- We spoke to a career counsellor from Youth Employment Services (YES) about jobs in Montreal, the study programs with clear career paths, and graduating students' biggest misunderstandings and worries.
- We also discussed some of the job trends in the city and why some young people are having trouble finding employment.
Finding a well-paying and steady job in Montreal might seem like a daunting task sometimes. With a large student population and booming tourism industry, many have this notion that Montreal is a part-timer service industry kind of town. While that's true to a certain extent, Montreal is in the midst of economic revitalization.
Some of us, however, might be wondering "if there are so many jobs, why is it so difficult to find one?" Even more of us are coming out of university at a complete loss at what our next move could be.
Believe me, before I started writing about finding jobs for a living, I too was wondering how to find one of these elusive jobs.
Enter the career counsellor. Professional career counsellors are not your high school's counsellor, believe me. These are trained experts who excel at equipping you with the strategies you need to find meaningful employment.
Youth Employment Services (YES) Montreal is a local, non-profit, English-language career service provider with a proven track record of success.
For over 20 years, YES has been helping Montrealers just like you figure out what they want to be when they grow up!
YES offers awesome services for job seekers such as one-on-one employment and career counselling, job search preparation and skill-building workshops, and even paid internships and work experience programs. They also offer French classes and professional development sessions.
We spoke with Annalise Iten, Job Search Program Director at YES Montreal, to find out more about what jobs young people can expect to find post-graduation, as well as what to expect from the job market in Montreal.
Responses have been edited for clarity.
Iten tells us that many of YES's clients are fresh out of university and are looking for a direction. She tells us that certain degrees have a better likelihood of achieving what she calls a "well-defined career path."
"This is about having a clear, realistic direction and goal in terms of professions. For example, a mechanical engineer will probably work with their field in some capacity — it may not be what they thought but it will be within the field," says Iten.
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"A liberal arts grad comes out of school with more general but still important skills that have honed their writing, critical thinking, and research ability."
But humanities majors don't always have a well-defined or linear career path, she tells us. "It's pretty much always been that way. This is the difference between professions with restricted titles versus ones without."
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In many cases, there is an expectation among young job seekers that upward mobility is swift, she says. But many young people need to prepare themselves for the reality of the professional world.
"Cultivating any profession means spending 1 to 3 years in a role where you are able to master skills so that you can grow professionally in your field," she says.
"The world of work has changed dramatically so it’s definitely more challenging."
Iten also outlines some of the most common concerns among job seekers using YES's services.
"Having the education but not the practical experience that employers expect and demand. In order to be considered for Co-op programs you need to be an A student, and not all faculties provide coops."
"This means they are on their own to try to gain grounding with regard to business experience," she tells MTL Blog.
"Not receiving feedback on submitted applications is also a big concern for young job seekers," says Iten. This is an aspect of the job search that certainly bothered me when I was younger.
"They really want to know why they were not contacted, selected. They personalize the rejection and feel stuck in," says Iten.
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Keeping up with the latest innovations is also something the service providers at YES notice is a chief concern amongst young people in Montreal's job market.
"Technology is changing rapidly and by the time they exit school it has changed or grown and clients are not able to keep up to date. IT and tech require constant upskilling and it’s expensive," says Iten.
Iten does note that there is more of a difficulty in finding a true entry-level job in Montreal, but that it's important not to lose hope.
"The job market is competitive right now meaning that it's more difficult to get entry-level professional jobs. There are a lot of low-level jobs in call centers and barista jobs or jobs requiring 3 to 7 years experience, but not much in between," says Iten.
"Young people, especially in Montreal, need these jobs more than ever."
To find out more about YES Montreal's services or to book a counselling appointment, visit its website here!