Canada is a land of opportunity for STEM professionals. The country has a strong economy and a growing demand for skilled workers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. The recent announcement from IRCC to favor more Express Entry profiles having work experience in STEM occupations validates their growing demand.
As a result, Canada is actively seeking to attract STEM immigrants, and here’s all you need to know about immigrating to Canada with a STEM degree or prior work experience in it.
Top STEM Occupations for Immigrants in Canada
Statistics Canada in the 2016 Census noted even though immigrants represent 24% of the national workforce but account for
- Computer programmers: 39%
- Physicists and astronomers: 41%
- Engineers: 41%
- Software engineers and designers: 51%
- Chemists: 54%
Furthermore, the following statistics are more than sufficient to suggest why immigrants with STEM degrees in Canada are in huge demand.
- 34% of people working in scientific research and development services across Canada are foreign-born.
- Nearly 500,000 immigrants working in Canada are trained in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields.
- International students represent 12% of students in the country’s post-secondary education system but account for 27% of all students enrolled in mathematics, computer, and information sciences programs and 19% of all students in architecture, engineering, and related programs.
Canadian Immigration Programs for STEM Professionals
There are a number of ways for STEM professionals to migrate to Canada, including:
- The Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSW): The FSW is a points-based immigration program that assesses applicants on factors such as their education, work experience, language skills, and age. STEM professionals with a high level of education and experience are likely to qualify for the FSW.
- The Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs): The PNPs are a group of immigration programs that are run by the provinces and territories of Canada. Each province has its own set of PNPs, and the requirements vary from province to province. However, STEM professionals are in high demand in all provinces, and many PNPs have specific streams for STEM workers. Get a free consultation from our expert consultants to learn more about your eligibility.
- The Canadian Experience Class (CEC): The CEC is a subcategory of the FSW that is designed for foreign nationals who have already worked in Canada for at least one year. STEM professionals who have worked in Canada in a skilled occupation are likely to qualify for the CEC.
Eventually, applications under FSWP & CEC and some linked-PNP programs are processed under the Express Entry System. Applicants who are eligible for the Express Entry System are placed in a pool, and they are then ranked based on their points. The highest-ranked applicants are invited to apply for permanent residence.
Opportunities for International Graduates Studying STEM programs in Canada
Studying STEM programs in Canada can be a great way to start your career. It is expected that many international students enrolled in STEM fields will stay and build their careers in Canada.
Here are some of the best universities in Canada for STEM programs:
- University of Toronto: The University of Toronto is a world-renowned university with a strong reputation for STEM programs.
- University of British Columbia: The University of British Columbia is another top university in Canada with a strong focus on STEM.
- McGill University: McGill University is a leading university in Canada with a long history of excellence in STEM.
- University of Alberta: The University of Alberta is a large research university with a strong focus on STEM.
- University of Waterloo: The University of Waterloo is a leading university in Canada for computer science and engineering.
Soon after graduating with a STEM degree, international students can qualify for Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP).
After graduation, international graduates are eligible to apply for a work permit that allows them to stay in Canada and work for up to three years. This gives them the opportunity to gain valuable work experience, make connections in the Canadian job market and qualify under CEC to obtain Canada PR.
Salary of Immigrants Working as STEM Professionals in Canada
Here are some of the highest-paying STEM jobs in Canada:
- Software Engineer: $110,000
- Data Scientist: $100,000
- Engineer: $90,000
- Scientist: $85,000
- Technologist: $80,000
According to a study by Statistics Canada, the median salary for STEM immigrants in Canada was $85,000 in 2019. This is compared to a median salary of $75,000 for Canadian-born workers with a university degree.
The study also found that STEM immigrants with doctoral degree earned a median salary of $100,000 in 2019. This is compared to a median salary of $85,000 for Canadian-born workers with a doctoral degree.
The study also found that STEM immigrants in Canada are more likely to be employed in high-paying occupations than Canadian-born workers. For example, 30% of STEM immigrants in Canada were employed in occupations that paid more than $100,000 in 2019. This is compared to 20% of Canadian-born workers.
The high salaries of STEM immigrants in Canada are due to a number of factors:
- Canada has a strong demand for skilled workers in STEM fields.
- STEM immigrants typically have high levels of education and experience.
- STEM immigrants are more likely to be employed in high-paying occupations.
The salary of STEM immigrant professionals in Canada varies depending on their field of study, level of education, and experience. However, in general, STEM immigrants in Canada earn higher salaries than their Canadian-born counterparts.
The Challenges of Migrating to Canada as a STEM Professional
While there are many benefits to migrating to Canada as a STEM professional, there are also some challenges. Some of the challenges include:
- The cost of living: The cost of living in Canada can be high, especially in major cities like Toronto and Vancouver. This means that STEM professionals who migrate to Canada may need to adjust their budget to accommodate the higher cost of living.
- The language barrier: English is the official language of Canada, and French is the official language in some provinces. This means that STEM professionals who do not speak English or French may have difficulty qualifying.
- The immigration process: The immigration process can be complex and time-consuming. This means that STEM professionals who are planning to migrate to Canada should be prepared to invest time and effort into the process.
Here are some additional tips for STEM professionals who are considering migrating to Canada:
- Research the different immigration programs and find one that is right for you.
- Make sure that you meet the requirements for the program that you are interested in.
- Gather the necessary documentation, such as your education transcripts, work experience certificates, and language test results.
- Prepare a strong application that highlights your skills and experience.
- Get help from a qualified & RICC-certified immigration consultant like CanApprove.
With careful planning and preparation, you can successfully immigrate to Canada and start a new chapter in your life. Start with claiming your free consultation with CanApprove today!