Canada is known for its spectacular landscapes and energetic cities and has become popular with skilled professionals. If you plan to immigrate to Canada as a software engineer, then you’re in luck. We have prepared this article to provide a step-by-step guide to help you proceed with the immigration process effortlessly.
However, with Canada’s booming technology sector, there has been an increasing demand for skilled software engineers. Furthermore, the country has a superb quality of life, cultural diversity, and a strong job market for I.T. professionals. The immigration pathways to immigrate to Canada as a software engineer are designed to attract talent, making it a captivating destination to seek new opportunities.
Meanwhile, as an experienced software engineer in Canada, you can earn an average salary of $91,652 annually. In this article, we’ve outlined the various pathways to immigrating to Canada as a software engineer, its benefits, and the opportunities for advancement. However, if you’re already in the IT-related sector and want to upskill, this article is for you too. Read on!
What is software engineering?
A software engineering professional designs, constructs, tests, and maintains various software applications. Furthermore, they develop software solutions for end users using engineering principles and programming languages. As a software engineer, you’re the center of businesses that either design their computer programs or need to customize third-party software.
They are also in charge of writing, testing, and editing programs. However, this technology field is fast-moving, especially with software engineers being highly in demand. Meanwhile, software engineering graduates must continue learning on the job, or their knowledge will quickly become outdated.
Software engineering is used for bigger and more complicated software systems, which serve as critical systems for businesses and industries. Dive in as we discuss every aspect of becoming a software engineer and immigrating to Canada.
Immigrating to Canada as a software engineer is a great journey filled with opportunities. You need to understand the process, meet eligibility requirements, and actively prepare your application to increase your success rate. However, as you embark on this adventure, remember that Canada welcomes skilled professionals, and your expertise as a software engineer is highly in demand.
Why become a software engineer?
The global software development market is expected to rise at a CAGR of 11.7% from 2022 to 2030. This has to be the best time to be a software engineer. Below are three important reasons you should consider becoming a software engineer.
- Market Size and Growth: The rapid growth in the labor market shows a high demand for software engineers across industries. As well as providing enormous job opportunities and the prospect for career advancement.
- Global Reach: The software development market is unlimited by geographical boundaries. However, the US offers excessive opportunities because of its largest market share. Furthermore, countries like Germany, France, Israel, and Australia also have booming software development industries. You should explore these global markets to widen your horizons and tap into diverse projects.
- Remote Work Opportunities: Working remotely is a thing for software engineers, as over 50% are already working remotely. However, this pattern is expected to grow and continue. With advancements in technology and the continuous demand for remote work options, you can decide to work from anywhere in the world. Furthermore, this will allow you to choose your preferred location, cost of living, and work-life balance preferences.
Roles and Responsibilities of a Software Engineer
A software engineer examines users’ needs and then creates, constructs, and tests applications that will meet those needs. They have a lot to do. Meanwhile, a software engineer needs to be able to handle the following: Scroll down!
- Work closely with system analysts and programmers, among others, to design systems and compute information on project limitations, capabilities, performance requirements, and interfaces.
- Update the previous software to resolve mistakes and errors. Also, facilitate its adaptation to new hardware and upgrade its overall performance.
- Work on user needs and software requirements to determine design possibilities, considering time and cost limitations.
- Schedule meetings with customers to discuss software system design and maintenance.
- Also, coordinate the installation of software systems and control-related equipment to meet requirements.
- Create, develop, and alter software systems by incorporating scientific analysis and mathematical models to foresee and measure the results and consequences of those designs.
- Furthermore, they develop and coordinate system testing, validation procedures, programming, and documentation.
- Examine information so you can determine, recommend, and design computer specifications and layouts, as well as outlying equipment modifications.
- Acquire and evaluate the necessary reporting formats, expected costs, and security demands to determine hardware configuration.
- As well as to determine system performance standards.
- Furthermore, train and educate others on how to use new or modified equipment.
- Store, retrieve, and manipulate data to examine system capabilities and requirements.
- Also, determine the necessary power supply requirements and configurations.
Pathways to Immigrate to Canada as a Software Engineer
Canada has continuously welcomed foreigners with the skills and qualifications necessary to bridge the critical skill gaps. However, this can be made possible by allowing foreigners to apply for permanent residence (PR). There are several immigration pathways that you can choose from to immigrate to Canada and obtain PR as an engineer.
1. Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP)
The Federal Skilled Worker Program is an Express Entry stream that allows skilled foreign workers to immigrate to Canada. Applicants are usually selected for PR based on their Comprehensive Ranking Score (CRS), not their profession. Furthermore, when you submit your Express Entry profile, it’ll be ranked based on factors like age, education, work experience, and language proficiency.
If you have a Canadian job offer, provincial nomination, or Canadian education, it will earn you some extra points. However, applicant profiles are ranked according to their total CRS scores. After each draw, lucky applicants who meet the cut-off score will receive an Invitation To Apply (ITA) for PR. If selected under this program, you will be permitted to live in any Canadian province or territory.
2. Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP)
Most Canadian provinces and territories, except Quebec and Nunavut, have provincial nominee programs that permit them to nominate applicants. However, these applicants are individuals who can help bridge labor shortages in the country. After you have chosen the province you want to relocate to, you can apply for PNP through a paper-based application or the federal Express Entry program.
Meanwhile, Quebec doesn’t offer PNP but a Quebec Selection Program that permits the province to invite worthy candidates for P.R. Some provinces use the CRS scores to shortlist applicants, while others nominate skilled professionals to fill in-demand jobs. Furthermore, you’ll have the opportunity to receive a provincial nomination if the province is looking for a software engineer.
As labor market requirements advance, the in-demand jobs across provinces may vary. You need to record the PNP streams and draws as a software engineer.
3. Atlantic Immigration Program (AIP)
The federal government coordinates the Atlantic Immigration Program. It permits skilled foreign workers and international students who graduated in Canada to settle permanently in one of Canada’s Atlantic provinces. These provinces include Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland, and Labrador.
The AIP’s selection is not based on occupation. However, you may be eligible for the program if you have at least one year of full-time work experience. It must be in the last five years and meet language requirements. You will also need a job offer from an employer in one of Canada’s Atlantic provinces.
Canada-specific Requirements for Software Engineers
There are no Canada-specific qualifications for a software engineer. Candidates with qualifications from outside Canada will require a Canadian equivalent assessment as part of the application process. Meanwhile, Canada is recruiting technology workers massively, making software engineers one of the most sought-after employees here.
How to Get Licensed in Canada as a Foreign Engineer
Engineering is regulated in Canada, and you must obtain your license from the provincial or territorial authorities before you can start working as a professional engineer.
However, you can begin working under the supervision of a licensed engineer once you’ve started your licensing process. The only exception is for software engineers who don’t require a license to practice.
Understanding Engineering Licenses in Your Province
Most provinces allow you to start the licensing process before you exit your home country. The engineering licensing process varies across provinces and territories. Before you apply, you should familiarize yourself with the types of licenses your province offers and their requirements and restrictions. Listed below are the types of licenses available; dive in.
1. Full license
A full license will grant you a Professional Engineer (P.Eng.) credential. However, it will allow you to practice as a software engineer without supervision. Most provinces require applicants to have at least four to five years of engineering experience.
As well as some Canadian experience (maybe a year) before they are eligible for a full license. However, in May 2023, Professional Engineers Ontario was the first regulatory body to do away with the Canadian experience requirement for foreign engineers who want to practice in Canada. If you plan to work as an engineer in another province or territory, you’ll still need Canadian experience to qualify for a P.Eng. license.
2. Provisional license
Some provincial regulators issue a provisional license to applicants who meet every licensure condition apart from the Canadian work experience requirement. As a foreign software engineer, you’ll qualify for a provisional license if you have at least three or four years of engineering experience in your home country. However, you will need to work under the supervision of a licensed P.Eng.
The licensed P.Eng. must take full responsibility for your work until you obtain your P.Eng.
License. Furthermore, if you recently graduated as an engineer or don’t have enough total work experience to qualify you for a provisional or full license, You can apply for the
Engineer-in-Training, Member-in-Training, or Engineering Intern program with your provincial or territorial regulator.
As an EIT, you can start working under the supervision of a licensed PEng and gather the necessary work experience toward your licensure.
How do I find engineering jobs in Canada?
Once you begin your licensing process, it’s time to search for your first software engineering job in Canada. However, you can search for jobs before leaving your home country. Check out some things you should do to land your desired job.
- Check relevant job descriptions to understand local job market requirements: The skills, experience, and qualifications required in your engineering field will differ in Canada. The best way to identify skills gaps and narrow down suitable job opportunities is to research what employers are looking for. You may not qualify for engineering jobs until you have some Canadian experience and a P.Eng. license.
You may be eligible for engineering associate, engineering assistant, and engineer-in-training opportunities that permit you to work under the supervision of a licensed engineer.
- Design a Canadian-style resume: The resume format you used in your country is unsuitable for the Canadian job market. In Canada, there are three major types of resume formats. These include reverse chronological, functional, and hybrid.
However, the correct resume format will depend on the work experience you’ve gained in your field. A lot of Canadian employers make use of an applicant tracking system (ATS) to shortlist resumes. Therefore, it’s essential to customize your resume for each job with keywords from the job description.
- Explore job search platforms and company websites: Job portals such as Job Bank, LinkedIn, Glassdoor, Monster, and Indeed are great places to search for employment opportunities. Additionally, you must create a list of chosen companies and keep tabs on their website career pages.
- Skill building: Aside from all the courses or training needed for your licensure, you can obtain certifications in software, technology, or other skills that are in demand in your occupation. For instance, a certification in AutoCAD or other CAD software may be useful if you’re looking for jobs in civil or electrical engineering.
- Build your professional network. Networking is essential for engineers in Canada. Meanwhile, you can connect with fellow engineers on LinkedIn through professional associations and industry events and nurture meaningful relationships. Networking gives you access to job opportunities that may not be available publicly.
You may even be able to find licensed engineers in your network who are looking for associates. Your connections can also guide you through the licensing process, provide mentorship and referrals for jobs, or vouch for your character when you qualify for a P.Eng. license.