CGI, Deloitte, etc in Toronto vs Big Tech in USA

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tajM05

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Sep 8 15 Comments

What would the benefits be of working at somewhere like CGI, IBM, or similar around the GTA versus going to FAANG or similar in the US?

Friend's dad is a director or something at CGI and was trying to sell it as the best choice after graduation. I think I have my mind set on something else but always good to hear other perspectives. I am a Canadian citizen with a BSc in CS and then MSc (ML in Healthcare) from a Top 10. Interned previously in SV and NYC. Interested in doing backend, ML Eng, systems, etc type of work after graduation.

I just don't see these consulting firms beating out a TC of US$150-200k that I'd get at a tech giant. That's over CA$200k and I'm seeing salaries of under CA$70k starting at CGI. Plus the type of tech I want to work on, work environment, and the problems I am interested in is not what CGI et al. offer, from my understanding.

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TOP 15 Comments
  • Amazon kawahi
    Your friends dads talking out his ass. Staying in Canada after graduating is a dumb move. (Source: graduated from Waterloo)
    Sep 8 0
  • Yelp fGGg31
    Canada is fucking garbage for tech. Why would you want to do the same work for 3-5x less?
    Sep 8 5
    • Yelp fGGg31
      New grad tc is just out of the gate. You need to think about your career long term. 2-3 yoe you can get l4, which at faang is in the ball park of 250k tc. There is no one in canada that will give you that kind of money for a standard swe. In other words, the tc and experience ratio gets worse.
      Sep 8
    • Uber / Eng
      tajM05

      Uber Eng

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      OP
      I'd even take it farther and argue it's not the same work. Most companies here in Canada are behind. Old tech. Starting here traps you here forever. Can't get the experience and mindset FAANG is looking for.
      Sep 8
    • Uber / Eng
      tajM05

      Uber Eng

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      OP
      And good point about long term thinking. Didn't consider that but you're right, it gets worse.
      Sep 8
    • Yelp fGGg31
      There is some crazy statistic on waterloos system design eng. 60% of a recent graduating class left to work in the us.

      And yeah, getting into the work, probably wont work on cool core infra teams in canada.

      Its unfortunate because i grew up there but i dont know if i can ever seriously consider going back in its current state. Id effectively be moving back for family not career.
      Sep 8
    • Uber / Eng
      tajM05

      Uber Eng

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      OP
      Yeah exactly. I thought about that too. Working 10 to 15 years in the US and then taking all my money and experience and getting some sort of management role back in Canada.
      Sep 8
  • Valero Energy Corporation UrdntGrunt
    Permanent Residency. Once you are a Canadian citizen you can always move to the bay area.
    Sep 8 1
    • Uber / Eng
      tajM05

      Uber Eng

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      Intuit, Uber
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      OP
      I am a Canadian Citizen and able to easily get TN. H1-B also wouldn't be a long wait.
      Sep 8
  • Deloitte / Consultant ๐Ÿ‘Š๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ˜ค Tai
    i dont even know what cgi is - dont think its real consulting. Also consulting in canada is low paying/not prestigious
    Sep 8 0
  • I'm a Canadian working in the US, so I know what you are asking about. I left Canada because of TC and growth opportunities. GTA is absolutely ruthless for a new grad. You will have a better shot at a job in SV, NYC, Seattle or Boston than in GTA. So leave Canada now but, once you have 15+ yrs under your belt then you can start optimizing for different things in life, like wlb. Bay Area is cesspool of TC-first mentality which I think is sustainable only in the short term. And life there is getting increasingly competitive. In the long term, think about the cost of education for your kids, healthcare costs for your parents and your own family. Your 350k TC will disappear in a flash when Cigna starts declining you for pre-existing conditions. All your FAANG status won't save your ass then. So, make hay while the sun shines.
    Sep 8 0
  • Zynga cdev6676
    Do yourself a favor and never leave the Bay Area.Canadas tech scene is abysmal -in todayโ€™s world Canada is just not competitive.India,Germany,Singapore and pretty much every other country is miles ahead.
    Sep 8 0
  • Affirm sh3zam
    Never go for a consulting company at the start of your career. You will be only a number, always. You will start 55k most likely and they wonโ€™t give you a raise ever (more than 2-3%) a year. It will take you forever to get to a director. The number of manager managing another manager is astounding and just stupid. You will regret it for the rest of your life, you should experience the start up life as you will learn exponentially more than any of those firms. Again, it depends what you want out of life. I did the other way around and I feel like I lost all those years working at those shitty consulting company. Up to you, but you are crazy to even think about those. If I was you, I would go straight to San Francisco and I would work for a start up (or a FANG) for 2-3 years (and build a network) then move back to Canada to settle down as cost living here is ridiculous. A lot of us find a remote job and come back. I still think Canada is a better place to live. I also know people working at those places and they donโ€™t take the effort to prepare for all those amazing company because the interview process and bar is way harder and are scared of rejection. Up to you, but you will be dumb to stay and go for rat race in Canada where you can earn, learn, experience and connect way more out there.
    Sep 8 1
  • LinkedIn ktoo
    Your friends dad is ignorant. Feel free to stay in Canada for family, friends, culture, etc - but from a career perspective get over to fang.
    Sep 8 0

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