Canadian Post-Secondary Students and Recent Grads Kick Start Career with Gigs

Back-to-School survey highlights how technology is key to helping millennials gain experience and create their own jobs


  • Four in 10 see a trend towards people in their field working multiple part-time jobs, rather than one full-time job
  • 82 per cent suggest having a great personal brand is important as a freelancer, contract-based employee or business owner
  • 68 per cent of respondents suggest having a great laptop is important to success

TORONTO, July 25, 2016 /CNW/ - A recent study exploring how post-secondary students and recent graduates from across Canada are viewing, and adapting, to the current labour market shows optimism in the face of challenges, a desire to embrace self-employment and entrepreneurship and an ongoing reliance on technology for success. Commissioned by Intel Canada, the study shows a majority of respondents (65 per cent) are optimistic about their career prospects, despite the fact that most (68 per cent) feel they're facing a tougher labour market than their parents did when they were starting their career.   

When it comes to how students and recent graduates surveyed see their career progressing: 4 in 10 see a trend towards people in their field working multiple-part time jobs, rather than one full-time job. A similar proportion (42 per cent) perceives employment opportunities for recent graduates as consisting of more contract positions and fewer permanent jobs. In addition: about 1 in 3 respondents aspire to business ownership and 1 in 2 respondents agree that doing contract work is a great way to build a resume.

"This study reinforces what I've been hearing from students when I present to them on campus: that they're actively taking on employment gigs and kick starting their careers," says Amber Mac, Technology Host & Entrepreneur. "My top tip to them is to harness the power of their personal brand online, and turn their digital persona into a professional brand. This requires choosing the right technology and the right social media tools.  With smart decisions on both fronts, it's possible today to build a business or career while on campus."

The importance of fostering a strong personal online brand is echoed by survey respondents as the majority, 82 per cent, suggest having a great personal brand and online identity is the tool most important for success as a freelancer, contract-based employee or business owner. Amongst respondents, about 3 in 10 say they do not know how to establish a personal brand or sell themselves.

"Taking gigs likely means working from home, connecting with colleagues remotely, delivering work virtually and working flexible hours," says Elaine Mah, Director of Marketing at Intel Canada. "Given this type of work environment a fast, reliable and high performance computer has never been more important. The latest Intel-powered systems offer the computing power, security and mobility needs for all school and business needs."

To that end, among those who express a willingness to consider self-employment through freelance work or business ownership, 68 per cent say that having "a great laptop" would be important to their success. In addition:

  • 59 per cent agree having the right laptop can make it easier for them to establish their career and
  • 56 per cent agree "from organizing my schedule to creating presentations to video conferencing, a laptop would be the hub of my business".

Kourosh Houshmand, a social activist, student and founder of Solar for Life which includes work with more than 200 volunteers across high schools and universities in Canada and has completed projects in Kenya and South Africa considers technology as vital to his company's success. "From managing day-to-day operations to raising awareness via social media, a high-performing laptop powered by Intel is the heart of my business."

Intel Canada has partnered with tech expert Amber Mac and a variety of student and recent graduates who are entrepreneurs to chronicle tips and success stories via an online video series throughout the summer called "Student to Careers," presented by Intel Canada. The videos can be found online on Amber's Facebook page: here. Additional information can be found on Intel Canada's website.

Survey Methodology

Hill + Knowlton's Research + Analytics team, partnered with Research Now to conduct an in-depth study with 1,003 educated millennials (18-29 years of age). The innovative research design combined those currently enrolled in a post-secondary program with an equal number of recent post-secondary graduates. The survey was administered between May 27 and June 13, 2016.

About Intel

Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) is a world leader in computing innovation. The company designs and builds the essential technologies that serve as the foundation for the world's computing devices. As a leader in corporate responsibility and sustainability, Intel also manufactures the world's first commercially available "conflict-free" microprocessors. Additional information about Intel is available at and, and about Intel's conflict-free efforts at

Intel and the Intel logo are trademarks of Intel Corporation in the United States and other countries. 

*Other names and brands may be claimed as the property of others.


For further information: Alix Gallant, Hill+Knowlton Strategies for Intel Canada, Tel: 416-413-5024,

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