Colleges provide smoother transition for new immigrants in Canada

Jamaica To Canada

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Dear Mr Brown,

I would like to know the benefits of a post-graduate certificate programme over a master's degree with regards to obtaining a post-graduate work permit. I would like to attend Humber College in September this year.

— AC

Dear AC:

The perception of a post-graduate certificate is very different in Jamaica than it is in Canada. In Canada, the main difference between colleges and universities is the focus on practical knowledge and hands-on experience as opposed to theoretical knowledge.

Many believe that college provides a smoother transition for new immigrants to settle in Canada, for this reason. I observe that in Jamaica, a master's degree is perceived as “better” than a post-graduate certificate. However, it must be noted that they are different, and each has its place.

College experience

In Canada, college programmes are designed and developed, in part, based on the support and feedback from employers and industries. Employers generally wish to hire students who have relevant career-related work experience. In this regard, college programmes are focused on how knowledge and skills are applied in the workplace.

The example that I like to use is that of a young MBA graduate who has no idea how to run a company immediately after graduation since the programme is based on research and theoretical concepts, rather than applied or practical learning. Stated in a different way, a post-graduate certificate in Human Resources Management may teach a graduate how to be a Human Resources Manager, while a Master's in Human Resources Management, based on a thesis or dissertation, may not adequately prepare a graduate to run a Human Resources Department.

I believe that one may be over-educated and under-experienced by obtaining a master's degree in Canada with no Canadian work experience. A master's degree is something to pursue after one obtains adequate experience in Canada. You would be entitled to apply for a post-graduate work permit after completion of the graduate certificate programme.

Humber College seminar

Humber College is one of Canada's top destinations. As the local agent of Humber, I will be hosting a seminar for Humber College in Kingston. Should you be interested, you may speak with a Humber representative. We are having free information sessions and on-the-spot applications at the Knutsford Court Hotel on Monday, March 19, 2018 at 7:00 pm.

Please visit for additional information on Canadian Permanent Residence programmes, including Express Entry, the Study & Work programme, visas or appeals, etc.

Antonn Brown, BA, (Hons), LLB, MSc, RCIC, is an immigration counsel and an accredited Canadian education agent of JAMAICA2CANADA.COM — a Canadian immigration and education firm in Kingston. Send questions/comments to




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