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What is a Specialist High Skills Major?

A Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM) is a Ministry of Education approved program that allows students to focus their learning on a specific economic sector, while meeting the requirement of the Ontario Secondary School Diploma. The program also assists students in their transition from secondary school to apprenticeship training, college, university or the workplace. An SHSM enables students to gain sector specific skills and knowledge.

The St. Catharines Collegiate has been approved by the Ministry of Education to offer the Information and Communications Technology SHSM.

Profile of the Information and Communications Technology Sector

Information and communications technology (ICT) is the sector that processes information (which includes capturing, transmitting, and displaying information) using electronic systems. The ICT sector continues to transform our economy and everyday life. Core industries in this sector include:

  • communications systems (e.g., telecommunications, cable/broadband, broadcasting, and other program distribution systems)
  • computer systems (e.g., computer engineering, technical support, electronics, robotics, network engineering)
  • software and digital media (e.g., computer programming, computer and video games, simulations, computer animation, data management, web design, web portals, Internet security).

Any of the above areas may include a range of activities dealing with design and development, sales and marketing, security, training, and maintenance and repair.

What will students in the Information and Communications Technology major study?

A bundle of nine Grade 11 and Grade 12 credits in which students earn:

  • Four information and communications technology major credits
  • One English credit, one math credit and one credit in either art, science or business studies tailored to include units focused on information and communications technology

-Two cooperative education credits to gain workplace experience that enables students to refine, extend and practice sector-specific knowledge and skills

-Experiential learning, career exploration and reach ahead activities within the sector

-Certifications and training programs/courses in first aid, CPR and hazardous materials 

-Essential Skills and work habits required in the sector

What are the future career paths for information and communications technology?

For Information and Communications majors, possible careers include:

  • Apprenticeship – telecommunications line and cable workers, telecommunications installation and repair workers, cable television service and maintenance technicians
  • College – broadcast technician, computer network technician, illustrator or animator, electronics engineering technologists, film and video camera operator, graphics and web designer
  • University – computer engineer, information systems analyst, software engineer and designer, computer programmer, filmmaker, and interactive media developer
  • Entry level workplace – retail salesperson, residential and commercial installer and servicer – e.g. satellite dish installer, desktop publisher