As discussed in my last column, for students looking to the future, there are numerous career opportunities within the automotive industry requiring a wide variety of skills.
Manufacturing, engineering, design, advertising, marketing, public relations, accounting, IT, government relations, and environmental relations are just a few.
No matter what you may choose, there will likely be fierce competitors vying for the same positions making it difficult to separate yourself from the pack. The best way to make a positive impression is to gain as much education and experience as possible.
Employers are always looking for proactive candidates that demonstrate ambition and a specialized skill set, which can be difficult. Regardless of what area of the auto industry interests you, there are a number of college, university and apprentice programs where you can gain the experience you need.
The TADA (Toronto Automobile Dealers Association) recognizes that the continued success of Ontario’s auto industry relies heavily on the quality of its future workforce. This is exactly why it chose to invest in the future by providing funding to higher learning facilities like the Canadian Automotive Institute at Georgian College, which has maintained a 90 per cent graduate placement rate for 25 years running.
Offering diploma and bachelor programs, students can gain valuable knowledge of various aspects of the industry, preparing them for career opportunities in sales, marketing, finance, insurance, e-commerce and remarketing, leasing, PR and event management.
Every employer wants to hire someone with experience, but how do you gain experience without having a job first? The CAI also offers co-op placements, providing relevant, real-world work experience in a variety of areas.
Centennial College takes a more technical, hands-on approach by offering courses and apprenticeship programs for technicians. Not only partnering with the TADA, Centennial has developed an excellent relationship with a number of manufacturers in order to provide a realistic workplace experience for students.
There are many opportunities in the auto industry across a variety of disciplines that can be both lucrative and personally fulfilling. How far you want to go and how you get there is up to you, but the choices are almost limitless.