Conestoga news

January 27, 2012 2:18 PM

Conestoga hosts degree and graduate studies fair

On January 23, Conestoga students had an opportunity to explore post-graduate studies at the college’s second annual Degree and Graduate Studies Fair.

The fair, which took place in the Student Life Centre on Doon Campus, targeted students seeking degrees as well as those contemplating their various options upon graduating.

Jason Humphrey, the post-grad and degree liaison officer at Conestoga, said that while college certificates and diplomas are great stepping stones, they are often better when combined with a degree, particularly for students interested in management positions.

“One thing we’re finding with a lot of articles and reports coming out is that students need a combination of the college and the university experience now, so that’s where these fairs are really beneficial for the students,” he said.

Conestoga, which offers multiple bachelor’s degrees in fields ranging from business to health and architecture to engineering, had advisors on hand to provide students with their options and answer their questions.

There were also 25 other Canadian and international universities represented at the fair, with recruiters traveling from as far away as the University of Glasgow and Griffith University in Queensland, Australia.

Kay Hartwig, the director of internationalization at Griffith, said a post-graduate education has become the general hiring standard for most big companies around the world.

“In today’s climate, a university degree is the minimum qualification a student needs,” she said. “It’s a passport for the world.”

Hartwig added that students with Canadian educations are highly respected around the world and that most international universities reserve spots and scholarships specifically for Canadians.

Derrick Willcott is a student advisor with KOM, a Hamilton-based organization which helps students find, and apply to, schools overseas.

“A university degree opens more doors career-wise,” said Willcott, adding that international study experience also looks great on a resume, especially in the business world.

John Song, a second-year Biotechnology Technician student at Conestoga, said he attended the fair because he doesn’t know exactly what he wants to do when he graduates in April.

“I think a university degree would further develop my education and expand my career options,” he said, adding that he would prefer to attend university straight out of college, while he is still in “school mode.”

It is a strategy Humphrey agrees with.

“For students that are younger and possibly unsure what area they want to get into, staying that extra year or two and getting a degree is definitely beneficial,” he said.

Kayla Cantalini, a student in Conestoga’s Business Administration - Financial Planning program, also attended the fair.

Cantalini said she would like to one day work for a large firm or a bank. While she hopes a college diploma is enough to get her foot in the door, she said she has heard of employers in the industry that will not even consider candidates with less than a university degree.

“I’d consider it,” she said of more schooling after college. “But I think when I’m done here, I’ll try and get a job and go from there.”

For more information about degrees or post-graduate studies, please contact Jason Humphrey at 519-748-5220 ext. 2305, or

 Story by Ryan Bowman, first-year student in Conestoga's Print-Journalism program.