Your big career move can have a big return on investment. Here are three tips to help make sure it truly pays off.
Published April 4, 2022.
Estimated reading time: 3 minutesIn summary:
- The cost of accreditation, education or professional development in Canada can reach thousands of dollars.
- Ensure you fully assess all your options to determine if further education or training is the right investment for you. For example, talk to those who have studied in the program area you’re interested in to learn from their experiences.
- Carefully consider the Return on Investment (ROI) of making a big career move. Will it increase your income or employability? These are important considerations.
At Windmill Microlending, our skilled immigrant and refugee clients are often looking for financial support to achieve one of three goals: accreditation, career change or professional growth.
Many of them achieve the Canadian career success they seek. Moreover, they grow their incomes nearly four times (3.6x) on average thanks to our affordable loans, client success coaching, mentorship program and online digital resources like Windmill’s Skilled Immigrant Career Success Guide.
But there are many financial considerations you need to reflect on, and budget for, before making your big career move in Canada. Windmill interviewed Dr. Enoch Omololu, founder of the website Savvy New Canadians, and himself an immigrant to Canada, to get his perspective.
Do you have questions about a how an affordable loan from Windmill can be used? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)..
Omololu estimates that on his path to licensure as a veterinarian in Canada, he spent nearly $20,000. Whether you’re considering professional development courses, which Omololu says can “easily cost more than $1,000 per course,” or a career switch that may involve post-graduate studies, you may have to pay between $20,000 and $50,000.
Those are some hefty price tags. That’s why Omololu offers the following three tips to help make sure your investment in yourself is the right move for you.
Dr. Enoch Omololu immigrated to Canada from Nigeria in 2011. He went through the accreditation process to become a veterinarian before launching the financial website Savvy New Canadians in 2016.
Tip #1: Talk to people who have been there.
If you are considering a big career move, speak to people who work in that field to get a better understanding of your employment and salary prospects, what is required to succeed, work-life balance, etc. Speak to more than one person, or consider reaching out to a career coach, to get a diversity of opinions before making up your mind. If your area of discipline has an association or accrediting body, contact them for information and to see if they have a mentorship program through which you can learn more before committing all your resources.
Tip #2: Weigh all your options.
Unless you are in a profession where licensing or accreditation is necessary to work, you could be better off using work experience to reach your career goals. It is important not to confuse the difficulties you are facing in finding a job, due to lack of experience, with a need to “add on more degrees.” Short online courses and certifications may also help you fill in the gaps, in some cases, instead of starting afresh or spending a fortune going back to school.
That said, there is also merit to post-grad studies, accreditation, in some situations, like continuing your career in a regulated profession.
Tip #3: Understand the Return on Investment
The Return on Investment (ROI) is all-important. If accreditation or career change won’t impact your income significantly, it may not be worth it. Omololu says he has come across immigrants who regret going back to school simply because it did not change their paycheque or help their career advancement. He advises you do your homework and be certain you are making the right choice before committing funds to accreditation, extensive re-training or a career change.
BONUS TIP: Affordable loans can help – with a solid repayment plan
Omololu adds that you must do your due diligence about your career prospects to ensure your investment in education actually enhances your employability and earning potential. If that is the case, a low-interest loan may make sense to help you cover the costs of your education or training. However, it is important to ensure the loan is indeed affordable and to have a solid plan for paying it back. He also advises you find out whether there are provincial grants or programs that can help offset any of your education costs.
We’ve shared some helpful resources below to enable you to make an empowered decision about your next big career move.
- Government of Canada’s Learn about education in Canada page contains a broad overview of education options across the country.
- Settlement.org has put together a helpful list for new Canadians seeking financial assistance for their education.
- Costs for university education across Canada
- Government of Quebec’s newcomer support program
- Prosper Canada’s Goal Saving Toolkit
Did you know a low-interest microloan from Windmill can be used to pay for the costs of your accreditation, education, training or professional development courses in Canada? Click here to find out if you’re eligible for a Windmill loan today.