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Academy of Learning College Blog

4 Things to Look for in a Career College

It pays to go back to school. In today’s marketplace, a college diploma can open doors to a more rewarding career, a promotion in your current field, and opportunities for improved financial security for you and your family.

But with so many training institutions to choose from, how do you verify that a particular career college or program is right for you?

Here are four key things you can look for to ensure the college you choose will help you transition back to school, and into a career you’ll love.

1. Academic Counselling and Personalized Instruction

To make sure you don’t waste time, tuition, and effort you may want academic counselling to help map out a study path and career plan. The best career colleges have supportive, knowledgeable advisors who will help you match your professional goals with the most appropriate training program.

And once you’re on the right track and enrolled, the college should provide plenty of personalized instruction and encouraging learning support. Instructors will prioritize your goals, helping you master unfamiliar skills and learn new technologies at your own pace. This way, you’ll build the practical knowledge and confidence you’ll need to land a great job in your field after graduation.

Just take a look at your top choice’s testimonials section to see what alumni have to say about their learning experience at the school.

2. A College with a Track Record & Solid Reputation

When employers look at the education and training section of your CV, they’re not just scanning the skills you developed – they’re also looking at the college you attended to learn those skills. Diplomas from recognized and respected institutions carry more weight than credentials from unknown schools.

If a school has a strong reputation and track record, employers can trust that grads will have what it takes to hit the ground running in a new position. For example, Academy of Learning College is known for keeping its programs up to date with changing industry trends, providing skills training that matches what today’s employers need most.

So, whether you’re looking for a healthcare college or hoping to launch an accounting career, it’s important to verify that the school you choose will equip you with the most in-demand knowledge and skills.

And don’t forget to look for that official seal of approval: make sure your school has membership in the National Association of Career Colleges, and certification by its respective provincial government.

3. Flexible Class Options to Suit your Busy Schedule

Let’s say you’re considering attending a business college, but concern about managing classes around your busy schedule is holding you back from applying.

All you need to do is ensure you choose a career college that lets you learn at your own pace. Flexible scheduling options and online learning tools will help you balance school work with family responsibilities, full-time work, and other obligations.

For example, AOLC’s Integrated Learning System offers students a range of on and offline learning options, and if you have to miss a class? No worries. You can simply arrange to attend that same class at a later time. Plus, you can start your training at any time with AOLC’s continuous enrollment policy.

4. Industry Connections to Launch Your Career

Good career colleges help their students land employment right after graduation. But the best career colleges go the extra mile to give new grads a head start by offering networking opportunities and job-hunting skills.

Academy of Learning College has a partnership with People-to-Go (PTG), a company that connects career hopefuls with businesses looking for new hires. AOLC students across Canada can even meet with PTG coordinators who point them toward jobs in their field, from office administration and information technology, to healthcare and beyond. On top of this, AOLC offers comprehensive career success courses for each and every student.

If your chosen career college can boast these four attributes, then you’re well on your way to the brand new career – and the brighter future – you deserve!

Are you interested in earning a college diploma? Visit Academy of Learning College for more information or to speak with an advisor.



job interview advice

Be warned: Some advice is terrible.

You may hear job interview advice from people who are already “out there” and working. However, they may have been hired despite their interview tactics, not because of them.

To save you the time of having to plow through 10+ pages of article results, we’ve compiled a list of what we consider some of the least helpful (and even detrimental) pieces of job interview advice. Avoid these common mistakes and you’ll be that much closer to landing your dream position.

“Arrive really early to impress your interviewer”

It might seem like a good idea to show up a half hour before the interview time – after all, aren’t employers impressed by workers who show up early? But you aren’t an employee yet, and arriving too early can put undue stress on the interviewer, who is likely pressed for time.

The career blog Pongo warns, “Arriving too early sends at least one of the following messages: You can’t follow directions, you think appointment times are ‘approximate,’ or you’re desperate. You won’t get interviewed until the scheduled time, and you’ll make people nervous by hanging out in the reception area.”

If you’re concerned about being punctual, arrive early to scope out the interview location, then grab a cup of coffee at a nearby coffee shop and take the extra time to review your notes or take a few deep breaths. Plan to arrive no earlier than ten minutes before the interview.

“Answer ‘Describe your greatest weakness’ very honestly”

Although it might seem like a question meant to entrap you, employers ask the weakness question to get a sense of your own self-awareness, honesty, and how you approach challenges and problem-solve.

We all have flaws, otherwise there would be no room for growth. The trick is to point out how you have taken steps to remedy the issue and become a better worker.

In the U.S. News article “Ignore This Common—and Awful—Career Advice”, Alison Green writes, “Good interviewers don’t want to talk about weaknesses so they can play ‘gotcha,’ but because they want to make sure they won’t put [you] in a job where you’ll struggle.”

“Be really eager”

There’s nothing wrong with showing interest in an employer or a position, but being overly eager makes you seem either desperate or undiscriminating.

“Even if you are one of the top candidates, ‘send[ing] them a message that you need the job’ is a red flag. It causes the interviewers to question why you are in that situation and to rethink how good of a candidate you may be,” writes Melissa Cooley on the blog The Job Quest.

The interview is designed to be an opportunity for both you and your interviewer to judge if you would be a good fit for the position, and that determination takes time and consideration.

“List lots of things you would change, if hired”

Be cautious when offering unsolicited “advice” in an interview. You would be surprised by how many interviewees think they are being clever when they criticize a company’s website or ad campaign.

It’s one thing to comment on your web creation experience and make general comments about how that experience could be an immediate asset to the company. It’s quite another to make cutting remarks about the company’s current site.

You never know – the hiring manager might have been the one responsible for creating that site!

Feel Underqualified in Too Many Interviews?

The problem may not be your posture or when you show up to the interview. Maybe your resume is a bit too thin. If your skills are out of date, or not-quite-there, going back to school can be easier than you think.

At Academy of Learning College, we help students through our reputable, hands-on training to learn the necessary skills to get work in their chosen fields.  Not only will you be more qualified for your chosen career, the ability to list and discuss your education will ensure that you are presenting yourself to your full potential when interviewing.

Learn more about the courses we offer across Canada, or contact us today with your questions, and land that job you’re seeking!

microsoft word resume

Does Microsoft still have the final Word in resume writing?

Not everyone can access the full Microsoft Office suite, especially on a student budget.

So what are employers looking for today, and can you create a killer resume without learning Microsoft Word?

How Google Docs Became the New Microsoft Word

The resume writing tools of Google Docs are gaining popularity for one big reason: they are FREE. Google has streamlined the process of resume writing tools by giving users access to thousands of templates.

All you have to do is search “resume” and you will be able to click “preview” and look at each template before you decide which one is right for you.

You simply select a template, and then you’re able to start editing and inserting your information. After you have completed your resume, you can save it to Google Drive. You will be able to find your document at For a more detailed explanation on how to use Drive for resume building, learn more at How-To Geek.

E-Resume Formats to Convince Your Future Employer

There are many ways to deliver your resume to employers, but one of the most common requests will be via email or online submission.  An electronic resume, or e-resume, is a very broad term that covers many types of resumes. How you plan to distribute your resume depends on how you will format it.

Formatted Resumes

This is the traditional type of resume created in word processing applications. Microsoft Word is the most widely used and you are advised to use it for that reason. At the same time, other programs let you save a file as a .doc (the default Word document type) and your resume will look professional. However, it’s important to note that the document created outside of Word may not render properly if opened in a program other than Word. For example, the carefully chosen spacing may be off.

File extensions for formatted resumes are .docx and .doc. If possible, save your document as a .doc file and not .docx, since not all users can open that file extension.

You will use this type of resume at career fairs or in interview situations, where you will print it out and hand to prospective employers. This type of resume is known for being visually appealing, and is the go-to method when delivering your resume in means other than electronic, because it will print out properly.

