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rare skills for jobs abroad

Raj Kakkar
Greenhorn

Joined: May 03, 2011
Posts: 7
Hello Guys

Have been reading some good career discussions here. Thought I might pop a Q that has been plaguing me. Thanks in advance for your suggestions.

MY PROFILE:

Age:40

EDUCATION:

- XII years from a top CBSE school (80%+ in all years)
- Did two IT programming diplomas (3 years total). "Not a proper Bachelor's degree"
- Currently about to complete Zend PhP Certification.

CAREER:

- Worked as a Marketing Manager for an MNC (2 years)
- Worked as a Branch head for an Indian IT giant (2 years)
- Started my own IT company, created an overseas customer base and am still the CEO (13 years).

SKILL SET:

- Marketing and Customer Management: Acquire and Manage international clients
- Staff management: Manage teams of web application developers, SEOs and designers
- Business Strategy, diversification and growth
- Project Management: Supervise building of online tools and complex web-applications
- Expert at online marketing, reputation and online brand management, etc. Have done programming and love it, but it is not my main area now.

TARGET

To work in Canada or USA within max. 2-3 years time

MY QUERIES:

My IT experience and business skill set is varied, so I can handle different responsible positions.

1. What job profile in the IT industry of US or Canada will fit my profile best? For example, Business Analyst, Application Development Manager, Operations / IT Manager etc.

2. I doubt it, but is there a chance to get a job abroad on the basis of my diplomas and vast experience but without a Bachelor's degree?

3. Am willing to acquire an important RARE skill / degree. Please suggest what rare skill I can acquire, to enhance my chances of getting a responsible position abroad? For example, PMP to back my PhP-MySQl experience or a new area like SAP that requires business acumen and builds upon my existing strength, Java, .Net etc.
Jimmy Clark
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 16, 2008
Posts: 2187
Do you have authentic financial statements that prove ownership of your IT company and its financial performance for 13 years, e.g. revenues, profits, etc.?
Ulf Dittmer
Marshal

Joined: Mar 22, 2005
Posts: 39578
    
  27
The major question that you will need to be able to answer convincingly is not about your lack of degree, it's about why -after 13 years of running your own company- a) you want to abandon it, and b) why you want to move to a different continent.

While we have no idea of what you're capable of doing, IMO, given your age and your lack of experience regarding the countries you intend to move to, it will be a major problem.


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Raj Kakkar
Greenhorn

Joined: May 03, 2011
Posts: 7
Jimmy Clark wrote:Do you have authentic financial statements that prove ownership of your IT company and its financial performance for 13 years, e.g. revenues, profits, etc.?


Yes, I have authentic tax returns filed by my company every year and a big list of clients in UK, Australia and USA who have recommended me in the past and continue to do so.
Raj Kakkar
Greenhorn

Joined: May 03, 2011
Posts: 7
Ulf Dittmer wrote:The major question that you will need to be able to answer convincingly is not about your lack of degree, it's about why -after 13 years of running your own company- a) you want to abandon it, and b) why you want to move to a different continent.

While we have no idea of what you're capable of doing, IMO, given your age and your lack of experience regarding the countries you intend to move to, it will be a major problem.


Have been running an SME for long. The money is good but the quality of life around here is not. I think I have much more potential and it is underutilized in running a small IT company. Want to gain exposure in an international work environment and have a better lifestyle.

As posted above, my achievements and track record of handling complex projects and customers in UK, Australia and USA is verifiable. However, your query regarding my capabilities is very pertinent. That is why I plan to acquire a rare skill / certification and demonstrate its usage. Just not sure which skill?

Jimmy Clark
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 16, 2008
Posts: 2187
For example, PMP to back my PhP-MySQl experience ...


Please explain how will a PMP certificate will "back" your PhP-MySQL experience. This is a very interesting concept.
Raj Kakkar
Greenhorn

Joined: May 03, 2011
Posts: 7
Jimmy Clark wrote:
For example, PMP to back my PhP-MySQl experience ...


Please explain how will a PMP certificate will "back" your PhP-MySQL experience. This is a very interesting concept.


Jimmy, I am groping...PMP was mentioned just as an example even though I have been managing projects for years.

I feel I have the capability to do any rare certification. Hence the query "Which one based upon my profile?"
The motivation of course is to provide a better life for my baby.

chris webster
Bartender

Joined: Mar 01, 2009
Posts: 1479
    
  11

Immigration to Canada has got a lot more difficult since 2009 (I should know, as I was planning to apply but missed my opportunity!).

The official Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) website will give you the current details for the various options.

Up until 2009, it was possible to apply for a Skilled Worker visa, which would allow you to move to Canada and look for work, under a huge range of occupations, including various IT professions. But in 2009, the Canadian government dramatically reduced the number of occupations that qualify for the Skilled Worker programme, so you would need to look at the current rules and see if you might qualify or not. If you're applying for a particular occupation, you will need evidence of several years' experience in that occupation, qualifications etc.

Another route is to apply for a job from outside Canada and ask your prospective employer to sponsor you for a work permit. This is still possible, but again, there are various rules and restrictions, as the Canadian government understandably thinks Canadian citizens should have a fair chance of getting work in their own country without uncontrolled competition from the rest of the world. In any case, you would have to find an employer who is willing to sponsor you and go through all the paperwork just to have you work for them, which is certainly a challenge in the current climate.

However, given your experience, you might find opportunities with some of the big international consultancies etc with offices in Canada and elsewhere. Of course, it might be quite a shock working for a big company as an employee, after being your own boss for so many years!

It is also possible to apply as an investor, entrepeneur or self-employed worker in certain categories. Again, check the CIC website for the rules on this option.

There is also the Provincial Nominee Programme, whereby the different provinces also manage some immigration directly. In most cases, the PNP option still requires you to find a job before arriving in Canada, but you can check the individual provincial rules to see where you might qualify.

Beware of immigration services offering to guarantee you a visa if you pay them. The rules and application process are pretty clearly defined by the CIC, and there doesn't seem to be much scope for getting around the regulations (well, not if you want to live there legally and work in a professional occupation). If you would qualify anyway, then you probably don't need to pay for extra help. And if you wouldn't qualify, then paying for extra help probably won't help you either.

Having said that, there are recognised immigration services/lawyers who can help you to prepare your application to make sure it's done correctly etc. This might be useful if you have a complicated career history, have lived in several countries, or think there other factors which might make your application more complicated than the average. If you decide to use one of these services, check that they are recognised by the CIC, and in any case, make sure you understand the rules for your own application first.

Finally, there are various fees that have to be paid to the CIC at different stages in the process, and under many of the federal visa programmes you also have to show you will have sufficient finances to support yourself initially in Canada.


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Rambo Prasad
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 23, 2006
Posts: 628
I cam e across an ad some days back.I remember reading , if you can invest $500,000 in USA you can get a US Green card


Helping hands are much better than the praying lips
Raj Kakkar
Greenhorn

Joined: May 03, 2011
Posts: 7
chris webster wrote:Immigration to Canada has got a lot more difficult since 2009 (I should know, as I was planning to apply but missed my opportunity!).

Another route is to apply for a job from outside Canada and ask your prospective employer to sponsor you for a work permit. This is still possible, but again, there are various rules and restrictions, as the Canadian government understandably thinks Canadian citizens should have a fair chance of getting work in their own country without uncontrolled competition from the rest of the world. In any case, you would have to find an employer who is willing to sponsor you and go through all the paperwork just to have you work for them, which is certainly a challenge in the current climate.



Thanks for the details.

1. To get a prospective employer to sponsor me for a work permit, I think I should acquire a rare skill. Planning on doing MBA from a top UK university and a SAP consultant course from India.

Maybe some IT industry managers can suggest what job profile in US or Canada will fit my profile best? For example, Business Analyst, Application Development Manager, Operations / IT Manager etc. Then I can acquire a rare skill in that stream.

2. Have not applied for a job for 17 years. maybe I should send my resume to select HR people in my network and see what comes my way? Or should I do this after acquiring the rare skill?
chris webster
Bartender

Joined: Mar 01, 2009
Posts: 1479
    
  11

Raj Kakkar wrote:... Planning on doing MBA from a top UK university and a SAP consultant course from India ... Have not applied for a job for 17 years. maybe I should send my resume to select HR people in my network and see what comes my way? Or should I do this after acquiring the rare skill?


How much time/money do you plan to spend before you actually go for the kind of job you want?

From your brief account of your experience, it sounds like you might already be interesting to employers such as the major consultancies, if that's the kind of thing you're interested in doing. So why not see if you can get a job with them? If you're thinking of waiting 2 or 3 years (and a lot of money) to get an MBA before you apply to the US/Canada etc, you might as well start making some moves in the meantime, even if initially you're still based in India. You might find a job with a company that would be prepared to transfer you to the US/Canada within the organisation.

After all, there are tens of thousands of Indian IT staff who've been moved to the UK via "intra-company transfers" in this way by their employers, with near-automatic work permits/visas from the UK, and I'm guessing there is a similar route into the USA, for example.
Raj Kakkar
Greenhorn

Joined: May 03, 2011
Posts: 7
chris webster wrote:
Raj Kakkar wrote:... Planning on doing MBA from a top UK university and a SAP consultant course from India ... Have not applied for a job for 17 years. maybe I should send my resume to select HR people in my network and see what comes my way? Or should I do this after acquiring the rare skill?


How much time/money do you plan to spend before you actually go for the kind of job you want?

