By Grayson Bennett
Some people had established career goals when they were still young. For these people, choosing a degree isn’t a tough decision and they may have already shortlisted some of the best colleges in Calgary.
But for most of us, interests can change from time to time. That’s when choosing the right college makes the most impact on your career track.
During your collegiate years, you develop and improve the skills and talents you use when you enter the workforce. So, you have to prioritize getting the best experience and training.
You just have to find the perfect mix of quality of education, faculty expertise, student diversity, learning environment, and campus lifestyle.
Anyway, whether you’re looking for a place to receive a quality education or build a teaching career, consider these best colleges in Calgary.
1. Southern Alberta Institute of Calgary
|BEST FOR||Skills Training|
|PRODUCTS||Business, Energy, Construction, Health and Public Safety, Hospitality and Tourism, Information and Communications Technologies, Manufacturing and Automation, Transportation, Advanced Digital Technology|
|ADDRESS||1301 16 Ave NW, Calgary|
|CONTACT DETAILS||(403) 284-7248|
|OPERATING HOURS||8:30 AM-4:15 PM on Mondays to Fridays|
Southern Alberta Institute of Calgary (SAIT) is a highly-competitive polytechnic university home to over 12,000 students from 97 countries. Over 43,000 students also enroll in apprenticeships, corporate training, and continuing education programs.
They even have Applied Research and Innovation Services, which creates commercialized products using ideas and technologies from collaborating students, faculty members, and entrepreneurs.
With their vast connections in the industry and their training-intensive curriculum, they have the highest employment rates in Alberta for graduates.
- Degree, diploma, and certificate programs
- High employment rates for graduates
- Skill-based education
- Partnerships and connections with businesses and industries
SAIT provides a good learning and training environment for its students—but it also offers an excellent working experience for its employees and faculty members.
Here’s an Indeed review of one of the employees at the institute to show you what it’s like.
“Admins are extremely prepared and professional – but very social and accepting at the same time. Work is extremely demanding, but it’s very rewarding. You’ll love the people you work with as everyone is like-minded in their goals and job. Problems are solved very quickly, people are very friendly, and the training is great. You feel prepared when you start, and you’ll meet some awesome people while working there. Highly recommend.”
2. University of Calgary
|PRODUCTS||Psychology, Arts and Humanities, Engineering and Technology, Physical sciences, Life and Health Sciences, Social Sciences, Law, Education, Business, and Economics|
|ADDRESS||2500 University Dr NW, Calgary|
|CONTACT DETAILS||(403) 220-5110|
|OPERATING HOURS||9 AM-4 PM on Mondays to Fridays, except on Thursdays|
10 AM-4 PM on Thursday
The University of Calgary is a research-intensive public school with over 4 campuses in the area and 50 research centers. It has ranked #8 in the top Canadian colleges and is home to over 30,000 students and 160,000 alumni.
The university is the top academic research institute in the country, with a $325 million research income and a funding budget reaching $790 million.
Aside from being a home to both Canadian and international students, University of Calgary also sends students for semesters abroad through their partnerships with over 140 countries abroad.
The University of Calgary is also home to the best medicine (Cumming School of Medicine) and business (Haskayne School of Business) schools in the area.
- Research programs and initiatives
- Diverse faculty and studentry
- Accessible campuses
Alumni, resident students, and faculties attest to the premier experience provided by the university.
Here’s a recent Niche review posted by a senior at the University.
-Location. Calgary’s a great city, and it’s in a pretty accessible location, not too close and not too far from downtown.
– KNES faculty. It’s ranked #1 in North America.
– Research. U of C is a research and not teaching university, so naturally, lots of great research going on and partnerships across faculties.
– Cost. Affordable at about $7500-ish a year for tuition, before the hike (will probably go up above $8000).
– Food. MacHall has a good selection of food vendors, and there are always new ones coming and going, especially in Pita on the Run’s cursed spot.”
3. Bow Valley College
|PRODUCTS||Healthcare, Business, Community and Social Services, Information Technology and Design, Intercultural Studies, Workspace Literacy and Training|
|ADDRESS||345 6 Ave SE, Calgary|
|CONTACT DETAILS||(403) 410-1400|
|OPERATING HOURS||7:30 AM–5 PM Mondays to Fridays|
9 AM-2 PM on Saturdays
Bow Valley College is a community institution offering certificate, diploma, and degree programs. They have lower tuition fees compared to most other colleges in the area.
