How far are Canadian studios willing to sponsor fresh graduates?

Become a member of the CGSociety

Connect, Share, and Learn with our Large Growing CG Art Community. It's Free!

REPLY TO THREAD
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  08 August 2014
How far are Canadian studios willing to sponsor fresh graduates?

Hello fellas!

I wanted to know the current situation regarding how Canadian studios, game or film studios, big or small, handle hiring of international students recently graduated (whether from canadian schools or US schools) with no work experience.
The important factor here is the absence of legal work permit, meaning studios would have to go through that hassle of sponsoring and dealing with legal visa issues.

I'm wondering is that actually happens (hiring international people based on only on portfolio and interview), or if a student should stick to schools which will allow post-graduation work permit, so visa stuff wouldn't interfere in the process.

Many thanks!
 
  08 August 2014
I know in the U.S., if you graduate from a U.S. college you get a one year's work permit, which can sometimes be enough to get you established enough for a studio to be willing to sponsor you. Does Canada have something equivalent?
__________________
kevinbakercg.com
 
  08 August 2014
Usually not very, that goes for any place that relies on subsidising an economical edge.

To be subsidized, as a studio, you need to have a certain percentage of local work-force, and local work force in general is preferred for many reasons particularly at the lower income and experience levels.

In a country with a staggering amount of students churned every year you would have to be truly phenomenal to offset the triple whammy of costing relocation, requiring a visa, and becoming a negative entry in the local workforce footprint to qualify for territorial initiatives and sponsoring.

You are simply not very convenient and you are part of an abundant offer pitched against an extremely scarce request (international junior level workforce).
Not unheard of, mind, it happens every year, but the work permit isn't the only part of it by far, so even with that out of the way (e.g. local education) you still have to be well above par.
__________________
Come, Join the Cult http://www.cultofrig.com - Rigging from First Principles
 
  08 August 2014
Originally Posted by Meloncov: I know in the U.S., if you graduate from a U.S. college you get a one year's work permit, which can sometimes be enough to get you established enough for a studio to be willing to sponsor you. Does Canada have something equivalent?


Yes, Canada has a very similar approach, but so far the schools eligible for that kind of work permit are not exactly what I was hoping for. That's why I thought about maybe going to a better school in US but after applying for a job in Canada, which is probably easier, considering Canada's laws and industry.

However, in that case I wouldn't be backup by work permits and would still have no experience. The major difference would be a pretty solid portfolio, I hope, but not sure if that ONLY would be enough!

Originally Posted by ThE_JacO: Usually not very, that goes for any place that relies on subsidising an economical edge.

To be subsidized, as a studio, you need to have a certain percentage of local work-force, and local work force in general is preferred for many reasons particularly at the lower income and experience levels.

In a country with a staggering amount of students churned every year you would have to be truly phenomenal to offset the triple whammy of costing relocation, requiring a visa, and becoming a negative entry in the local workforce footprint to qualify for territorial initiatives and sponsoring.

You are simply not very convenient and you are part of an abundant offer pitched against an extremely scarce request (international junior level workforce).
Not unheard of, mind, it happens every year, but the work permit isn't the only part of it by far, so even with that out of the way (e.g. local education) you still have to be well above par.


Yes, I'm aware of those risks. The kind of thing I have to do though, or else I'll always regret. Also, no reason at all to stay where I live constantly thinking that, someday, out of the blue, I'd be invited to work overseas. That could take many many years or never happen.
In the end, all I'm trying to do here is making sure the route I take will be the one with the least stones possible.

If you have any suggestions in this regard, please don't hesitate as I'm sure your expertise is of great value.
 
  08 August 2014
Your chances are very, VERY low. It used to be that when you graduated from VFS or any other school you got a 1 year work permit in Canada. My coworker who is a junior got in that way (he is originally from states), just asked him and apparently that program is no more. Now you don't get anything for graduating.

It is very easy getting a one year work permit if you are from a commonwealth nation like Australia, UK, etc but if you are not I think it is very hard.

There are tons of local talent of all experience levels looking for a job so you will be competing with them and local talent is always preferred due to the reasons Jaco mentioned.
 
  08 August 2014
Originally Posted by technokill: Yes, I'm aware of those risks. The kind of thing I have to do though, or else I'll always regret. Also, no reason at all to stay where I live constantly thinking that, someday, out of the blue, I'd be invited to work overseas. That could take many many years or never happen.

I wasn't saying "don't do it", but you asked how frequent/hard it might be to get sponsorship, and the honest answer is "not impossible, but very bloody unlikely for anybody short of truly exceptional, demonstrated skills".

Quote: In the end, all I'm trying to do here is making sure the route I take will be the one with the least stones possible.

