We like to think that Waterloo has won the post-secondary trifecta. The University of Waterloo is Canada’s top technology university. Wilfrid Laurier University is an excellent comprehensive school with renowned business programs.
Last but not least, Conestoga College is a leading polytechnic institute that produces work-ready talent in technology, advanced manufacturing, the skilled trades and more. One of the country’s top research colleges, Conestoga has more than 30,000 students enrolled across nine campuses and the largest apprenticeship program in Ontario.
What else sets them apart?
Here are five things you should know about Conestoga College:
1. Conestoga is home to three leading advanced manufacturing research centres
Two of Conestoga College’s biggest strengths are research and manufacturing. Three of their research centres combine these strengths to help innovate in smart manufacturing, supply chain management and food processing. Each centre combines faculty expertise and industry knowledge/access with state-of-the-art technology to support specialized research in advanced manufacturing.
The Smart Manufacturing and Advanced Recycling Technologies (SMART) Centre at Conestoga connects researchers with the region’s manufacturing sector to meet industry needs in high-performance manufacturing and ICT-enabled intelligent manufacturing. Building on Conestoga’s established expertise in technology innovation and electronics waste recycling, the SMART Centre drives innovation and productivity improvement in advanced manufacturing.
The Magna Centre for Supply Chain Excellence (MCSCE) works with government and industry partners to address Canada’s critical productivity challenges through the application of integrative supply chain system thinking. Located in the Toronto-Waterloo Tech Corridor, the MCSCE trains skilled supply chain specialists to solve supply chain and operations challenges and opportunities.
Finally, the Craig Richardson Institute of Food Processing Technology (IFPT) provides education, training, research and technical expertise to help meet emerging food and beverage industry manufacturing needs.
2. Conestoga is the only Ontario College that offers accredited engineering degrees
Like we said, Conestoga is a leader when it comes to advanced manufacturing – their specialized engineering programs are clear evidence. They’re the only college in Ontario – Canada’s largest province – to offer accredited engineering degrees and the focus is on skillsets that contribute to advanced manufacturing, robotics and automation.
The four programs include building systems engineering, electronic systems engineering, mechanical systems engineering and power systems engineering. Together, graduates from these programs can manage facilities, design complex computer-controlled mechanical systems, work in embedded systems and electronics and make an impact in cleantech design and deployment.
Additionally, the college offers more than 50 engineering and technology programs, many of which have a distinct advanced manufacturing, robotics and automation flavour.
3. The college has a unique strength in training workers for the tech industry
Conestoga’s School of Applied Computer Science and Information Technology programs are designed to prepare students for the tech industry. Examples include:
- Big Data Solution Architecture
- Computer Programming and Analysis
- Software Engineering Technology
- Software Quality Assurance and Test Engineering
- Mobile Solutions Development
The school also offers a Bachelor of Computer Science. Many of these programs incorporate active learning including project-based learning, applied research and co-op.
Research labs like the Virtual and Augmented Reality Lab complement the college’s unique project-based learning model, allowing students to gain hands-on experience with leading technology.
4. The college is the future home of the most comprehensive and high-quality trades facility in Ontario
Conestoga is a provincial leader in trades and apprenticeship training, with proven expertise in preparing students for careers in industrial/manufacturing, construction and transportation trades. In fact, the college has the largest apprenticeship program in Ontario.
In November 2019, Conestoga announced a massive new skilled trades facility that includes office and manufacturing space. The new facility will train students from Conestoga’s School of Trades and Apprenticeship, which trains carpenters, HVAC specialists, electricians, masonry workers and a wide range of manufacturing-oriented specialists. The facility is expected to open in the fall of 2022.
Conestoga also recently received funding from the provincial government to further support training in the manufacturing and automotive sectors.
5. More than half of the adults in Waterloo Region have received training at Conestoga College
Conestoga College has an impressive impact on the educational infrastructure of Waterloo Region. The college offers an extensive set of continuing education options from individual courses and micro-credentials to full-length programs.
The eye-opening statistic: about 55% of the adults in the region have taken courses in more than 100 areas of specialization.
Continuing education plays a vital role in retraining and reskilling the workforce, especially as the COVID-19 pandemic transforms traditional jobs. Conestoga’s programming helps employees meet their career goals while helping employers support the continuing growth of their workforce.
Take full advantage of Conestoga’s incredible talent pipeline and research capacity.