This top-ranked institution is one of the few recommended for students with disabilities. Their curriculum includes innovative solutions and practices to equip students with useful skill sets before joining the workforce.
Bow Valley College also offers language and skill programs for newcomers in the city. They have campuses in Airdrie, Banff & Canmore, Cochrane, High River, Okotoks, Strathmore, and The Entrepreneur Centres.
- Affordable school fees
- Skill-based training
- Inclusive admissions
- Financial and academic support services
Students, mostly locals, choose Bow Valley College for their tertiary education or vocational training primarily due to its accessibility and prestige.
Check out this review posted on Collegedunia to know more about student life.
“Closest and most affordable. Admission was fairly easy and painless. I only applied to one. I chose this college as it was the only one I was eligible for, and it’s the most affordable near my city. Fees are usually between $2100-$2300 per semester, including books and tuition. I chose this college for the Justice program.”
4. Alberta University of the Arts
|BEST FOR||Creative Arts|
|PRODUCTS||Craft and Emerging Media, Visual Arts, Communication Design, Creative Studies|
|ADDRESS||1407 14th Avenue NW Calgary|
|CONTACT DETAILS||(403) 284-7600|
|OPERATING HOURS||8 AM-4 PM on Mondays to Fridays|
As their name suggests, Alberta University of the Arts is the center for the province’s creative and imaginative minds. They offer specialised curricula for each student.
Students enroll in the smallest of class sizes and receive focused discussions and training from acclaimed artists. The university also invites international artists to conduct workshops and share words of inspiration.
Their programs revolve around crafts and emerging media (ceramics, jewelry), communication design, visual arts (from sculptures to photography), and critical and creative studies.
- Acclaimed faculty and guests
- Travel programs abroad and local group tours
- Free academic assistance and counseling
- Healthcare benefits
The University of Alberta for the Arts has various programs and benefits, helping students become professional artists. It is also for passionate and highly-motivated craftspeople, but not for the lighthearted.
As such, here’s an insightful review from a student at the art university.
“This is a great school! Know what you want to do in life, and it is possible to achieve it. You do not have to be a professional artist after leaving the school. There are many other options too. However, you need to be serious about what you do want to do, and it must relate to fine art (or design if you are in that stream) after all, that is what your degree is, a bachelor of fine art. The teachers will be completely honest with you about your work because that is how you learn. Sometimes the harshest critique is truest, and you grow from there. There are so many resources at the school and knowledge of techniques that you may not find anywhere else! It is challenging, it is impossible to coast through this school. Expect to work hard, but it should be hard work you enjoy.”
5. Mount Royal University
|BEST FOR||Flexible Schedules|
|PRODUCTS||Arts, Communication, Health, Science and Technology, Community, Business, Continuing Studies|
|ADDRESS||4825 Mt Royal Gate SW, Calgary,|
|CONTACT DETAILS||(403) 440-6111|
|OPERATING HOURS||8:30 AM-4:30 PM on Mondays to Fridays|
Since 1912, Mount Royal University has provided quality, accessible education through certificate, diploma, and degree programs.
This university offers small class sizes for personalised learning and self-designed schedules for working-class students. It has an array of courses ranging from public relations to nursing healthcare.
Faculty incorporate research, technological innovations, and other alternative learning methods in their curriculum for a holistic learning environment.
The environmental spaces, such as the Rocky Mountains near the university, add to Mount Royal University students’ premier experience.
- Diversity of teaching approaches
- Flexibility of schedule
- Established quality education
Mount Royal University is indeed an excellent school for those juggling multiple commitments. The university provides an outstanding work-life balance for both teachers and students.
A former student and research assistant left this review as a testament to the university’s positive impact.
“As a former student at Mount Royal University, I have developed close relationships with my professors, which made it possible for me to be granted the opportunity to work on a peer-reviewed journal closely with one of my professors. The professors at this institution are very helpful with helping any students in need. I have attended a few post-secondary institutions in the past, and Mount Royal is by far, my favorite.”
You shouldn’t worry too much before even entering college because the real stress comes when you’re taking major classes, writing papers, and studying for exams.
So, make sure you’re going to the best college to maximize your skills, education, and overall experience. Consider our list for your decision-making process.
If you’re also looking for someone to help you with your studies, try out one of the best tutoring services in Calgary.