The more common route is to build local experience first to qualify for VISAs and to build a reel, work a lot of hours across professional and personal projects, wanting it really F'ing hard, and once you have all that you stand a good chance, if you're good, at working abroad pretty much anywhere (unless you have an undesirable passport).
It will take anywhere between three and twelve years, three to five or six being the average.

Quote: If you have any suggestions in this regard, please don't hesitate as I'm sure your expertise is of great value.

Start doing.
Keep asking, do research and all, sure, that's not a bad thing, but any moment you aren't doing what you want to do professionally, either privately or in the local market, is a moment you wasted.
You need to pile up considerable experience to take a shot at foreign work in today's market, just joining VFS hasn't been a golden ticket for years now.
__________________
Come, Join the Cult http://www.cultofrig.com - Rigging from First Principles
 
  08 August 2014
Originally Posted by technokill: Yes, Canada has a very similar approach, but so far the schools eligible for that kind of work permit are not exactly what I was hoping for.

Kinda OT but what were you 'hoping for' some of the oldest/well established and best CGI schools are in Canada...
 
  08 August 2014
Originally Posted by circusboy: Kinda OT but what were you 'hoping for' some of the oldest/well established and best CGI schools are in Canada...


I was hoping there would be schools with programs not focused only on fine arts/illustration/industrial design, thus completely ignoring the digital/CG commercial side of the art. On the other side, I wish schools like Sheridans, Capilano, Emily Carr, ACAD, had programs focused more towards digital art/CG in general, instead of having only and strictly "animation" or "vfx" programs. For example, Sheridans would be perfect to me if they'd offered a Game Design program which skipped the coding, programming, etc that a game ARTIST artist will probably never use.
That's the real issue, in my case, I'd like to focus on art, end. And not the animation side of art, so I end up without many options.

Originally Posted by ThE_JacO: I wasn't saying "don't do it", but you asked how frequent/hard it might be to get sponsorship...


Thanks for the advice!

Couple more things I'd like to hear from you though:

1- Would you say the situation in Australia is worse or better in terms of graduates getting jobs and work permits?

2- I have a 4 year degree in a totally different field, absolutely non-related to art. So even though not related, it's still a degree meaning things should be easier for me in that regard, right?

3- Thinking about junior to junior, both with no experience, as everyone's got to start somewhere, if my portfolio is better and I'm already living in the area (no re-alocation costs), would it really be that hard for a studio to sponsor me for a work-permit? Be it in Canada, US or Australia.
 
  08 August 2014
Originally Posted by technokill: I was hoping there would be schools with programs not focused only on fine arts/illustration/industrial design, thus completely ignoring the digital/CG commercial side of the art. On the other side, I wish schools like Sheridans, Capilano, Emily Carr, ACAD, had programs focused more towards digital art/CG in general, instead of having only and strictly "animation" or "vfx" programs. For example, Sheridans would be perfect to me if they'd offered a Game Design program which skipped the coding, programming, etc that a game ARTIST artist will probably never use.
That's the real issue, in my case, I'd like to focus on art, end. And not the animation side of art, so I end up without many options.

Maybe you need something like a quality fine art university with 'computer media' facilities. There over the course of learning a degree you can cross pollinate between disciplines (photography, painting etc) and mix that into your 'media arts' degree mixing and matching what you want till you graduate.
Since you want Canada maybe
OCAD
or
NSCAD
There are probably others.

I did this first and then followed it with a trip to Sheridan for the computer animation afterwards. Thats 5 years of work however...
 
  08 August 2014
Originally Posted by technokill: 1- Would you say the situation in Australia is worse or better in terms of graduates getting jobs and work permits?

2- I have a 4 year degree in a totally different field, absolutely non-related to art. So even though not related, it's still a degree meaning things should be easier for me in that regard, right?

3- Thinking about junior to junior, both with no experience, as everyone's got to start somewhere, if my portfolio is better and I'm already living in the area (no re-alocation costs), would it really be that hard for a studio to sponsor me for a work-permit? Be it in Canada, US or Australia.


You're going to have a hard time finding any company anywhere in any industry willing to go through the immigration process of relocating a graduate. The only thing your degree is going to help with is qualifying for any points-based visa requirements later down the line, once you're in a position, experience and skill wise, to be attractive to companies abroad. The harsh reality is that studios simply don't hire graduates from abroad unless they're extraordinarily skilled.

Regarding your third question, you can't simply relocate and then look for work, unless you already have citizenship in those countries (and I'm assuming that's not the case), because in order to move to another country, you need a visa. And, once again, most countries require a job offer before considering an application for a visa in the first place. Indeed this is the case with the countries you're specifically mentioning.