From your brief account of your experience, it sounds like you might already be interesting to employers such as the major consultancies, if that's the kind of thing you're interested in doing. So why not see if you can get a job with them? If you're thinking of waiting 2 or 3 years (and a lot of money) to get an MBA before you apply to the US/Canada etc, you might as well start making some moves in the meantime, even if initially you're still based in India. You might find a job with a company that would be prepared to transfer you to the US/Canada within the organisation.

After all, there are tens of thousands of Indian IT staff who've been moved to the UK via "intra-company transfers" in this way by their employers, with near-automatic work permits/visas from the UK, and I'm guessing there is a similar route into the USA, for example.


An excellent suggestion, Chris, mon ami. I wish there is a way that allows a poster to show appreciation for your valuable insights. A widget for poster-ratings would be a good add-on to this forum.

I doubted if a consultancy would hire me without proper degrees / certifications and hence I wanted to get some. The lack of degrees is a blackhole in my relativistic existence. Then again, perhaps Indians are too hung-up on certifications.

One query: Do you recommend applying to Indian companies that do intra-transfers to target countries or applying to consultancies abroad directly?



Jeanne Boyarsky
internet detective
Marshal

Joined: May 26, 2003
Posts: 29287
    
140

Raj Kakkar wrote:An excellent suggestion, Chris, mon ami. I wish there is a way that allows a poster to show appreciation for your valuable insights. A widget for poster-ratings would be a good add-on to this forum.

There is a "+1" button where you can express that you like a post. It's next to the quote/edit buttons on the top of each post.


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chris webster
Bartender

Joined: Mar 01, 2009
Posts: 1479
    
  11

Raj Kakkar wrote:
One query: Do you recommend applying to Indian companies that do intra-transfers to target countries or applying to consultancies abroad directly?


Hi Raj,

I don't recommend either. You have to decide which is the better option for you, although there's nothing to stop you trying both approaches. Your lack of a degree may be an issue, but on the other hand it sounds like you have a lot of relevant practical experience that you may be able to sell to a potential employer. You probably need to think about where your skills and experience are likely to be most useful/interesting to an employer, and target those roles.

An alternative route to industry recognised qualifications might be via the British Computer Society's professional exams, which I believe are available in India. You can pick a certification track that suits your skills/aims, and pursue it alongside your day job. These certificates are recognised by various industry bodies and can help you qualify you for membership of professional organisations, not just in the UK, but you would need to explore how far these certificates/memberships are recognised in your target country.

As for the intra company transfer route, there are a couple of points you should perhaps consider:

If you are hired in India then transferred to the USA/Canada, then your employer may decide it's cheaper for them to pay you an Indian salary plus (tax-free) subsistence allowance in the USA/Canada, rather than pay you the normal US/Canadian salary for the job. After all, this is how these companies cut costs in these countries, i.e. by making you cheaper than the local IT staff and by paying less tax to the host country. So you might find your lifestyle does not improve as much as you might have hoped.

In fairness, I think I should also warn you that the use of "intra company transfers" by the large consultancies has become a controversial issue in some countries, including here in the UK, where there has been a lot of debate over how far these companies may be using the ICT scheme as a way to replace experienced UK-based workers with cheap and often inexperienced imported Indian workers. I would hope that you would not encounter any hostility personally if you arrived in your target country via this route, but judging by the situation here in the UK, you may find there is a lot of grass-roots dissatisfaction in many sectors of the IT industry over these practices.

But that's a big - and sensitive - issue that probably belongs in a different thread!



Raj Kakkar
Greenhorn

Joined: May 03, 2011
Posts: 7
chris webster wrote:
Raj Kakkar wrote:
One query: Do you recommend applying to Indian companies that do intra-transfers to target countries or applying to consultancies abroad directly?


Hi Raj,

I don't recommend either. You have to decide which is the better option for you, although there's nothing to stop you trying both approaches. Your lack of a degree may be an issue, but on the other hand it sounds like you have a lot of relevant practical experience that you may be able to sell to a potential employer. You probably need to think about where your skills and experience are likely to be most useful/interesting to an employer, and target those roles.

An alternative route to industry recognised qualifications might be via the British Computer Society's professional exams, which I believe are available in India. You can pick a certification track that suits your skills/aims, and pursue it alongside your day job. These certificates are recognised by various industry bodies and can help you qualify you for membership of professional organisations, not just in the UK, but you would need to explore how far these certificates/memberships are recognised in your target country.



Hello Chris

Thanks for the BCS link. I will be in touch with them tomorrow and also send my resume to a few good recruiters abroad.

Incase nothing works out in the next 2 months, based upon inputs in forums, the following paths appear best:

1. I have admits from 2 top UK universities for a one-year MBA. It allows me to be there for 16 months total and I can network and look for a job. With my experience and an MBA rated in top 50 worldwide by FT, the situation looks better.

2. A couple of top UK and Canadian universities have started their campus in India but it is a 2-year programme. An undifferentiated UK degree is awarded. I can do my BCS qualification along with the UK MBA from India and then apply abroad.

What do you think?




 
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