Student Success/Learning to 18

Specialist High Skills Major

Resources for Teachers

A Specialist High Skills Major lets students focus on a potential career that matches their skills and interests.

Each major is a bundle of classroom courses, workplace experiences and sector certifications. Students who complete a major receive a special designation on their high school diploma.

High school students can major in:

  • Agriculture
  • Arts and Culture
  • Business
  • Community Safety and Emergency Services
  • Construction
  • Environment
  • Forestry
  • Health and Wellness
  • Hospitality and Tourism
  • Horticulture and Landscaping
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Manufacturing
  • Mining
  • Transportation

For example, students enrolled in a construction major will take:

  • Four construction "major" courses
  • An English course and a math course using construction examples
  • A cooperative education placement
  • Training for sector-recognized certifications in health and safety, first aid and handling hazardous materials.

The program is currently being expanded across the province and most boards are currently offering at least one SHSM.


Guides For Specialist High Skills Majors (2008-2009):

Workplace Safety Documents:

Other Resources:

Print publications can be ordered from Publications Ontario.