Text Resumes

Also known as plain text resumes, this is the format preferred when submitting electronically. All formatting is stripped in this form, it carries a .txt file extension and is not visually pleasing, but that is not necessary since its main purpose is to be entered in the databases large employers use when searching for qualified interviewees.

This format is virtually impenetrable by viruses and is compatible across computer platforms. Very versatile, it can be used for posting on job boards, pasting into the body of emails to employers and converting to web-based HTML resumes.

Web Resumes

This resume is one of the best in today’s technology buzzing world.  You can post your resume online, where potential employers can view it 24 hours a day. With the many web-hosting services that offer free web space, you can easily send traffic to your resume.

You can then expand this to a web portfolio where your skills can be viewed by businesses whom you might not have sought out on your own.

Need Education to Pad Your Resume?

Today, Microsoft Word isn’t always affordable on a student budget, and with as many options available to you for free, you are doing yourself an injustice by not exploring them.

Of course, the problem may not be your format. If your skills are out of date, or not-quite-there, going back to school may be necessary to give you the edge over other candidates.

Before you get concerned that returning to school is a hassle, consider this: Academy of Learning College provides high quality education for students of all ages, who have a variety of work and life commitments that need to be balanced with their education.
Learn more about the programs we offer across Canada, or if you wanted to master Microsoft Office, you could do that, too.  Contact us for any questions you have about training or preparing for your career, and let us help you succeed!

career option myths

Any career with the word “medical” in the title is likely to be pigeonholed into the idea that it belongs only in a hospital setting.

However, that’s just one of the myths that plague a medical assistant career; it is patently untrue. Just because the job involves some interface with medical people and the medical profession, it does not mean it only offers opportunities at a hospital.

Other myths that apply to medical assistant career opportunities suggest that you have to be a clinical worker and a generalist. However, the variety of careers available for medical assistant graduates includes highly specialized offerings, if that’s more to your tastes.

Top 4 Medical Assistant Career Myths

If you want to get into the medical assistant career field, any one of these myths might derail your plans.

Luckily, there are no real limits on what you can or can’t do in this field, as there are a multitude of medical assistant job opportunities across British Columbia for someone who is properly trained.

Here’s the real truth about these top 4 myths about medical assistant careers:

Myth #1:  You Can Only Work in a Hospital

You can work in administrative positions, clinics, private doctor’s offices, and even the military. It’s up to you how you apply your knowledge as a medical assistant. You might even end up working in a physical rehabilitation clinic.

Myth #2 – You Can’t Specialize

Certifications exist from anything from obstetrics to podiatry. If you want to earn more or get into a specific specialty, there are organizations that do offer specialization certificates. Or, you can simply get on-the-job training with a particular specialty to get into your desired area.

Myth #3 – You Have to Be Clinical

There are plenty of medical assistant careers that are purely administrative. Some offer a mix of administrative and clinical duties, too. There is no reason you only have to concentrate on a clinical setting to use your skills. Private clinics need people to do patient intake just as much as they need clinical assistants.

Myth #4 – There Are Few Advancement Opportunities

Even if you choose an administrative role, you can still advance into a management position within a medical assistant’s career path. Further advancement can be obtained by earning a healthcare administration certificate, too.

You can become a clinical team leader, an instructor, a supervisor, or even a manager.

How Pay Compares

Specializing further, one has the ability to garner better pay along with greater responsibilities. Pay can vary by location, as well. For instance, Vancouver, Canada, pays an average of 11 percent more than Saskatoon.

Interested in Training to Be a Medical Assistant?

As you can see, there is no shortage of opportunities, but only for those who are qualified and certified.

At Academy of Learning College, we help students through our reputable, hands-on training to learn the necessary skills to get work in their chosen fields, and we also provide flexible schedules to allow for students to balance their family life and current jobs.  Learn more about our medical office assistant course in British Columbia, and book an appointment with us to discuss your needs.  Let us help you reach your potential today!


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