As others have suggested, get experience locally first for a few years. Build your portfolio. Then consider moving.
__________________
leighvanderbyl.com
 
  08 August 2014
Originally Posted by leigh: You're going to have a hard time finding any company anywhere in any industry willing to go through the immigration process of relocating a graduate. The only thing your degree is going to help with is qualifying for any points-based visa requirements later down the line, once you're in a position, experience and skill wise, to be attractive to companies abroad. The harsh reality is that studios simply don't hire graduates from abroad unless they're extraordinarily skilled.

I think some folks have a hard time appreciating that where there is lots of CG work goes hand in hand with lots of CG schools in the same area. Even if only 1-100 graduates is any good thats still a *hell* of a lot of eager beavers chasing the same jobs you are. And most of them are locals and hassle free hires. You have to be some kinda prodigy to pull this off as a 'foreign junior' aka pulling senior level innovations out of your ass!

You could easily spend a lot of money just trying to 'live' in a place like Vancouver too. Paying your dues at home makes a lot of sense
especially if you are just starting out and don't even know if you have what it takes to finish a course. Let alone start a career in CG.

Last edited by circusboy : 08 August 2014 at 06:59 PM.
 
  08 August 2014
Originally Posted by technokill: 1- Would you say the situation in Australia is worse or better in terms of graduates getting jobs and work permits?

It's different, right now, and this is true mostly world around at this moment, it's an artist market for a lot of roles. Everybody is struggling to find good hires, internal shuffles become required (just the other day someone was telling me of a major shop where they are finding two departments so impossible to staff that they are moving runners up to junior positions en-masse), and that makes for some space at the bottom.

That could last six months, or it could last four years, it's hard to tell. When you look at LA a few years ago, or London four years ago, or Canada now, there is such a critical mass and churn that if you are good and persistent you will eventually find a crack. Here or in NZ you are looking at one major shop per territory, and a single digit number mid sized ones.

Right now, maybe, just maybe, if you're under 30 (you qualify for a work holiday VISA) it could work out well. You'd be gambling on pretty horrible margins though, and doing so in one of the most expensive cities in the world.

Quote: 2- I have a 4 year degree in a totally different field, absolutely non-related to art. So even though not related, it's still a degree meaning things should be easier for me in that regard, right?

A higher degree recognized internationally will count for something towards a visa application, yes. How much depends on a number of factors and how desirable that degree is considered and how close to the field of employment pursued, but it will always have some. For the employer that usually starts counting only at the point when they have already decided they are interested in you and are looking at visa feasibility.

Quote: 3- Thinking about junior to junior, both with no experience, as everyone's got to start somewhere, if my portfolio is better and I'm already living in the area (no re-alocation costs), would it really be that hard for a studio to sponsor me for a work-permit? Be it in Canada, US or Australia.

It will make things somewhat easier, but if you're there for a month on a tourist visa all the added value is that you will be able to interview in person, and you could stipulate that you are willing to pay for your relocation expenses on your own, making your cost of entry lower. Without a work permit though you wouldn't be around for long.
A working holiday kind of visa or equivalent, or a post graduation working student visa could facilitate things, as at that point you only have one instead of three black marks (you're not local, so you don't qualify for local quota), instead of three (remoteness and remoteness costs, non local, uncertainty of the visa grant).

My recommendation remains the same.
Keep educating yourself, learn the ins and outs of your visa and education options in the countries you are interested in, call the colleges and visit the immigration sites, that's useful, but start yesterday acquiring local and/or personal experience.
__________________
Come, Join the Cult http://www.cultofrig.com - Rigging from First Principles
 
  08 August 2014
Quote: 1- Would you say the situation in Australia is worse or better in terms of graduates getting jobs and work permits?


Unfortunately there is zero chance. For starters Brazil is not an eligible country for a working holiday visa in either Canada or Australia. A simple look .https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Worki..._visa#Australia shows this. So that means as a junior a company would have to justify hiring you on work visa and with zero experience there's simply no chance thats going to get approved by a government agency.

b
 
  08 August 2014
A degree will definitely help, but will still leave you in a difficult position without at least a couple years of solid experience. Be sure to try and attend conferences like Siggraph and such for networking as well. The internal support will help immensely.
 
  08 August 2014
Thanks all for the feedback, guys. Lots of stuff for my mind to process, while at the same time I have to focus on getting things done.

However the college opportunity showed up and that's not something ordinary. I really don't want to miss it nor do I want to waste it and all the chances that might come along with it.

So something I can't figure out on my own right now, even after what's been discussed here, is in which country I should focus my energy towards finding a good school/college. US, Canada, Europe or land down under.
 
reply share thread



Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
CGSociety
Society of Digital Artists
www.cgsociety.org

Powered by vBulletin
Copyright 2000 - 2006,
Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Minimize Ads
Forum Jump
Miscellaneous

All times are GMT. The time now is 09:35 PM.


Powered by vBulletin
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.