Foreign-Trained Professionals find meaningful careers with Oxford College
By Peter Konieczny
People have heard of the horror stories about highly-educated immigrants who have not been able to work in their field when they arrive in Canada. They include the doctor who has to drive taxis, or the engineer who is waiting tables. They become Canadians but are unable to find meaningful employment that utilizes their education and skills.
Enter post-secondary institutions such as Oxford College, which is providing foreign-trained professionals with education opportinities that allow them back. Programs in the health sciences such as Clinical Research and Pharmaceutical Manufacturing are offering immigrants the chance to quickly re-enter the workforce in ways that make use of their talents and previous training.
"Many recent immigrants find it hard, even impossible, to get work in the same field they had back in their home countries," says T.J. Wazeer, Director of Admissions at Oxford College. "But there are alternatives where they can be trained in careers that are very similar or utilze their previous education and experience."
The Clinical Research program at Oxford College was one of the first programs in Ontario that was able to offer a high-quality opportunity to the thousands of doctors and medical professionals who have come to the province in recent years. The program, which began at Oxford in 2007, trains students in becoming clinical research associates and coordinators, the people who manage clinical trials.
The program is an ideal fit for people with medical backgrounds, including foreign-trained doctors. Dr. Nicholas Herten-Greaven, director of the Clinical Research program, said, "the courses move at a very fast pace, so having a thorough medical knowledge in extremely helpful.. Also, our graduates often work in hospitals, so beinga doctor or nurse makes that transition much easier."
Oxford's Dental Hygiene program is a field that is also seeing strong interest from health professionals coming from abroad. "In one recent class," says T.J. Wazeer, "we have six students who were dentists back in their home countries - places like India and the Phillipines. With dental hygienists becoming more independent health professionals, many former dentists see this as the perfect career to start up in Canada."
Oxford College also offers a number of other programs that are suited to those who had previous backgrounds in the health or sciences, including Pharmaceutical Quality Assurance/Quality Control and Medical Laboratory Technician. "Most of our programs are less than one year long," adds T.J. Wazeer. "That really helps the student enter the workforce quickly and start pursuing the career they wanted to have in Canada."
About Oxford College
Oxford College of Arts, Business and Technology is registered as a private career college under the Private Colleges Act 2005. It offers a wide variety of programs in the areas of health and pharmaceutical sciences, business and information technology. Established in 2003, the college is located in Scarborough with easy access by public transit or highways. For more information about the college go to
www.oxfordedu.ca or call: