Report

Career Transitions in Canada – The single biggest obstacle is characteristic similarity

Most Canadians who want to make a career transition have viable and desirable options, especially if they possess, or are willing to learn, the skills, abilities, tools, and technologies required for their destination occupation.

Key findings

• We identified potential career transitions for Canadian workers using two criteria: viability and desirability.
• A viable job transition has similar skills, abilities, knowledge, experience, and educational credentials. A desirable one pays similar or higher wages, and has prospects for employment growth.
• Most people looking for the next stage in their career have an array of potential transition options available to them.
• The single biggest obstacle to transitioning from one occupation to another is characteristic similarity: having the requisite skills, abilities, and knowledge, a facility with any necessary tools and technologies, and any special qualifications needed for the destination occupation.
• Employers experiencing skills or labour shortages have more options for recruiting than they may think. However, accessing this labour pool may require employers to focus on the skills requirements for their vacant roles, rather than specific educational or experience requirements.
• Roles with the most viable and desirable transitions can be segmented into:
– jobs in knowledge industries that require some university-level education and strong social and emotional skills like active listening and learning;
– in-the-field jobs with below-average pay that require versatile operational skills like quality-control analysis and operations monitoring.
• When people change roles, it can be hard for them to jump from one type of role to another (for example, from a skilled trade to management).
• Sales and service occupations are the main bridge to higher-level professional roles.
• Some occupations have no viable and desirable transitions. These occupations tend to be either high-paying or highly specialized. People who want to transition from such roles may need to do one or more of the following:
– Undertake some level of retraining.
– Use skills they currently have, but that are
not required for their current role.
– Take a sizable pay cut.

Social, emotional, and operational skills support career transitions

The jobs with the most potential transitions tend to be characterized by a well-rounded social and emotional skill set that is easily transferable. They also typically offer lower wages, increasing the number of roles that qualify as transition options. Most of these transitions are to other knowledge- intensive occupations such as policy researchers, business consultants, or program officers. (See Table 1.)

Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story @ A Path Forward: Job Transitions in Canada

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