Student Success Centre

Career Wellness

You’ve come to Western with goals for your future. You want to prepare for your life’s career.

Be the most successful YOU you can be!

1. Is My Degree Enough To Get The Job I Want?

  • Many students feel that their degree does not qualify them to gain employment following graduation.  According to the 2015 survey of graduates from Ontario university undergraduate programs, University graduates have the lowest unemployment rates, highest employment rates, and the highest lifetime earnings in Ontario. University graduates experience the highest employment growth of any educational attainment group over the last decade. On average, graduates of Ontario universities earned 58% more than graduates from other Ontario postsecondary programs.  University is worth the investment. See the full 2015 Grad Survey here.
  • A 2012 North American survey representing over 700 employers across all industries found that only 19% of employers look for specific majors and do not consider candidates without them, while the majority – 78% will consider any major. Extracurricular activities and experience, like professional clubs, athletics, volunteer service, internships, and employment during school are valued more than academic credentials (i.e., GPA, major).Source: The Role of Higher Education in Career Development: Employer  Perceptions, December, 2012
  • In It Takes More than a Major: Employer Priorities for College Learning and Student Success, 93% of employers say that a demonstrated capacity to think critically, communicate clearly, and solve complex problems is more important than a candidate’s undergraduate major.
  • Demonstrate your knowledge of the company, institution or program you are targeting, matching the language appropriately in your CV.

Western has many ways you can develop experience.

Career Counsellors in The Student Success Centre can help you articulate the skills you’ve learned.

2. Is a Graduate Degree Worth It?

a)      Are you an undergraduate considering graduate school?

The decision to go to graduate school is a big one! Graduate school can add value to your undergraduate degree. Graduate studies gives you an opportunity for in-depth exploration, collaboration and the intellectual satisfaction of discovering and acquiring new knowledge. You can become an expert in your field and contribute to important research and discoveries.

Most regulated professions such as lawyers, doctors and teachers require preparation which must occur in professional programs. Other occupations may require graduate education in order to enter management or decision-making roles within organizations. The University Works – 2015 Employment report states that Masters and PhD graduates have the lowest level of unemployment, have the most stable employment rate, have experienced the largest growth in employment since 2004, and have higher earnings.

See also: for more excerpts from this report.

A Guide for Potential Graduate Students will be helpful to you:

While a graduate degree may offer more chance of higher paid positions, there is no guarantee.

There are some not-so-good reasons to go to graduate school. Maybe it is you’re not sure what else to do? You want to avoid the job hunt? You are dissatisfied with your current employment? 

Do your research before you begin. Choose carefully, and for the right reasons.

Source: The Student Success Centre

b)      Are you a graduate student wondering about the value of completing your program?

Does this sound like you? Perhaps the program is different than you expected. Your debts are mounting, and you’re not sure the value of the program. You’ve already been in school for many years, and you are just plain tired. Do some soul searching so you can assess the reasons for your doubt.

Your decision dilemma may be driven by a lack of understanding in the skill set you’ve gained. Career Counsellors can help, especially if you thought you were on an academic track and now you wonder if a career outside of academia would be more appropriate to your goals. 

The Student Success Centre’s career counsellors can help you with your decision making.

3. I've Applied for Jobs With No Results. What am I Doing Wrong?

Job searching can be an overwhelming and frustrating experience, especially if you have applied to many online jobs or cannot find job postings. According to employers surveyed in a 2012 study, you can prepare for employment by researching the organization, followed by improving your interview skills, and researching the industry. The #1 way of securing employment, and how more than 50% of recent graduates have found work, is through the networking process, which includes contacting employers directly, going to career fairs and employer information sessions, and getting referrals/recommendations from friends, family, and other contacts.

Statistics show that although 22.8% of respondents indicated that they found employment through an online job ad, this does not necessarily mean that they simply applied online to arbitrary job postings. What this percentage more likely represents is the growing number of companies who require the standard online application process even if they know who they want to hire. As many as 80% of jobs are never advertised.

