More than 83 per cent of college graduates find employment within six months

TORONTO, April 15, 2014 /CNW/ - New data released today confirmed that a large majority of college graduates continue to find jobs shortly after they graduate. The results show 83.4 per cent of college graduates found employment within six months of graduation.

"The benefits of a college education continue to be clear," said Linda Franklin, the president and CEO of Colleges Ontario. "Even in this challenging economy, college graduates are finding work and their work is praised by employers."

The graduate employment rate is one of the Key Performance Indicators for Ontario's colleges that are gathered for the provincial government each year by independent researchers. The results also show that more than 92 per cent of employers were satisfied or very satisfied with the college graduates they hired.

Growing numbers of students are enrolling in college programs each year and it will be important for the province to promote the value of college education as Ontario strives to address the youth unemployment and underemployment challenges.

An important step that Ontario should take to promote career-focused higher education is to expand the range of degree programs at colleges.

Currently, some colleges offer four-year degree programs but the colleges must award diplomas to graduates of the three-year programs. This is despite the fact that many three-year programs at Ontario's colleges are already aligned with the baccalaureate standards in Ontario and worldwide.

To encourage more students to go to college, the province should allow colleges to offer three-year degrees and expand the range of four-year degree programs at colleges.

"In most of the world, graduates of career-focused three-year programs earn degrees," Franklin said.  "Elevating post-secondary education in Ontario to international standards will encourage more people to pursue college education. This will help strengthen the province's workforce."

Since 1998, the provincial KPIs have been gathered annually by two independent research firms for the colleges and for the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities. The most recent data were collected from March 2013 to February 2014.

The full KPI report is available at http://collegesontario.org/outcomes/key-performance-indicators.html.

SOURCE Colleges Ontario

For further information: Karen Horsman, Manager, Media Relations and Communications, Colleges Ontario, 647-258-7686, horsman@collegesontario.org