Yet for Concordia’s newest grads, the labour-market forecast remains coloured with hope. The key, however, is for job seekers to take a different approach to their career options — or to look at options such as running their own show.
(See the sidebar “Why owning a company is just good business”)
Even though companies may not offer the same type of job security they once did, that can create new opportunities, says Ryan Desgroseilliers, BEng 14, CEO of Apisen Operations Services in Montreal. “A lot of companies are intentionally separating out the functions they used to have internally, so it’s created a lot more opportunities for people to have these new businesses that fill the niches the large players don’t really want to touch themselves.”
As students, Desgroseilliers and Andrew Henry, BEng 14, began a project that became Apisen. The startup works with companies to implement specialized electronic and electromechanical systems for their products. Through Concordia’s District 3 Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, the two prepared to take Apisen from an idea to a real-world company. Six months after graduation, they received investment capital and began to build their venture.
Desgroseilliers remains connected to District 3 through its Innovation Projects, a rigorous three-month process for Concordia undergraduate and graduate students that will challenge them to create innovative solutions for established organizations (d3center.ca/ en/innovation-projects).
Today, Desgroseilliers says he does far less engineering than he imagined he would. Instead, his time is mostly spent managing. That’s fine — he’s found that adaptability is the soul of launching a business.
“If you pigeonhole yourself into a very specific job role, it’s going to be very difficult,” he says. “But if you specialized in something very narrow, you can still leverage those skills. If you have a degree in a very specific type of accounting, it’s all a question of whether you can still use those skills — for a different type of accounting, for financial analysis or for who knows what. It’s all just making use of the skills rather than trying to find that ‘unicorn’ job that might never exist.”