Postgrad certificate, master’s degree and Canadian permanent residence
Dear Mr Brown,
I would like to know the distinction between a postgraduate certificate programme over a master’s degree. Also, I was watching TikTok videos in which people were discouraging others to study in Canada to get permanent residence. Do you think studying is the best way to go?
The perception of a postgraduate 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 postgraduate certificate.
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 postgraduate 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 postgraduate work permit after completion of the graduate certificate programme.
Permanent Residence through Canadian experience
Studying in Canada may not be for everyone as it is expensive for international students. I believe it remains a viable pathway. Express Entry is the main mechanism for applying for permanent residence. It is essentially a points-based programme. All things being equal, a candidate can earn additional points by obtaining Canadian experience (studying and working in Canada). Most people will never obtain an approved job offer to obtain a regular work permit. Studying in Canada allows one to work on an open work permit during studying and after graduation. As such, it is a good way to obtain additional points to assist with the Express Entry application. The Government of Canada has acknowledged that those who have a Canadian qualification and work experience make a smoother transition to assimilate in Canadian life. At this time there are challenges due to high inflation, but I believe Canadian experience remains a viable pathway to obtain permanent residence.
Please visit JAMAICA2CANADA.COM for additional information on Canadian Permanent Residence programs, including Express Entry, The Study & Work program, 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 & education firm in Kingston, and AfriCanadaServices.com in Abuja, Nigeria. Send questions/comments to email@example.com