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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.

Profile of the Information and Communications Technology Sector

The SHSM–Information and Communications Technology enables students to build a foundation of sector-focused knowledge and skills before graduating and entering apprenticeship training, college, university, or an entry-level position in the workplace. Where local circumstances allow, boards may elect to offer one or more variants of the SHSM in a given sector, each with a particular area of focus. This SHSM may be designed to have a particular focus – for example, on communication systems, computer systems, or software and digital media. This focus is achieved through the selection of the four major credits in the bundle.

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 - Course selections can be from the following subjects:

Communications Technology
Computer Engineering Technology
Technological Design
TV, Video and Movie Production

  • 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 and career exploration activities

-Sector-recognized certifications and/or training courses/programs

-Reach ahead experiences:

Students are provided one or more reach ahead experiences – opportunities to take the next steps along their chosen pathway – as shown in the following examples:

  • Apprenticeship: visiting an approved apprenticeship delivery agent in the sector
  • College: interviewing a college student enrolled in a sector-specific program
  • University: observing a university class in a sector-related program
  • Workplace: interviewing an employee in the sector

-Sector-partnered experiences (SPEs)

Students engage with a sector partner and apply skills to gain insight into the relationship between this sector and ICE (innovation, creativity, and entrepreneurship), coding, and/or mathematical literacy.

   The Zone   GlobalTV
            Tour of YTV, in The Zone                                     The Morning Show, GlobalTV

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
  • Training for the Workplace – retail salesperson, residential and commercial installer and servicer – e.g. satellite dish installer, desktop publisher