In the education world, some myths persist longer than others, especially when it comes to vocational training. These myths influence parents, and incidentally their children, when it comes time to choose a career. Here are a few:

The high school-college-university path isn’t for everybody. There are many ways to develop and pursue one’s passion: the traditional route is not the only option! The diploma obtained in vocational training is not a limit, but rather a gateway to the job market. The passage between vocational and college training permits students to pursue an education according to their needs and ambitions, and this, right up to university.

False! There are some 150 vocational training programs teaching the specialized skills of a trade. Duration of programs leading to a DEP generally varies from 750 to 1800 hours, and 450 hours for an ASP.

False! In vocational training, the ratio usually stands at about 55% men and 45% women*. There are programs where women are minorities, and once they count for less than 30% of numbers registered, it’s then considered a non-traditional trade for women. But the opposite also holds true: men who choose traditionally female trades.

*MEESR, SIS, Portail informationnel, Système Charlemagne, données au 2015-08-06, traitement Direction de l’Adéquation Formation-Emploi

False! Vocational training students must call on their intellectual abilities just as in any other educational program. The difference is that the concepts to acquire are more concrete and trade-focused. Vocational training can also lead to a job in the high-tech sector, where close to one in four workers possess a diploma of vocational studies (DEP – diplôme d’études professionnelles).

Additionally, VT programs require not only manual skills, but specific learning abilities such as: a sense of organization, precision, an analytical mind and logic. Fluency in several school subjects is essential whether it is mathematics, French or English.

False! Many graduates begin working and earning significant wages. Some become managers or rise in the echelons of large enterprises and see their working conditions improve over the years. Not choosing vocational training because of salary is an error. Visit the Emploi-Québec IMT site for details on trades, salaries and job prospects.

On the contrary!

Generally, to be admitted to cégep holders of a DEP must also complete certain Secondary 4 and Secondary 5 prerequisite courses. Nevertheless, there are DEP-DEC gateways that facilitate the passage from certain vocational programs to a college technical program. What’s more, the cégep can recognize several courses followed in vocational training if they are in continuity with the chosen college program.

False! The majority of employers judge their recruited VT graduates as competent.

False! The specialization that a DEP provides brings more leverage in the job market: as a specialized worker the graduate cannot simply be replaced by anyone. For the employer that wishes to hire a specialized, highly skilled worker, do they prefer those with a high school diploma or a DEP? It is well understood that employers will choose the VT graduate.

Inspired by a document produced by Éric Boisvert, guidance counsellor, Centre de services scolaire de Saint-Hyacinthe et Je choisis la formation professionnelle by the Centre de service scolaire de la Seigneurie-des-Mille-Îles.