Second Career

What You Need to Know Before Applying

Second Career is an Ontario government grant that provides financial support to help qualified laid-off workers train for careers in demand. It is a cost-sharing program. Based on financial need, you may have to pay part of the costs associated with your studies.

Second Career involves two procedures: the Funding Application and the College Program Application. It can take months to complete. Researching and planning ahead of time is recommended.

For the Second Career Funding Application, you’ll work with an Employment Ontario Service Provider, where employment counsellors are trained to help you decide if this program is right for you, and if it is, to assist in completing your application. For more information, visit the Employment Ontario website and find an Employment Ontario Service Provider in your area. You can also book an appointment online.

Advisers at Seneca can answer your questions related to the College Program Application and provide program research documents for your application package. Skills training is allowable for National Occupation Classification (NOC) skill levels B, C or equivalent. Programs up to 24 months are allowable under Second Career. Please note that your employment counsellor will work with you to research occupations in NOC B or C categories.

To make it convenient for you, Seneca has provided a cost breakdown estimate and sessional dates that can be downloaded. These documents were requested by previous Second Career applicants. If you are considering a program which is not listed, please consult with your employment counsellor to make sure the program is eligible for Second Career. After that, please get the approval in writing from your employment counsellor and contact Seneca Admissions for your required document.


For cost break-downs, tuition fees, books and supply costs, start and end dates and refund policies, please visit the Second Career: Cost Breakdown Estimate & Sessional Dates page.

For information on options to help fund your education, please visit Seneca’s Financial Aid office.

This process can take several months to complete and our programs can fill up quickly, so remember to start early.

Step 1: meeting with an employment counsellor

Make an appointment with an employment counsellor at your local Employment Ontario Services Provider to understand the Second Career Program and find out if you are eligible.

Step 2: understanding the College Program Application process

Attend one of Seneca’s Mature Student Information Sessions to speak with a student recruitment officer. These sessions will cover the following topics:

  • general Second Career information
  • how to find the nearest Employment Ontario Assessment Centre to your home
  • how to apply online for a program offered at Seneca
  • admission requirements
  • academic upgrading
  • general OSAP information
  • government access grants
  • scholarships, bursaries

Step 3: preparing your school research document

Submit a research package to apply for Second Career. For your convenience, Seneca has uploaded a cost breakdown estimate and sessional dates online so you can access details by program to answer the training research questions in your application to the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (MTCU). If you are interested in another program that’s not listed, you’ll need to consult your employment counsellor to make sure the program is eligible for Second Career. After that, please get the approval in writing from your employment counsellor and contact Seneca Admissions for your required document.

Step 4: applying through Ontario College Application Service (OCAS)

Select your desired Seneca program(s) and apply online at OCAS. Make sure to select the box that indicates you’re applying as an “Agency-sponsored Second Career Applicant” in the Financial Assistance section of your application profile. There is a $95 non-refundable fee. If you have any questions about your online application, contact OCAS at 1.888.892.2228.

Step 5: receiving your application

Please allow processing time, which may vary depending on different factors, and contact Seneca Admissions if you have any questions.

Step 6: completing pre-admission testing

If required, you’ll receive a letter that explains how to complete pre-admission testing for English and/or math through Seneca Admissions.

Step 7: securing your offer

Once you have been admitted to your program, an Offer of Admission will be issued by the Seneca Admissions Office. You are expected to make a $500 non-refundable deposit towards your tuition by the due date, which will appear on your tuition and fees notice. The remainder of your tuition fees are due in full by the first day of classes, or a $150 penalty will be applied to your account.

You are expected to make the $500 deposit payment accordingly to secure your seat. Please talk to your employment counsellor should you have any questions or concerns.

For your reference, there are some “Important Academic Dates” at Seneca that we highly encourage you to be aware of.

Step 8: submitting Offer of Admission

If you have received a Seneca Offer of Admission, please attach it to your Second Career application package and submit it to your employment counsellor. This will then be sent by your employment counsellor to the MTCU for funding review.

Due to many factors, please expect varying processing times. This is one of the reasons why we encourage you to apply early.

Step 9: waiting for funding approval

MTCU will contact you regarding the approval of your Second Career funding. Once you sign and receive a copy of your approved MTCU Second Career Contract, please bring it to the Seneca Admissions office.

If your contract has not been approved by the MTCU, but you have received a Seneca Offer of Admission, you can look into other means of financial assistance, including: