A university education works

University graduates experienced the highest employment growth of any educational attainment group over the last ten years.

A university education works.

In a report prepared by the Council of Ontario University’s own Cecilia Brain, Economist and Senior Policy Analyst at COU, it’s clear that university students are well equipped for career success at the time of graduation.

University Works analyzes data from Statistics Canada and Ontario’s Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities. Assessing employment outcomes and earnings for university, college and high school graduates, the report compares data and weaves in the context of the 2008 economic crisis to give a snapshot of how graduates have really fared over the past few years. It shows that recent university graduates have the best employment rates, highest salaries, and are most likely to land a job in their field than graduates from other postsecondary institutions.

A brief overview of the findings can be found on the COU website, along with a press release including comments from Max Blouw, Chair of the COU and President of Wilfrid Laurier Universities, and Bonnie M. Patterson, COU President and CEO.

It’s important to note the motivation for analyzing the data and launching this report. There is currently a misperception surrounding the postsecondary education sector, which promotes the incorrect assumption that university graduates are finding it more difficult to secure a good job related to their studies than graduates from other institutions. This myth is partly informed by another misperception around a shortage of skilled trades graduates in Ontario’s workforce. In fact, since 2008, there has been a reduction in jobs for tradespeople and the sector has not experienced shortages. Today, it’s actually more difficult to find employment as a skilled tradesperson than it was four years ago.

With this report, COU wanted to ensure that future students have accurate data at their fingertips so that they can make informed decisions about which postsecondary institution to attend. For some it will be universities, for others it’s colleges, and for an increasing number of students it’s both. There are numerous pathways to learning and Ontario’s universities are working closely with colleges to ensure that students can pursue the postsecondary institutions that are the best fit for them.

Universities and colleges both hold crucial roles in securing Ontario’s bright future, and it’s important for students to be fully informed when making the smart choice to pursue higher education.