Optics Looks Good, But Reality Is Very Different For Those Enrolling In Canada
By Dr. Nivedita Das Kundu*
The huge influx of Indian International students to Canada have become a part of Canada’s immigration strategy as a result of ongoing changes in federal regulations for recruiting more highly skilled newcomers to the country.
However, it has been observed that of late, Canada’s job market has become stagnant. It is becoming harder for the new graduates to get good and stable jobs. Many times they get the job, but that does not fit with their area of specialization or add value to their career prospect.
The majority of the Indian international students feel that lack of Canadian experience is the most difficult aspect of the job search. Also, not having Canadian citizenship or permanent residency (PR) status and a lack of connections or network makes the job search process much longer and tougher.
Most of the time international students feel that they are in a disadvantageous position compared to their Canadian counterparts, when it comes to securing a desired job. Many students feel that their perception of job opportunities in Canada changed after they finished their education and enter the job market.
The wish to stay in Canada after completing the education has been always the priority for the Indian international students, yet it is a decision that spindles around employment prospects.
Students think that there is a lack of connection and communication Canadian universities and Canadian employers. Students feel that Canadian employers are somewhat hesitant in hiring international students and lots of time discouraged by their accents and lack of Canadian citizenship/PR.
Also, international students believe that employers do not understand or appreciate their international experience.
Students are of the opinion that it is the responsibility of the institute/university to make sure that International students looking forward to staying in Canada after finishing the education should get a fair chance of obtaining appropriate employment.
International students can become a part of the burgeoning relationship between Canadian universities/institutes and Canadian employers.
Taking into consideration the views of the Indian international students while conducting this study, it has been observed that young Indian students, who all come to Canada for higher education, are facing rough time finding a suitable job after completing the education.
The Canadian experience dilemma is real and there is a disconnection between the Indian international student’s expectations and reality.
One might think that in such a large country like Canada there would be ample of opportunity for all. But the unemployment rate in Canada remains relatively high compared to past years and this rate nearly doubles for the international students searching for jobs.
Getting stuck in survival jobs becomes quite common and reduces the ability to look for the right job. Also, lack of funds to sustain in Canada for long to find a suitable job becomes difficult.
Many times students go back to the home country to get a better job with better salary and job prospects, which also helps them to pay their monthly payments of the hefty education loans that they take to finance their studies in the Canadian institutes/universities. Therefore, it is important that one should do cost-benefit analysis and reality check before coming to Canada as an international student.
Dr. Nivedita Das Kundu, Ph.D. Social Scientist & Director, Canada-India Project for Research and Innovation, York Center for Asian Research.