M Robertson

Ease/difficulty of finding employment???

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M Robertson

Hello there

I am a third year student studying Industrial Engineering at Stellenbosch University (4 year degree, graduating in 2019). I already have Canadian citizenship and plan to move there after I graduate. By word of mouth, I am aware that there are numerous South African engineers working in Canada. A question I have is what the level of ease or difficulty would be for me (coming from South Africa with an engineering degree) to be hired. Any kind of information would be most welcome :).

Thanks 

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Jules

A young foreigner (despite your Canadian citizenship) with a foreign degree and no work experience? Odds are that you will struggle to get an engineering job. You will probably need to do some extra studies after you return to Canada. And consider doing any job to get some income while you reorient your career. 

The good news is that you are young so you have time on your side. If one has to do this then doing it at the start of your career is ideal. Long term you won't regret it. 

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TJG
Posted (edited)

I echo Jule's sentiments on this topic. If I were you, I would look into doing a post graduate diploma or perusing your masters here in Canada. Finding an engineering position here in Canada is difficult with no Canadian work experience. I was a Structural PrEng in S.A and I really struggled to find employment.  All the best with your journey. 

Edited by TJG

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M Robertson

Thank you very much to both of you for your feedback. Currently, the only work experience I have is that of a 6 week internship, but I can agree with both of you that real work experience would be vital. Initially, I did not think of studying further in Canada, perhaps that is a wise option to consider. 

Also, would fluency in French put me at a slight advantage of finding employment?

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MaryJane
12 hours ago, M Robertson said:

Also, would fluency in French put me at a slight advantage of finding employment?

It shouldn't really. Depends on the jobs you are targeting. I think there are many available jobs in the market that do not require French.

Some jobs do prefer bilingual applicants (French and English). If you are in Quebec (and maybe some parts of New Brunswick?), French may be more prevalent in the workplace. Government jobs also sometimes ask for this requirement. But I know quite a few people within the CRA and local government departments that are not bilingual at all so definitely not a disadvantage.

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AnelleR2008

My hubby is an engineering manager.   He sent some advice a while ago to someone who was in a similar situation as you (eligible to work in Canada, no work experience, etc).  I'll ask him to find the info he sent and I'll copy and paste it here. 

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Nettie
On 4/17/2018 at 10:11 AM, M Robertson said:

..............I did not think of studying further in Canada, perhaps that is a wise option to consider. 

Also, would fluency in French put me at a slight advantage of finding employment?......

Definitely consider studying "further" in Canada. You will also make connections that way for that potential job.

From my experience, engineers have been found to have no problem finding jobs but I suppose it depends which field you're in and what the demand in that field is. If you don't already have one, get a Linkedin account and start connecting with structural engineers to get the feel regarding your specific situation. Also look on indeed.ca and glassdoor as to what the requirements for the jobs are.

It's always a good thing to be able to speak another language. Anything extra on your resume is helpful. It also opens up two more provinces for you  (Quebec and New Brunswick).

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AnelleR2008

We had the opportunity to have some Engineering students from India over to our house one Christmas (as part of a university programme for foreign students to not be alone on major holidays and to be included in Canadian life).   These guys really gave me insight in how people from other countries try to line things up to come to Canada and why some of them enter the EE pool with so many points.

They finished their bachelors in India and then came over for post-grad work.  They work their backsides off so that they can qualify for co-op work in order to gain Canadian work experience that way.  In addition to that 2 out of the 3 had part time work (they can work limited hours on a student visa) to help cover some of the costs.

It is costly to come over on a student visa as international student fees are extremely high and it is becoming increasingly more difficult to prove that you have an intention of moving back to your home country however it isn't impossible. 

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M Robertson
Posted (edited)

Is graduating with a Cum Laude in Engineering of much significance to employers in Canada?

Edited by M Robertson

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