could do about the same with other general humanities courses. I am envisioning becoming the ultimate Gen-Zer, more capable of shaping the digital landscape that ever before.

***

What is it?
Comedy: Writing and Performance: Over the course of two years you’ll be learning the commercial side of the industry, improv, script writing and stand up you’ll be aiming to learn the hardest skill of all: how to be funny.

Where can you study it?
Humber College

What can you do with it?
I was always under the impression that humour just come naturally, but grads from this program have made it to Yuk Yuk’s, Second City and Montreal’s Just For Laughs Festival. Other grads, according to the site have gone on to branch into advertising and public relations—really, really humorous occupations. However, according to salaryexpert.com the average beginning income for someone working as a comedia is above 40k, so maybe the joke’s on us.

BRITISH COLUMBIA

What is it?
Worship arts: You can choose from a range of religious and arts courses, but this one combines them both. The minor program says that this program is made for “worship leaders, artists, and songwriters with the theological depth, musical expertise, and practical experience they need to impact their churches.”

Where can you study it?
Trinity Western University

What can you do with it?
You’ll get a chance to join the TWU worship band and will have access to internships, symposiums, and a worship arts conference. While I imagine it’s difficult to get a good paying musician gig (let alone a worship musician gig), I’m sure you’d have the best chance through this program. If music isn’t your thing you can major in worship arts for media and communications or theatre.

QUEBEC

What is it?
World cinema: During this minor program you’ll learn about film aesthetics, history, and theory from around the world. You’ll learn to approach film with different international traditions. However, the program seems to miss out on film from plenty of areas in the word (Africa, Australia, Russia, etc)

Where can you study it?
McGill University

What can you do with it?
Knowing about cinema around the world can surely come in handing in some workplaces, and hopefully shape future Canadian filmmakers palettes so we can get more well-known Canadian film in the world. The website mentioned that this serves as a context for teaching and researching in the future, but similar to other arts programs it feels limiting to take a class with the intention just to teach the same material in the future so go out and do the damn thing!

NEWFOUNDLAND

What is it?
Cabinet maker: a diploma to teach you everything essential about making cabinets.

Where can you study it?
College of the North Atlantic

What can you do with it?
I appreciate every cabinet in my home and we think that this is a skill set that is undervalued. You’ll be a next level carpenter, garnering respect for your ability to produce new products of your own design. Next you can study furniture making and you’ll never have to go to Ikea again.

Follow Sierra Bein on Twitter.

Sign up for the VICE Canada Newsletter to get the best of VICE Canada delivered to your inbox.