Back to School Quick Facts 2014

Browse through the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada’s great back-to-school infographic below, and see where that university degree might take you!

Employment opportunities

University graduates get good jobs and good pay.

900,000 new jobs

Between May 2008 and May 2014,  more than twice as many net new jobs were created for university graduates than for college and trades graduates combined (878,000 and 437,000 respectively).
Source: Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey

50% higher incomes

Over their careers, university graduates typically earn 50% more than other full-time workers without a university degree.
Source: Statistics Canada, 2011 National Household Survey

6% of net new jobs

Extractive industries rely just as much on university graduates as they do on college graduates and skilled tradespeople – but for different types of jobs, such as positions in engineering, management and community relations.

Since 2008 in Alberta, 56% of net new jobs have been for university graduates. That’s almost double the number of net new jobs for college grads (31%) and more than triple those for trades.
Source: Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey

60% of GDP growth

Sixty percent of Canada’s GDP growth is attributable to the income growth of those with postsecondary education.
Source: OECD Education at a Glance, 2012

Experiential learning

Graduates with hands-on learning experiences are in demand and Canadian universities are providing students with more of these career-boosting opportunities.

The right skills

The majority of large employers surveyed say they are satisfied with the level of preparation of recently hired university graduates, citing people skills, communications and problem-solving skills, analytical abilities and leadership as top qualities needed for new hires.
Source: Study of Canada’s largest employers by the Canadian Council of Chief Executives, 2013

25% growth in co-op students

More than half of all university undergraduates benefit from a co-op or internship experience before they graduate. The number of university students participating in co-op programs has grown by 25% in the past seven years.
Source: Based on data from the Canadian Association for Co-operative Education and Canadian University Survey Consortium

30-40% higher salaries

Salaries for newly hired university graduates with work-integrated learning experiences are 30% to 40% higher than for graduates without those kinds of experiences.
Source: Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario 2012

Financial aid and student debt

Reports on student debt levels are often misleading and the role of universities in easing students’ financial burden is often underestimated. Canadian universities are increasingly helping students reach their full potential through financial support.

40% debt-free

Forty percent of university students today graduate debt-free. Of those with debt, 30% owe less than $12,000.
Source: Canadian University Survey Consortium, Graduating Student Survey, 2012

No increase since 2000

Average student debt today has not increased since 2000, in real dollars.
Source: Canadian University Survey Consortium, Graduating Student Survey, 2012

45-fold increase in university support

Universities have dramatically upped their financial assistance to students through scholarships, bursaries and awards in the past few decades. Universities’ support has increased 45-fold from $40 million in 1977 to $1.8 billion in 2013, and benefits about four of every 10 students.
Source: Statistics Canada, Financial Information of Universities and Colleges Survey

To check out AUCC’s Back-to-School infographic, click here.


For more information, please contact:

Helen Murphy
Assistant Director, Communications
(613) 563-1236 ext. 238

In the News

Opinion: Canada is bad at thinking big. Here’s how we can change that April 30, 2018

Michael Katchen, CEO of Wealthsimple, speaks to the value of a university degree in an increasingly global, competitive, and innovation-based economy.

Read more
MPPs hear budget wish list from many; More than 25 groups speak to committee January 19, 2018

An all-party committee of MPPs heard the budget wishes and pleas of groups representing diverse interests such as education, health care, agriculture, transportation, labour and business.

Read more
Government recognizes value of research on Parliament Hill May 19, 2017

VIDEO: Peter Fragiskatos, MP of London North Centre, makes statement to the House of Commons on the value of universities to Canada and decision-makers

Read more

Learn more about