Features of the life of Canadian IT specialists and how to become one

Maple Stories podcast. This article recaps our recent release with product managerin which we talked about studying at GameDev, the life of IT people, employment features and immigration opportunities.

Tech is booming in Canada. It is growing, as they say, by leaps and bounds, large investors come to it, including from the United States, who have realized that it is much cheaper to hire a specialist from Toronto than from California. At the same time, there are often not enough specialists in Canada, so the demand for them is high, and at times the employer is ready to turn a blind eye to the lack of Canadian education and work experience in this country.

You can gain your first experience in university associations of the profile that suits you, or in small firms and start-ups. Then all this should definitely be mentioned in the resume, and then there is a chance that a big company will “bite” on you, or rather on your experience. One has only to get into the stream, then everything will go on knurled. Of course, there would be a desire.

For some of the IT professions that are client-oriented and related to financial flows, it would be nice to have a certificate of Canadian education, some experience in local companies and an understanding of the local mentality. This is a slightly more difficult path.

For developers, designers, product managers, QA testers, database and artificial intelligence specialists, everything is somewhat easier. In this branch of IT throughout Canada, specialists are snapped up very quickly, without carping too much about the lack of local experience.

For example, if you want to be hired as a project manager, then an employer in Canada needs to submit finished projects, and those that you yourself started, launched, and they are more or less successful. You can launch them even in Europe, even in Africa – the deployment is unprincipled, the result is important. Otherwise, they won’t even look at you.

In addition, everywhere in the field of IT, soft skills play an important role – how the applicant communicates with people, how he works in a team.

Professional skills can be checked before the interview on a test task, where they will offer to solve a particular problem. Can you write the code for the task correctly? They will talk to you, even if you do not have a higher education, no – even if you graduate from Harvard, no one needs you.

Another curious, but rather hidden point: the IT industry in Canada is fighting for an approximately equal balance between boys and girls, so girls will have a little more privileges when applying for a job. Girls with brains, of course. HR services in Canadian companies care not only about gender, but also about national diversity in teams, and even about the diversity of temperaments in terms of introvert/extrovert. It is not officially mentioned anywhere, but it is worth remembering this, especially if you are an emigrant from Russia, that is, initially a representative of a minority.

Another bonus: in Canada, Russian-speaking IT specialists are well known as responsible, competent and hardworking specialists. Therefore, employers are actively recruiting them.

In many Canadian companies, especially after covid, the ability to work remotely is common. In large offices with an international team and different locations, the employee is ready to offer a flexible work schedule so that you do not adjust to the “from nine to eighteen” in the time zone of the head office.

In short: no matter what hours you work, the main thing is interaction with the team, meeting deadlines and the end result.

Canadian companies have adopted joint discussions of upcoming tasks, a common brainstorm and collaboration on all fronts. Authoritarianism a la “I am the boss, you are a fool” is not practiced here.

Do not despair if you were not accepted into one or another company, it means that you simply did not fit their set of (not only working) requirements and, most likely, you yourself would not be completely satisfied with the work. In Canada, personal, human qualities play an important role, so it is important to communicate with people from the desired field of application, to be friendly and open.

And one more thing: Canadians are by no means workaholics. A day at the office often starts with coffee and half an hour chatting with colleagues, then a meeting, then some more communication, then lunch, and so on and so forth. In Canada, people don’t live to work, they work to live and enjoy life, so no one will make you plow like a draft horse. Everyone respects the psychological and labor resources of colleagues, their personal time. Here, for example, you can take a day off to restore internal strength, mood – everyone will respect this, because such self-care increases productivity.

A trick that will help increase your salary: it’s easier to change companies than to wait for a promotion at your previous job. The maximum that you can count on in your office is plus 2-3% of the salary annually. There is little room for negotiating maneuver, you will have to sweat to prove why you are worth more, and then sweat some more, proving that you were not rated higher in vain. And when moving to a new office, no one will ask how much you received at your previous job, rather, they will ask how much you expect, and it can be much higher than in the previous place.

In addition to different salaries, companies offer all kinds of bonuses. These include even unlimited vacations, insurance coverage from 50 to 80%, which also includes the services of dentists, massage therapists, and psychologists. The company may even offer the employee a block of its shares. Also, some companies allocate funds for the organization of a home office or even pocket money that can be spent on health, for example, to buy a subscription to the gym.

It is also important not to forget about socialization: find like-minded people and companies in which you want to work, even before you arrive in Canada. Use LinkedIn for this.

Also remember that now in the field of IT, the conditions are dictated not by employers, but by employees. Stick to your needs and priorities. Even in your free time, do what you like, projects that interest you. Such enthusiasm will bribe any employer.

If all of the above seemed attractive to you, then the only thing left is to choose a program through which you can immigrate to Canada. And this country offers a lot of them.

The main program is Express Entry. It involves scoring candidates for immigration by level of education, age, length of service, level of knowledge of the English language, and marital status.

There are also provincial programs, which are a kind of Express Entry and involve additional points for features that are important for a particular province. This can be, for example, work experience in a particular province, education, life experience in a particular province, a specialty that is in demand there.

There is also a plan to immigrate through study or work in Canada, especially for young people who do not have work experience in the country of origin.

There are federal and provincial programs for specific specialties or business people.

You can also apply for asylum if you are being persecuted on political, racial or other grounds in your country of origin, or if you are in danger of life or abuse.

As already mentioned, IT specialties are in high demand in Canada. These specialties can be immigrated even if you do not score high on Express Entry.

First, in the fall of 2022, the approach to the drawing of applications under Express Entry will change. Under the new rules, the immigration service will from time to time itself determine the most popular specialties and pay attention to them in separate draws. Such specialties are likely to include the IT sector. Some provinces are already practicing special draws for IT professionals with low scores. So, for example, does the province of Ontario.

Secondly, in all provinces, IT specialties are among the priority professions. This means that you need to carefully look at the provincial programs and apply to those provinces where IT specialists are listed in the list of professions for immigration, even without a job offer.

Thirdly, due to the high demand in Canada, IT specialists can relatively easily find a job in Canada and move on a work visa, followed by obtaining a residence permit under the Canadian Experience Class.

If you have a specialized education and work experience of three years or more, you have a very high chance of immigrating to Canada.

Read more about the life of IT people in Canada and not only tell in our podcast and TG channel about adaptation and life here.

I would be happy to share more useful information!

Now I am preparing a material about studying as a Software Engineer in Toronto and life in Canada with IT specialists. Let me know if you’re interested 🙂

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