High school diploma and continuing education

Continuing education allows you to keep up with the latest technologies, advance your knowledge and skills and increase job opportunities. It can also help you get your high school diploma or continue your education after high school. More and more adults are going back to school to get a certificate, diploma or degree, to change careers or just as an expansion of their hobbies.

You can study during the day or evening, in-class or by distance education, online through e-Learning or other correspondence options. With today’s technology, range of program choices and resources, it is easier than ever to go back to school!

Even if you have completed your schooling, you can always continue to learn!

Reasons to go back to school
  • For your career
    • career and skills development;
    • increase job opportunities;
    • change careers;
    • get a promotion;
    • upgrade or develop new skills;
    • learn new ideas and better ways of doing things;
    • improve your competitive edge in the job market;
    • keep pace with technology and industry trends;
    • turn hobbies into job skills;
    • get tools to cope with economic downturns;
    • expand your professional network;
    • boost your academic record;
    • get your high school diploma;
    • improve basic reading skills;
    • earn credits toward college or university;
    • retake courses to improve your academic grade-point average; and
    • qualify for academic scholarships.
  • For you
    • explore new interests;
    • gain a better awareness of different topics;
    • meet new people and expand your network;
    • engage with your community;
    • better understand issues affecting you and your community; and
    • improve your self-esteem.

Get your high school diploma

Having a high school diploma increases job opportunities and helps you earn more money.

You can choose to study part-time or full-time, during the day or evening, in class or at home, and for as long as you want. Courses are often free or cost very little. Classes may be offered through:

If you choose to get your high school diploma from a school board, check to see if any courses you have taken or any work experience you have can be considered the same as—"equivalent"—to a high school credit. This could reduce the number of courses you need to get your diploma.

Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition

Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) helps adults demonstrate and obtain recognition for skills and experiences acquired outside of the classroom. PLAR focuses on what adults know and can do, including skills and training gained on the job through volunteering, leisure activities and even travel.

Some provinces and territories offer PLAR to adults at the high school level. This can help you get your high school diploma.

General Educational Development (GED) tests

Another way to get your high school equivalency is by registering to take General Educational Development (GED) tests. GED tests cover five different subject areas. A person must pass all five tests to get their GED certification (certified Canadian high school equivalency).

To find out more about getting a high school diploma or GED high school equivalency certification, contact your provincial or territorial department of education:

British Columbia
New Brunswick
Nova Scotia
Northwest Territories
Prince Edward Island

Paying for school

There are several options available to pay for continuing education, including:


Working in Canada? The Job Bank tool allows you to search job descriptions, wage rates, skill requirements, training and job openings based on different kinds of jobs within Canada. This tool shows information from a variety of Government of Canada resources and it helps you make informed decisions about the best career path and educational options available to you.

The CEGEPs, Colleges and Universities Search tool lets you explore post-secondary education options in Canada and helps you find the school that best matches your needs.

The Program Search tool provides detailed profiles, requirements, application and admission information for programs of study at Canadian CEGEPs, colleges and universities.

Foreign Credential Recognition (FCR) helps internationally trained workers have their educational credentials assessed and recognized in Canada.

Learners Speak Out offers stories about others’ experiences with going back to school as an adult.

Many schools have academic help centers where you can get study tips or participate in study groups with other students.

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