Yukon is Canada's westernmost and smallest territory, bordering the U.S. state of Alaska. Like many parts of Canada, including the province of New Brunswick, Yukon is officially bilingual (French and English are both official languages), but its solid population of Native American, Germanic and First Nations peoples — who are Aboriginal, but not Inuit or Metis — makes it markedly diverse. This distinctive makeup, and its impact on the region's art and culture, is one of Yukon's defining characteristics.
The stunning outdoor setting is something else commonly associated with the Yukon Territory. A particularly notable characteristic of the region is water, not just because of its position along the Beaufort Sea, but also because it has a large number of glacier-fed alpine lakes and is a major watershed of its namesake, the Yukon River. This unique geography — and the territory's gold rush history — continue to have a strong influence not just on Yukon's culture, but also on its economy.
Careers in Yukon
Yukon's economy is as diverse as its people, and it remains heavily influenced both by its land and its cultural heritage. The Government of Yukon reports that agriculture, fishing and trapping remain major economic sectors, though forestry and mining — a nod to the Klondike Gold Rush of 1898 — continue to draw major global investments. A booming tourism industry is another product of the land. According to the government, Yukon's tourism industry is the largest private sector employer in the territory and affects nearly all other economic sectors. The region has also established itself as a global energy leader, especially with respect to "green" and renewable energy like wind, solar geothermal and hydroelectric power.
Yukon's natural resources and related industries have driven the state's population trends as much as its economy. For example, the territory's capital and largest city by far is Whitehorse, which was established right along with its buzzing hydroelectric and mining industries. Generally speaking, however, most of Yukon's major industries are territory-wide. Overall, the Government of Yukon has established six "priority" or "investment-ready" sectors, which it defines as emerging, entrepreneurial and innovation hot spots. These include:
- Film and sound
- Innovation and technology
- Mining and exploration
- Oil and gas
- Tourism and culture.
Invest Yukon reports that the region's beauty and natural resources are a major incentive for potential investors. Another key incentive is Yukon's educated workforce, a product of the territory's colleges and universities.
Invest Yukon also reports that Yukon offers the highest number of degree holders per capita in all of Canada, a feature that has made it a global leader in research and innovation in a number of fields, but especially cold climate technologies. This point is especially fascinating when one considers that there are actually very few Yukon colleges. So few, in fact, that the Canadian Information Centre for International Credentials only lists one recognized institution on its website: Yukon College (though the Yukon School of Visual Arts is another major, but relatively young, school). The territorial government also lists a handful of technical or vocational schools.
Why so few? Compared to many other Canadian provinces and territories, Yukon is sparsely populated, and many of its residents live in decidedly remote areas. While that has limited the practicality of establishing campus-based programs, it has actually spurred demand for online degree programs. Thanks to online learning, students need not attend schools in the Yukon Territory to get an education. They can enroll in programs from all across Canada and the rest of the globe. Prospective students can contact Yukon colleges and schools elsewhere directly to learn more about their options.
Sometimes students attending schools in the Yukon need help managing their education costs. Thankfully, Yukon's Education Department offers a number of financial aid programs designed to make postsecondary education and career training more affordable. They include:
- Yukon Grant
- Student Training Allowance
- Yukon Excellence Awards
- Canada Student Loans
- Canadian Army Scholarship
- Nicholas John Harach Scholarship
- Yukon Art Society Scholarship
- Yukon Huskies CB Radio Club Scholarship
In most cases, students can apply for government-sponsored loans, grants and scholarships online, though paper applications are accepted, too. Keep in mind that many Yukon college students might also be eligible for private loans and scholarships. These programs are helpful for those who do not qualify for government financial aid, but even students who do may turn to private lenders and scholarship funds to bridge funding gaps. Most schools in the Yukon Territory have financial aid offices designed to help students find, apply for and manage financial aid.
Postsecondary Education in Yukon, Canadian Information Centre for International Credentials,
Student Financial Assistance, Education, Government of Yukon,
Trade Schools in Yukon, Education, Government of Yukon,
Priority Sectors, Invest Yukon,