You’ve made a great decision by picking Canada as a study destination. But where you study within Canada will also have a big impact on your chances of finding a good career after graduation.
You might have heard lots of stories about how Canada is going through some major skills gaps and talent shortages. But here’s the thing: all of these shortages are connected to specific regions of Canada. It’s a big country, after all! Research has shown that in general, Canada “does not suffer from a comprehensive national shortage of skilled labour” (Morris-Lange and Brands 2015). ” Rather, all of the country’s talent shortages are limited to “certain regions, sectors, and occupations, especially technical jobs in STEM” (Morris-Lange and Brand 2015).
So what does this mean for you? It means that what you study, and where you study it, will have a major impact on your chances for a job after graduation.
[pc-pvt-content allow=”17″ warning=”1″]For starters, be sure to visit your school’s career counselling office in the first year of your post-secondary studies, and ask them what they can tell you about the skills gaps in your area and how you can build on them. If they don’t have the answers to this question, they should be able to tell you where you can find it. Remember, the place where you pursue your post-secondary education will also be the place you live and build your networks when you first arrive in Canada, so be sure to make the most of your post-secondary years to lay the foundation for a future career.
Also, be sure to visit career sites like Job Bank to see what kinds of jobs are most in-demand in the region of Canada where you’d like to live. This can be a very fun experience, especially if you’re early in your educational journey, because the possibilities are endless. Going to a site like Job Bank can be stressful when you’re in the final semester of your studies and trying to find a career that fits your education. The earlier you start, the more you can match your educational interests with your career aspirations!
If you’ve decided on what kind of job you want, then choose to study in an institution that helps develop that skill, but also equip yourselfwith an understanding of which region of Canada needs your skills the most. You might study mining engineering in downtown Toronto, but the fact is that when you graduate, jobs in that area are going to be in more northern regions of Canada. It’s important to know on day one where your skills will be most in-demand.
Many international students might opt to study in major urban centres like Vancouver and Toronto for their post-secondary education in Canada. But if your final goal is to find a good career in Canada and start a life here, you may want to think again about what your focus should be. The geographical location of your school, and the regional job market around it, are both going to influence your chances at finding a career, and ideally, should even influence the career path that you build for yourself from the first day you arrive at college or university.
References and further reading
Canada Job Market Trends and News. Job Bank. 2018. https://www.jobbank.gc.ca/LMI_bulletin.do
Morris, Lange, and Florinda Brandis. “Train and Retain: Career Support for International
Students in Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, and Sweden.” The Expert Council of German Foundationson Integration and Migration. Berlin, The Expert Council’s Research Unit, 2015.
Paddon, David. “Canada’s Labour Shortage is the ‘New Norm,’ Will Last a Decade: Economist.”
The Huffington Post. 5 Sept. 2018, n.p.
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