The ben­e­fits of an au­to­mo­tive ed­u­ca­tion

The Hamilton Spectator - - WHEELS - This col­umn rep­re­sents the views and val­ues of the TADA. Write to pres­i­dent@tada.ca or go to tada.ca. Larry Lantz is pres­i­dent of the Tril­lium Au­to­mo­bile Deal­ers As­so­ci­a­tion and is a new-car dealer.

Most pro­fes­sional ca­reers to­day re­quire some form of post-sec­ondary ed­u­ca­tion, and the retail au­to­mo­bile in­dus­try is no ex­cep­tion.

For those who are se­ri­ous about pur­su­ing a ca­reer in the auto in­dus­try, the good news is that plenty of post-sec­ondary school op­tions are avail­able to you. The Au­to­mo­tive Business School of Canada at Ge­or­gian Col­lege, Cen­ten­nial Col­lege and Durham Col­lege are among the schools that of­fer au­to­mo­tive pro­grams and cour­ses in pre­par­ing stu­dents for a long, ful­fill­ing ca­reer.

The ben­e­fits of an au­to­mo­tive ed­u­ca­tion can’t be over­stated. Job se­cu­rity, higher pay, con­tin­u­ing ed­u­ca­tion, net­work­ing and op­por­tu­nity for growth are some of the ben­e­fits that an au­to­mo­tive ed­u­ca­tion can be­stow upon grad­u­ates.

Let’s look at these ben­e­fits more closely:

Job se­cu­rity

Whether you aim to be­come a cer­ti­fied au­to­mo­tive tech­ni­cian, a sales man­ager or an In­ter­net mar­ket­ing ex­pert, deal­er­ships across Canada are in need of peo­ple with spe­cific skills. In ru­ral ar­eas, es­pe­cially, the de­mand for skilled work­ers is even more pro­nounced.

In the years ahead, the de­mand for skilled work­ers will be­come even more acute, as baby boomers con­tinue to re­tire. If it’s job se­cu­rity you’re af­ter, the retail au­to­mo­bile in­dus­try is filled with em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties in ur­ban and ru­ral ar­eas.

Con­tin­u­ing ed­u­ca­tion

Think your school­ing days are over once you grad­u­ate from a post-sec­ondary school?

Think again. What­ever your pro­fes­sion, the key to per­sonal em­pow­er­ment and ca­reer ad­vance­ment in to­day’s work­place is con­tin­u­ous learn­ing and ed­u­ca­tion.

All ma­jor au­tomak­ers of­fer train­ing and ed­u­ca­tional op­por­tu­ni­ties where par­tic­i­pa­tion isn’t only en­cour­aged, but man­dated. Gone are the days when an in­di­vid­ual could sail through an en­tire ca­reer uti­liz­ing a sin­gle skill set. To­day, new tech­nolo­gies, pro­cesses and reg­u­la­tions are hap­pen­ing at light­ning speed, and work­ers are re­quired to up­grade their skills con­tin­u­ously.

Net­work­ing

Some of the best friends and con­tacts that you will ever meet will oc­cur at school. Spe­cial bonds and mem­o­ries are cre­ated in the class­room (and af­ter class), which will pro­vide enor­mous ben­e­fits to stu­dents for years af­ter they have grad­u­ated.

Work­ing with fel­low stu­dents on class as­sign­ments also teaches stu­dents how to share, col­lab­o­rate and work as a team. In a deal­er­ship en­vi­ron­ment, success is all about team­work. Dif­fer­ent de­part­ments need to work to­gether and school is an ideal place to learn those es­sen­tial team­work skills. For in­stance, at the Au­to­mo­tive Business School of Canada at Ge­or­gian Col­lege, each year, more than 150 stu­dent vol­un­teers serve as brand am­bas­sadors at the Ge­or­gian Col­lege Auto Show. This auto show ex­pe­ri­ence gives par­tic­i­pat­ing stu­dents the chance to ap­ply their skills and net­work with auto in­dus­try rep­re­sen­ta­tives.

Good pay

What­ever as­pect of a deal­er­ship some­one is in­ter­ested in - tech­ni­cal, col­li­sion re­pairs, parts and ser­vice, mar­ket­ing, IT ser­vices, ad­min­is­tra­tion, hu­man re­sources or ac­count­ing - there are well­pay­ing po­si­tions avail­able in all of those dis­ci­plines, and the op­por­tu­ni­ties for ad­vance­ment are great.

In most in­stances, the harder a per­son works and com­mits him/ her­self to the job, the more op­por­tu­ni­ties they will have to earn a higher in­come. Op­por­tu­nity for growth Many dealer prin­ci­pals and man­agers in the car in­dus­try had hum­ble be­gin­nings, and through hard work and ded­i­ca­tion, worked their way up and achieved tremen­dous success. That type of ca­reer tra­jec­tory is pos­si­ble for any­one who is will­ing to work hard and is ded­i­cated.

Plus, if you have an en­tre­pre­neur­ial mind­set, you are an ideal can­di­date to work in a deal­er­ship set­ting. En­trepreneurs are non­lin­ear thinkers, and deal­ers are al­ways look­ing for in­di­vid­u­als who can an­a­lyze and solve prob­lems dif­fer­ently.

Earn­ing a col­lege de­gree or di­ploma in an au­to­mo­tive field is a great in­vest­ment in time and ef­fort and, af­ter you grad­u­ate, you will pos­sess a wealth of knowl­edge and hands-on skills that can help pro­vide you with gain­ful em­ploy­ment for decades.

For in­for­ma­tion about au­to­mo­tive ed­u­ca­tion and in­dus­try trends, visit carsand­jobs.com.

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