Study in Canada: Best University Programs to Get Jobs in Canada

If you’ve ever considered studying in Canada, whether it be to get your post-graduate degree, trade certification, or perhaps you want to further your education and get your master’s or doctorate. Whatever your reason, one thing is certain. You will be making a great choice.

Canada is not only known to have the most educated population but has some of the world’s highest-ranked universities, many of which have fantastic work programs for international students.

According to the Candian Bureau for International Education (CBIE), there are currently 530,540 international students studying in Canada, many of whom will go on to stay and start their new careers through programs like the Post-Graduate Work Permit Program (PGWPP).

But before we take a look at how to apply for a PGWP, let's take a look at some of the top Canadian universities offering amazing work-study programs!

Top 10 Canadian University Work-Study Programs

university students walking and talking in hallway | study in Canada

1. University of Toronto

More than 3,500 students take part in the University of Toronto’s Work-Study Program every year. There are two intakes; fall and summer. The program offers paid, on-campus positions and an opportunity to discover and develop your skills as well as discover how your academic studies could translate when you graduate and go on to find your first job in Canada.

It is important to note that in order to be paid you will need a Social Insurance Number (SIN).

2. McGill University

McGill University has an excellent work-study program for international students looking to make some extra money while developing their skills for their future careers. There are opportunities for clerical, research, technical, and library work on campus as well as jobs at McGill-affiliated hospitals and organizations.

To be eligible for the program you will need to have:

  • have applied for and be receiving the maximum government aid for which you are eligible (for Indigenous students, Band Council funding is accepted)
  • be registered full-time in a degree program
  • be in satisfactory academic standing
  • demonstrate financial need

Please note that the program is currently offering remote jobs and will re-open for applications in July.

3. University of British Columbia

The University of British Columbia (UBC) has a fantastic work-study program for students looking to gain valuable work experience that will prepare them for their future careers. There are a wide variety of job opportunities, including anything from research to professional and administrative work.

The basic requirements are that you must be a full-time student enrolled at UBC and you can only have 1 work-study program job. You will also have to be living in Canada for the length of the program.

All you’ll need to do is to check the eligibility requirements listed on the UBC study program webpage, make sure you have a polished and up-to-date resume, and start the application process!

4. University of Alberta

The University of Alberta has an incredible reputation for helping its students, both Canadian and international, find jobs in Canada after they graduate. In 2019, UAlberta was ranked fourth in Canada and 87th globally. There are over 200 programs to choose from and If you are an undergraduate student looking to test drive your career choice, there are various opportunities to do so through Co-ops, practicums, and internships in almost every faculty. You can also check out the UAlberta career centre.

Below are some useful links to get you started:

  • Faculty of Arts
  • Faculty of Engineering
  • Faculty of Science
  • Career Centre

5. MacMaster University

The MacMaster work-study program allows students to work for up to 10 hours per week part-time on campus during fall/winter terms and 35 hours per week over the summer. You’ll have your choice of over 1,250 jobs divided between over 100 departments and faculties.

To take part in these programs as an international student you don't need a work permit but you will have to apply to take part in the program every term.

Unfortunately, this program is not open to first-year students or international graduate students.

6. University of Saskatchewan

The University of Saskatchewan allows students to work on campus for any of the following employers:

  • the institution
  • a faculty
  • a student organization
  • the students themselves (self-employment taking place on campus: e.g. private tutors),
  • a private business,
  • a private contractor providing services to the institution on the campus.

The great part is that you won’t need a work permit, but, once again you will have to be a full-time student.

7. University of Waterloo

The University of Waterloo has a great work-study program, offering students the chance to work part-time on campus. The program funds 75 percent of the student’s salary of up to $2,000 per term. Due to COVID restrictions and regulations, a number of work-from-home jobs have also been made available however they are limited. 

This program, however, is only available to students who are:

    Canadian citizens, permanent residents or protected persons
  • enrolled in a minimum 60% course load during the current study period
  • eligible for OSAP or another province’s student aid program, during the current study period

8. Ryerson University

Ryerson University has various work options for those studying in Canada. These programs partner students with various academic and administrative units, faculties, and staff at Ryerson, giving them the opportunity to test the waters of their future careers.

The Career Boost and Work-Study Research Assistant Programs allow full-time returning undergraduate students to work on campus.

The Career Graduate and Law Program provided jobs in Canada to full-time graduates or Faculty of Law students at Ryerson. This program is however not available to international students however, if you’re a permanent resident or citizen this may be a great option for you.

The Career and Co-op Centre offers support to Ryerson students looking for work in Canada through resources that promote innovative career development. In fact, the hub-and-spoke model of service delivery was rated as one of Canada’s top practices in career services by CERIC

9. Carleton University

Carleton University’s work-study program has limited spots and positions are allocated on a first-come-first-serve basis. You can work up to 192 hours for the work-study period and earn up to $3,000 in various types of jobs.

You will need to meet the following criteria in order to be considered eligible:

    Must be applying and receiving student assistance for the fall/winter session (e.g. OSAP/loans, government student aid/loans from another province
  • Demonstrate financial need as determined by the Awards Office
  • Be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident. A limited number of international students may also participate in the program subject to the availability of funds
  • be in an undergraduate degree program and remain registered in 60% of a full course load (1.5 credits per term) or 40% of a full course load (1.0 credit per term) for students with disabilities registered with the Paul Menton Centre
  • be making satisfactory academic progress

10. York University

York University has three work-study programs to consider:

  1. General Work/Study Program
  2. Leadership, Engagement and Ambassadorship Program (LEAP)
  3. Research at York (RAY) Program

The General Work/Study Program is for students who want to get on-the-job training, guidance, and mentorship in various jobs such as clerical, administrative, and technical roles.

Leadership, Engagement, and Ambassadorship Program (LEAP) is for undergraduate students who want to work on campus to develop their leadership and mentorship skills.

Research at York (RAY) Program Program (LEAP) is for research students who want to collaborate with faculty members and fellow students and receive hands-on experience in their chosen field.

To be eligible as an international student, you will need to be a full-time student enrolled in a minimum of 18 credits for the winter term or 9 credits for the summer term. You may only have one work-study position.

What is the Post-Graduate Work Permit Program?

If you want to stay and work in Canada after you graduate you can apply for a Post-Graduate Work Permit (PGWP)

This will allow you to live and work in Canada for the same duration as the length of your study program. Your study program will however have to be at a designated learning institution and be longer than eight months to qualify.  

How to Get Started

Moving abroad to study in Canada can be an overwhelming experience but exciting and worthwhile nonetheless. As recognized immigration agents working with Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCICs), we specialize in simplifying the visa application process, to make your experience as stress-free as possible, leaving you free to start planning your new life in Canada.