It is often believed that the settlement and integration of skilled immigrants are moderately easy in Canada and that skilled immigrants do well in Canada after a brief adjustment period. However, numerous surmountable barriers prevent the effective integration of skilled immigrants into mainstream society.
There are different barriers to obtaining professional employment and one of the most prevalent is the non-accreditation of Foreign Credentials. Due to the point-based system of the Canadian Immigration process, I would say that it is more path structured for any regulated professional (Accountant, Lawyer, Engineer, and Doctor) to get a job in his/her profession than a non-regulated one.
For an Information Technologist like myself and for any other inspiring IT professional that wishes to immigrate, I would advise that equipping oneself with the adequate and relevant knowledge is necessary.
Our educational culture system in Nigeria emphasizes having degrees and certifications, unlike Canada where qualifications only get you interviews when what you need is the hands-on experience.
From my experience in Canada, I have found out that having too many qualifications always scare the recruiters away because even the top managers with 20 years of hands-on experience do not have as many qualifications.
Another perceived challenge for immigrants is the general lack of recognition by employers and regulatory bodies of the value of work experience acquired outside Canada. The requirement of
Canadian work experience has also been identified as a mechanism by which some employers with subtle prejudices employ to justify not hiring immigrants. I remember once asking a recruiter “How am I going to get Canadian experience if you are not going to hire me”
Firstly, it is important to go for Job fairs, resume writing symposiums, and if possible, a mentorship program that is all accessible for free. After which I had to self-access to determine what I needed to do to get into my profession. Have it in mind that IT is not a regulated profession so there is no laid-out structure or path to follow to get things done.
The truth is that some IT professionals do not go through hassles to get gainfully employed but some might have to go to school like I did to add a Canadian education to my resume. I would say this is not necessary, but it might be good to have.
Another major mistake professionals make is that they immigrate to the major cities where the big corporations and Organizations have their head offices. I believe since this is the general practice, thousands of professionals do the same. Hence causing a major shortage in employment because of the over-saturation in the city. I had to move away from the major cities and within 2 years I have changed my job twice. I wouldn’t have had the luxury to do so in a big city. Right now, recruiters now call from the big cities and are willing to conduct online interviews for suitable positions while offering relocation allowances.
Canada proudly welcomes immigrants from around the world, acknowledges their economic contributions, and understands their importance for the country’s future economic growth, job creation, and overall prosperity. But individually, one must be wise and even drop all sentiments to forge ahead.
In an enabling environment like Canada, young professionals and even older professionals in their 50’s changes their careers either because they found out it is not working out or they get tired and bored due to loss of passion