Is Canada Failing to Recognize Your Foreign Credentials?


Canada is known for attracting new immigrants with its attractive high quality of life, racial tolerance and abundant career opportunities, but many new immigrants are facing a serious challenge in finding stable full-time work once they’ve made the move.

The majority of newcomers to Canada are highly educated in their home countries but face a significant issue when employers fail to recognize their foreign accreditations. According to Statistics Canada’s report on Recent Trends in Over-education by Immigration Status, university-educated recent immigrants have been increasingly employed in jobs requiring less than a university education.

For top professionals like engineers who have spent years earning their degrees, going back to school in Canada and starting from scratch becomes an expensive time and money investment, especially if there is family to support. The solution becomes seeking ‘survival jobs’ working as security guards or store clerks while waiting for other job opportunities to come along, which don’t always. Bo Wang is one of these immigrants that struggled in a survival job.

“Before I came to Canada, I was a structural engineer with more than 10 years of experience in structural design. I moved to Canada and I worked for a food company because it was very difficult to find a suitable job for me.” Said Brighton College Graduate Bo Wang in a recent interview.

In recent years, such issues have encouraged the growth of vocational colleges. These colleges offer short-term career-focused programs to students who need quick hands-on training to get a foot in the door of their desired field in a shorter time, and the return on investment is huge.

Brighton College is one of these colleges that recognizes the challenges new immigrants face and the cost of returning to school for long periods of time. Their specialized programs help numerous people get rid of their survival jobs and dive back into their professional careers. For example, already experienced engineers like Bo Wang have completed short programs at Brighton College and updated their technical skills while obtaining new knowledge on Canadian building codes.

“Brighton College’s program was perfect for me.” says Bo Wang. “During my training at Brighton College, I learned a lot about BC building codes and new drafting skills. My teacher Edward found me a great work experience term at IRC Building Science Group and after graduation, they offered me to be a part of their team! I work as an AutoCAD technician and I am very happy with my job.”

The same is true for foreign accountants who have updated their accounting backgrounds to include Canadian taxation foundations and earned certification from the Canadian Payroll Association (CPA). This was true for another graduate, Joyce Shu.

“I got my accounting diploma in China 20 years ago. I worked for several companies for over 15 years. I wanted to give my child a good education, so I came to Canada. I tried to look for a job in my field. But soon I realized that without local education and local experience, I had little chances to get employed. I decided to enroll in Brighton College Computerized Accounting and Office Diploma. I got enough confidence and knowledge to be able to find an accounting job right after the completion of my work experience term.”

Not only does Brighton College offer a number of Canadian-recognized certifications to students, with its heavy focus on hands-on training, Brighton offers students work experience placements that give them the opportunity to get real Canadian work experience while still in school. Placements are guaranteed for any student enrolled in a diploma program.

People who have braved leaving their home countries in search of job opportunities and a better lifestyle deserve a fulfilling transition into their professional careers and it seems that recognized Canadian credentials and work experience are the way to meet employer requirements. To find out more about Brighton College’s programs visit or fill out the form below.

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