Are My Skills Needed in Canada?

Not sure if moving to Canada is the right move to advance your career? Here are three ways to find out before you get here.

1. Take the test

If you are wondering if your skills are needed in Canada, the first thing to discover is whether you qualify as a skilled immigrant. In Canada, skilled immigrants are identified using a six-factor point system: education, ability in English or French, experience, age, arranged employment in Canada and adaptability.

To see if you qualify as a skilled immigrant, you can take the Canadian Government’s online self-assessment test. Raymond Burns of Citizenship and Immigration Canada advises all family members to try it. “If you are immigrating with a spouse, you should both take the test to see who gets the most points.” The person with the higher score should be the primary applicant.

2. Know the right words

Next, you need to know whether there are jobs available in your field. Start by checking the job terminology current in Canada. According to Burns, “The job you do in your home country may have a different name in Canada. Likewise, jobs with the same name often have different duties.”

He recommends consulting the Canadian National Occupational Classification, a listing of over 30,000 job titles organized into 520 occupational group descriptions. (Another good resource is the federal Labour Market Information site, which offers sections on Job Descriptions, Job and Skill Requirements, Employment Prospects by region, and Wages and Salaries.)

3. Explore job conditions

Once you know the name of your position in Canada, the Canadian government’s online Working in Canada tool can provide valuable information about main duties, wages, outlook and prospects, training information, and associations and unions. This tool will also help you learn whether your profession is regulated in Canada. Regulated professionals must have a license to practise, which often requires specialized education and experience.

Your previous education may be sufficient, or you may have to undergo further training in Canada. Organizations like World Education Service provide evaluation services for immigrants who need to know how to convert their educational credentials into their Canadian equivalent.

Doing this research in advance will improve your chances of qualifying for immigration and securing a job when you arrive in Canada.