Many employers expect graduates to have at least two years experience. What are universities doing to prepare students for the workplace in such a competitive market?

All Ontario universities offer robust career services, where students can learn how to prepare a resume, how to conduct themselves in an interview and how to conduct a job search.

They also help link students with employers, who in some cases recruit directly from Ontario campuses.

Universities understand that many employers are seeking graduates with experience in their fields. The National Graduates Survey shows bachelor’s level graduates with co-op experience earn more than their peers, have higher employment and full-time employment rates and are more likely to have paid off debt two years after graduation. As a result, applied, or work-integrated, learning is one of the fastest-growing areas for universities in Ontario.

Today, experiential learning spans all disciplines, from environmental science to fine arts, engineering and health sciences. Universities are also now preparing students to create their own jobs, and jobs for other people. One of the most exciting developments on university campuses are start-up incubators – spaces where new ideas for products and services are discussed, tested and brought to fruition. Entrepreneurship is embedded in curriculum across a wide array of programs, teaching fine arts students, for example, how to turn their craft into a business.

You can read more about these initiatives in our Experiential Learning report, Bringing Life to Learning, and our Entrepreneurship report, Entrepreneurship at Ontario Universities: Fuelling Success.