TORONTO, Jan. 16, 2013 /CNW/ - Ontario university graduates continue to be successful in the labour market, despite ongoing economic uncertainty, according to the latest survey commissioned by the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities, and conducted by CCI Research Inc.
Out of the students who finished their programs in 2009, in the midst of the recession, 87.5 per cent found employment within six months of graduation and 93.1 per cent were employed within two years. In comparison, 2008-2009 college graduates had an employment rate of 84.8 per cent one year after graduation.
In addition, 76.3 per cent of university students employed full-time six months after graduation considered their work either "closely" or "somewhat" related to their education. This figure jumped to 82.3 per cent two years after graduation.
"The results of this survey illustrate that Ontario university graduates possess the education and skills that employers are looking for," says Alastair Summerlee, Chair of the Council of Ontario Universities (COU) and President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Guelph. "Our graduates are prepared for the changing job market, and thanks to a university environment that fosters entrepreneurship, many are creating their own job opportunities."
Ontario universities have a wide range of academic programs, internships, start-up incubators and creative spaces that support university students in creating and running their own businesses. Experiential learning opportunities, such as co-op placements, practicums and residencies, provide hands-on learning, preparing students for a 21st century workforce. Recent university Strategic Mandate Agreements highlight an increased emphasis on experiential and entrepreneurial learning, which will even further ensure that students are graduating with relevant skills.
"University graduates consistently see a rise in their incomes after graduation, demonstrating that employers continue to find great value in those equipped with a university degree," says Bonnie M. Patterson, COU President and CEO. "Students can be confident that they are making a sound investment in their future."
Six months after graduation, the average annual salary for graduates of undergraduate degree programs was $42,403, rising to $49,151 just two years after graduation. Ontario university graduates earn approximately 32 per cent more annually than those with a college certificate or diploma, and 53 per cent more than those with no postsecondary education.
These positive results for Ontario graduates are reflected across Canada. Between 2008-2009 and 2009-2010, university degree holders experienced an employment gain of 2.2 per cent. Neither high school nor college diploma holders experienced an employment gain.
SOURCE: Council of Ontario Universities
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