Women continue to outpace men in achieving higher education. According to Statistics Canada, women hold 60% of all university degrees among young adults aged 25-34 years of age. Still, it is important to note that women continue to be less present than men in fields such as science and technology, engineering, math and computers. Additionally, immigrants arriving to Canada hold more post-secondary degrees than the average native-born Canadian.
Immigrants comprise only one-quarter of Canada’s adult population. However, they also account for more than one-third of adults with university degrees. Figures from the 2011 National Household Survey make it difficult to discern whether women and immigrants with degrees and high-levels of education are working in their respective fields and being compensated appropriately.
Challenges for highly-educated immigrants include language barriers, credential recognition and higher levels of underemployment and unemployment. There are many services in Canada to assist newcomers with developing their language skills, which will eventually allow them to work in their appropriate field. Nevertheless, considerable obstacles still remain in place for immigrants trained in very specialized professions.
Overall, women and new immigrants do have high levels of education. The only area of concern is whether they are able to use their skills in the appropriate position and with proper compensation. Anirudh Kapoor and his wife Summi immigrated to Canada from India over a year and a half ago and are still unemployed. They are a radiologist and an ophthalmologist who left successful practices in order to move to Vancouver. Today, they fear they will have to return home if they do not find jobs soon as they are running out of money. Kapoor has strong English skills but believes he will have to find a job as a general practitioner. Unfortunately, this also appears to be difficult.
The Federal Government is taking steps to reduce the number of highly educated immigrants resorting to low-skilled jobs. These steps include tough new language requirements and an emphasis on youth, as well as on certain demand skills and pre-arrival job offers.
FWCanada is a Montreal-based immigration law firm that provides professional legal services on Canadian immigration. For more tips and updates on Canadian immigration, follow FWCanada on Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin.