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Undergraduate Students - April 2011

The full version of the April CAPSScoop can be found by clicking here.


Articles in this edition

My Gap Year in Japan

Labour Market Information


My Gap Year in Japan

By Candice Stoliker

Before heading into my final year at university I knew I would be taking a gap year. I am the type of person that tends to work hard, but then needs time to play hard. This playing hard I thought could best be achieved by getting away from ‘it’ all; ‘it’ being academic pressures, social pressures, personal pressures … oh the list could go on but I figure if you are reading this you’re there, so you know what I mean.

Even though this decision was made in advance I hesitated when I saw what my friends were doing: applying to graduate school, studying for the LSATs and GREs, getting jobs, etc… Ahhhh!!! Various thoughts spun around in my head: “Am I making a mistake by getting up and going?”; “Will I be able to get into graduate school if I take time off?”; “What if I never come back?”; “What am I going to do with this year off anyways?”

These anxieties were fended off by really focusing on myself and what I needed- and I needed a year off.

I decided to spend my time away from all these pressures teaching English in Japan. I made this choice for a number of reasons: 1. I wanted to make money and teaching overseas was a way of doing that; 2. A few of my friends had taught in Japan before and enjoyed their time; 3. I wanted to explore a completely different culture; 4. It was an adventure.

The experience I had was remarkable. It allowed me to grow and develop in ways that were often neglected through my university experience. Having to figure out how to live in a new country where I did not speak the language made me more independent. My knowledge of cultural values that varied from my own expanded and the implicit assumptions I held about the way the world worked were challenged. The struggle and frustration that came from feeling isolated pushed my mental limits and strengthened my determination. I met new people from around the world, each with their own story and own path, which expanded my view of the possibilities available to me.

I ended up staying in Japan longer than expected and traveled throughout South East Asia to cap off the experience. When I returned to Canada I was refreshed and able to make a clear decision about what I wanted to do with my future. I entered graduate school a year after I returned to Canada and really believe that my enjoyment of this experience would not have been the same had I not taken a few gap years.

There is learning something new from a book and then there is learning something new from an experience. Whether that new experience be here, there, or anywhere does not matter; what matters is that you take the time to ensure all of you is growing. My gap year helped me do this and I am and always will be grateful for that. The benefits I gained from my time teaching abroad follow me throughout my life and compliment each path I take.

Labour Market Information

by Lisa Lin, CaPS Career Resource Consultant

This monthly bulletin aims to inform you of major news and trends in the Québec, Canada and U.S. labour markets. Your feedback is welcome caps [dot] library [at] mcgill [dot] ca.

In this issue

  • Alberta is back as a “job-creating machine” for its notable employment gain
  • Canada’s job creation is slow but the outlook of the manufacturing sector continues to look good
  • The U.S. job machine is finally moving out of its low gear
  • It takes more than a computer science degree to secure a hi-tech job
  • Occupational highlight: Translators, Terminologists and Interpreters
  • and more!

The good news

Alberta a 'job-creation machine' while rest of country lags behind
Calgary Herald, 12 March 2011
Alberta is back as a "job-creating machine" as its unemployment rate hits national 2-year low of 5.7%.

Factory sector looking good
Montreal Gazette, 12 March 2011
Despite the downshift of the Canadian job market in February, the manufacturing sector keeps expanding, with payroll growing by 9,000.

Les retraites ouvrent le marché de l'emploi
Le Droit, 10 March 2011
According to Emploi Québec, about 3,500 positions are available in 2014 across the province in many fields.

U.S. job gains are speeding up
Montreal Gazette, 05 March 2011
U.S. job machine is finally moving out of low gear; the headline measure of U.S. job growth was a healthy 192,000 in February.


The bad news

Canada’s job growth slows
GGlobe and Mail, 11 March 2011
The Canadian economy created 15,100 jobs last month, less than expected and not enough to budge the country’s jobless rate.

AOL to eliminate 900 jobs
Financial Post, 11 March 2011
AOL, which has 5,000 workers, will cut about 700 jobs in India, eliminate 200 in the U.S. and outsource another 300.

Quebec firms lag in gender parity
Montreal Gazette, 08 March 2011
A study found that only 17.8 percent of senior officer positions in leading Quebec companies are held by women.

Dream of retiring at 55 is dead as Boomers continue to work: survey
National Post, 26 February 2011
According to a Conference Board of Canada survey, the dream of retiring at 55 is dead for most Baby Boomers.


Other news

Soft skills important for IT job candidates
Montreal Gazette, 05 March 2011
It takes more than a computer science degree or diploma to secure a dream job; it’s all about the interaction with people and the ability to work in teams.

Health officials dispute number of jobs available
Montreal Gazette, 18 February 2011
Quebec Health Minister announced 237 new openings for medical specialists but the Federation des medecins specialistes du Quebec disputes that the number conflicts with ‘reality’.

Statistics Canada - Labour Force Survey
February 2011 (Previous release)
Employment edged up in February (+15,000), bringing total gains over the past three months to 115,000. The unemployment rate remained unchanged at 7.8%. Over the past 12 months, employment has risen by 1.9% (+322,000).

Statistics Canada – Payroll employment, earnings and hours
December 2010 (preliminary) (Previous release)
Between December 2009 and December 2010, average weekly earnings of non-farm payroll employees rose 4.5% to $872.12. December marked the fifth consecutive month during which year-over-year growth was above 4.0%. In comparison, average weekly earnings grew by 2.4% from December 2008 to December 2009.

Statistics Canada – Study: Apprenticeable occupations and the employment downturn in Canada
October 2008 to October 2010
Declines in employment between October 2008 and October 2009 were larger in occupations for which an apprenticeship program exists than in all other occupations combined. However, between October 2009 and October 2010, the recovery in employment was stronger in these apprenticeable occupations than in all other occupations.

Statistics Canada – Study: Inside the labour market downturn
October 2008 to October 2010
Employment rebounded more quickly from the recent economic downturn than it did in the recessions of the early 1980s and early 1990s.


Occupational highlight

Translators, Terminologists and Interpreters (NOC code 5125)

Translators translate written material from one language to another. Interpreters translate oral communication from one language to another during speeches, meetings, conferences, debates and conversation, or in court or before administrative tribunals. Terminologists conduct research to itemize terms connected with a certain field, define them and find equivalents in another language. Sign language interpreters use sign language to translate spoken language and vice versa during meetings, conversations, television programs or in other instances.

Job prospects in this occupation are good. Over the past few years the number of translators, terminologists and interpreters has increased significantly. Growing demand for information explains this increase. Since this trend should recover after the current recession, it is expected that their numbers will continue to increase significantly after the recession.

For a complete profile of this and other occupations, visit Career Cruising http://www.careercruising.com/Default.aspx. Contact us at caps [dot] library [at] mcgill [dot] ca for the username and password or login to myFuture https://csm-caps.mcgill.ca/students/ and search for Career Cruising under Documents - Career Resources.


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