Education Editorial

The Value of a Canadian Diploma

By Dale Sproule

If you have been in Canada for three months or more and have been unable to find work in your field, you have a number of choices: keep looking, change fields, take a survival job or go back to school.

In a household of two or more people, where at least one of you is well employed, it’s a good time to think about going back to school and improving your qualifications for a job in Canada. If you are alone in Canada and can live inexpensively, you may be able to accomplish what you need through a combination of part time jobs and student loans.

The first step is to define your goals and figure out how to achieve them. Talk to the educational institutions and ask pointed questions about their courses and programs and the success of their graduates. Determine the cost and the time you’ll need to complete the program. Find out what kind of certificate or diploma you get upon graduation. And most importantly, make sure your credentials will be recognized in your field.

Some schools may give you advanced placement because of your existing credentials. Some schools may have better reputations in your field than other schools.

Their courses may be offered at a more convenient time, making it easier to work part time while you are studying.

You may be able to shorten the process by gaining credits that will get your foot in the door at a lower level than you had before you left your country of origin. That way, you can earn a good salary while you’re working your way back up to your old position.

It may even be worthwhile to move to another town or city to take the courses you need. Many smaller cities across Ontario are home to excellent colleges and universities. The cost of living in the small cities is often much lower than in the big cities and you may discover that it is easier for you and your partner to find work there.

The most important step is doing your homework before going back to school.