Click here for a great commentary on the hidden job market.

So, what is the best way to look for a job? Start connecting with the people who can help you land your next job. To do this you must determine what you want, who you want to work for, where you’d like to live, and what you are worth. Then, you will be ready to begin your job search! The Student Success Centre’s career counsellors can help you.

4. Afraid to Make the Wrong Career Decision?

Many students feel that their degree or career choice is a “life sentence”, making career decision making a very stressful experience! Your career is constantly evolving. According to the Multiple Generations @ Work survey, 91% of Millennials (born between 1977-1997) will have 15-20 jobs over the course of their working life.

The current economy has moved from job titles to skill sets, according to Barbara Cooke (Parents Guide to College and Careers, How to help, Not Hover, 2010). Skill sets are transferable skills which help you adapt to changing needs: problem solving, communication skills, the ability to research, critical thinking, etc.

The world of work is constantly changing. Be ready for it by developing transferable skills, knowing how to talk about your skills during interviews and your employment documents, and know what you want.The Student Success Centre’s career counsellors can help you.


5. Finding a Job in Canada is So Different Than Back Home. I Feel Confused and Don't Know Where to Start. Please Help!

Finding a job in Canada for international students may be difficult and confusing. It can be different from how you found a job back home. Job seekers in Canada rely heavily on networking, and if you are new to Canada, your network may be limited. Maybe it is hard to promote yourself because this isn’t the language you are used to using. Understanding legislation and regulations for international students working in Canada can be overwhelming and confusing. You are not alone!

Canadian employers and our Student Success Centre Team recognize that international students can stand out from other job seekers because they can bring some unique skills and experiences that are valued by many employers. Example include: cross cultural experience, sensitivity to diversity, second language experience, proven skills in adjusting, and the ability to be adaptable. Let the Career Counselling Team help you with identifying the unique skills you can offer to employers and help you through the job search process. Our team demonstrates multicultural competencies in counselling and can provide professional and valuable support to you (

Group Career Counselling for International Students can help you better prepare for employment in Canada. We address topic such as accepting culture shock, helping you transition from school to work, supporting you in recognizing your personality type and work values, and assisting you through the process of securing and maintaining employment in Canada.(

You can reduce your anxiety about the requirements of working in Canada by accessing services at the International and Exchange Student Centre. (

Never used Career Counselling before? Start with an "intake" appointment.

1. Intake Appointment:

  • A quick, 15 minute appointment, which serves as the prerequisite for accessing further career counselling services. Available to be booked online using CareerCentral, by phone 519-661-3559, or in person in UCC 210 on the day the appointment is being offered.

2. Need Help With Your Resume, Cover Letter, or CV? Looking To Update Your LinkedIN Profile?

  • Get into Western’s Employment Resource Centre, Room 210 UCC, and talk to a Career Profile Advisor today. No appointment needed! At WERC we are happy to provide you with constructive feedback (e.g. format, overall appearance, relevant content, etc.) on your documents, but please be aware that this is not an editing service.
  • Can't make it to an appointment? Simply email your resume, cover letter, and/or CV to to get feedback. Please remember to include your name, Western User ID and a brief description of what you will be using these documents for (e.g. job title/description). Visit 

3. What Does The Student Success Centre Offer?

  • Career Counselling
  • Career Workshops and Job Fairs
  • Life After Western U Career Conference - Jan. 21, 2017
  • Employer Information Sessions
  • Information and Resources 
  • Group Career Counselling For International Students
  • Experiential Learning
  • Work Intergrated Learning
  • Transition and Leadership Development#careermonth
  • November is Career Month in Canada! Invest in your future by accessing out many career services, such as attending an event, or accessing career counselling. Look for the #careermonth hashtag on our social media for more great ideas, or check out this career development knowledge quiz.
  • Don't miss out - find out about upcoming events at and