Located along the eastern coast of Canada, the island province of Nova Scotia can boast of sandy beaches, coastal views and a rich heritage. What's more, the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service reports Nova Scotians are generally well-educated and have some of the highest levels of job satisfaction in the nation.
The economic heart of the province is Halifax. As the capital, the coastal city is home to almost a third of Nova Scotia's nearly 940,000 residents. It has an impressive waterfront and a vibrant arts scene. Other major urban areas of note include Truro, New Glasgow, Glace Bay and Sydney on Cape Breton Island.
Students will find plenty of opportunities to study in the province. In addition to 11 universities, Nova Scotia Community College offers 13 campus locations to make it convenient for those pursuing higher education. However, if none of these university or campus options are ideal, students may also find online courses and programs at colleges and universities in Nova Scotia as well as at institutions based elsewhere in North America.
Health and science jobs on the rise
Nearly half of all jobs in Nova Scotia are based in and around Halifax. The city has a diverse economy supported by the following industries, among others:
- Aerospace and defense
- Financial services
- Skilled trades
- Digital industries
- Health care
Halifax is home to major corporations such as CGI, Citco and Lockheed Martin. In addition, its financial services sector is robust, with more than 2,600 firms having offices in the metro area. However, health care and technology are potentially be the industries slated for the largest growth in coming years.
The Canadian Occupational Projection System found health occupations and those in natural and applied sciences were expected to see the largest percentage of growth from 2011-16. Specifically, the following occupations were expected to add the most jobs during that time period.
- Nurse supervisors and registered nurses
- Assisting occupations in health service
- Information systems analysts
- Computer programmers
Colleges and universities in Nova Scotia
The Canadian Trade Commissioner Service reports one quarter of Halifax residents hold a university degree, and the city has the highest percentage of workers with a postsecondary credential such as a diploma, degree or certificate.
To earn those credentials, students have a number of options. For example, the following institutions are among the 11 universities in Nova Scotia:
- Acadia University
- Cape Breton University
- Dalhousie University
- St. Francis Xavier University
- St. Mary's University
- University of King's College
Students considering professions requiring a diploma or certificate rather than a degree may want to consider Nova Scotia Community College. The college offers 13 campuses throughout the province. In addition, it hosts a variety of courses online for distance learning.
However, Nova Scotia Community College isn't the only school in the province to offer online learning. Universities both in and out of the province may offer online programs to Nova Scotian students. For example, Dalhousie University has online degree programs at the undergraduate and graduate level as well as distance learning options for several diplomas and noncredit certificates.
Financial aid for Nova Scotia colleges
Whether they choose Nova Scotia Community College, one of the universities in Halifax or a different institution, students may be eligible for tuition assistance through several sources.
Through the governments of Nova Scotia and Canada, qualifying students might be eligible for the following financial aid options:
- Nova Scotia Student Loan and Upfront Grant
- Nova Scotia Grant, High Need with Dependents
- Nova Scotia Grant, Students with Permanent Disabilities
- Canada Student Loan
- Canada Student Grant
Both the provincial and federal governments also offer a number of scholarships and bursaries to students studying at Nova Scotia colleges. Students can learn more about these opportunities as well as how to find other funding options by visiting the Nova Scotia Student Assistance website.
Universities and colleges in Nova Scotia may also be able to help students identify private scholarships and other sources of financial aid.
"Occupational Outlook, 2011-2016," Canadian Occupational Projection System,
Nova Scotia, The Canadian Trade Commissioner Service,
Online Learning, Dalhousie University,
Key Industries, Greater Halifax Partnership,
Nova Scotia Student Assistance, Government of Nova Scotia,
Online Learning, Nova Scotia Community College,