WES Advisor Blog

Trusted Advice for Academic and Professional Success

Regional Spotlight: Calgary

Friday September 23, 2016 | by WES Global Talent Bridge

Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Calgary is the fourth-most common destination for newcomers to Canada. Around 20 percent of the city’s 1.2 million residents are immigrants. It is the largest city in the province of Alberta and the third-largest in Canada. Alberta is known for its oil and gas industry. Since the 1980s, Calgary has focused on other industries to diversify its economy. As a result, Calgary grew into a diverse city with a vibrant arts and culture scene. Calgary’s climate with cooler summers, moderate winters, and the highest number of sunny days per year in Canada is another benefit to

Here are some places that serve immigrants looking to live and work in Calgary:

  • Immigrant Services Calgary (ISC) provides a variety of services related to settlement and integration of newcomers in Calgary. Immigrant Services Calgary can help you find language training and adjust to life in Canada. They can also help you gain work experience through volunteering placements and meet other people who have immigrated to Canada.
  • Living in Alberta is a website designed by the Government of Alberta. It provides information for newcomers about living and working in the province. Topics include education, healthcare, housing, and laws and legal systems.
  • Centre for Newcomers provides new immigrants settlement services, English language training for adults, and employment support.

Education and International Students in Calgary

There are five public post-secondary institutions in Calgary, including two major universities.

The Calgary Board of Education has a Global Learning Services Team to help international students in elementary and middle school settle in the Canadian education systems. Each post-secondary institution in Calgary offers support to international students through newcomer groups, English as a Second Language Classes, and even airport pick-ups.

Key Industries in Calgary, Alberta

  • Energy, oil, and gas: The province of Alberta produces nearly 70 percent of Canada’s oil and 80 percent of its natural gas. The region is expected to be responsible for nearly five percent of the world’s oil production by 2025. Every major oil and gas company in Canada has their head office in Alberta, with a large number in Calgary. The National Energy Board is also located in Calgary.
  • Agribusiness: Alberta is the third-largest exporter of foods produced agriculturally in Canada (as opposed to through hunting, fishing, etc.). Calgary’s central location makes it a natural distribution hub for both U.S. and Canadian markets. Trade agreements such as the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement will allow even further expansion of Calgary’s agribusiness economy.
  • Health Services: Alberta’s healthcare delivery includes over 400 facilities, 7,000 physicians, and an additional 85,000 healthcare workers. Alberta continues to gain international recognition as a hub of biomedical, clinical, population health, and health services research.

Top Employers Located in Calgary

Professionals in Demand

There is a specific need for the following types of professionals in Calgary:

  • Geological and geo-technical engineers
  • Transportation and environmental engineers
  • Pharmacists
  • Physiotherapists
  • Medical radiation technologists
  • Speech-language pathologists
  • Heavy equipment operators
  • Rig technicians
  • Petroleum engineers

WES Global Talent Bridge is a program dedicated to helping skilled immigrants fully utilize their talents and education in the United States and Canada. Global Talent Bridge joins with institutional partners and community organizations to help skilled immigrants leverage their training, achieve their professional goals, and contribute their talents to their full potential.