Letter to the editor: Labour force needs many skills

July 6, 2016

This letter to the editor was published in the Ottawa Citizen July 6, 2016.

By Pari Johnston, Vice-president, Policy and public affairs, Universities Canada

I read with interest your series on Canada’s millennials and their future prospects (July 2, 2016). It is important for high school students and their families to have up to date information on education options and employment outcomes. To that end, some key data missing from your articles may be helpful.

In particular, it is worth noting that between March 2008 and March 2016, 1,416,600 net new jobs were created for university graduates – almost triple the number for college and trades graduates combined (526,600).

Increasingly that university education involves hands-on learning. Today more than 55% of undergraduates benefit from experiential learning, such as co-ops and internships.

It is also encouraging to see new research showing that social sciences and humanities graduates aren’t taking a backseat to graduates from other disciplines in terms of earnings. For example, social science bachelor’s graduates’ average earnings start around $40,000 after graduation but within 13 years almost double to just under $80,000 – similar average earnings as math and natural science graduates.

Canada needs talented graduates from all types of postsecondary education to meet its labour force needs in the future. Canada’s universities are innovating in teaching, learning and research to ensure their students are prepared for the global knowledge economy.

Tagged:  Co-ops and internships

About Universities Canada
Universities Canada is the voice of Canada’s universities at home and abroad, representing the interests of 97 Canadian public and private not-for-profit universities.

Media Contacts:
Helen Murphy
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Universities Canada
Tel.: 613-563-3961 ext. 238
Cell.: 613-608-8749

Nadine Robitaille
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Universities Canada
Tel.: 613-563-3961 ext. 306

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