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For additional information relating to this article, please contact:

Thomas StorringDirector – Economics and Statistics
Tel: 902-424-2410Email: thomas.storring@novascotia.ca

November 05, 2019
NATIONAL GRADUATES SURVEY, 2018 (CLASS OF 2015)

Statistics Canada's National Graduates Survey reports on labour market, student debt and earnings conditions for Canadian postsecondary graduates from the class of 2015.  The survey divides graduates into: college, bachelor's, master's and doctoral graduates.  Data for doctoral graduates is limited by small numbers of respondents.  The survey was conducted in 2018.  Results shown below report on class of 2015 graduates based on their province of residence in 2018, which may be different from their province of study.  

Employment rates in 2018 for class of 2015 postsecondary graduates fall between 80 and 95 per cent with the overwhelming majority holding full time positions.  Nova Scotia's employment rates of postsecondary graduates were higher than the national average.  

*difference between employment rate and full-time employment rate. 

Employment rates exclude those who carry on to further studies.  Of the class of 2015 graduates, 37 per cent of college graduates subsequently took further postsecondary studies by 2018 (28 per cent of college graduates in Nova Scotia.  Almost half (47 per cent) of Canadian Bachelor's degree recipients went on to further postsecondary studies by 2018 (51 per cent of bachelor's graduates in Nova Scotia).  Fewer Master's graduates (26 per cent nationally) went on to further postsecondary studies. 

 

Unemployment rates for postsecondary graduates are generally lower than unemployment rates for those for comparable age cohorts.  In Nova Scotia, unemployment rates of postsecondary graduates are lower than the national average for each level of education.   

The median age of college and bachelor's graduates for the class of 2015 was similar across Canada (23) with little variation from one province to the next.  The median age of Canada's Master's graduates was 28 years old (30 in Nova Scotia).  Doctoral graduates have a median age of 32 nationally and 34 in Nova Scotia.  

The median earnings in 2018 of college graduates from the class of 2015 who worked full time was $43,400 nationally. College graduates had the highest median earnings in Saskatchewan and the lowest median earnings in Prince Edward Island.   

Graduates with Bachelor's degrees from the class of 2015 had median earnings of $56,000 in 2018 with the highest median earnings in Alberta and the lowest in Nova Scotia.   

Median earnings of Master's graduates from the class of 2015 were $70,000 in 2018.  Alberta and Newfoundland and Labrador had the highest median earnings for Master's graduates while Quebec had the lowest.

Median earnings in 2018 were different for male and female graduates.  Male college graduates from the class of 2015 who were working full time in 2018 had median earnings of $48,000 while female graduates had median earnings of $40,000. 

Among university graduates with bachelor's degrees, 2018 median full time earnings of males from the class of 2015 were $60,000 while full time earnings of females were $52,500.  However, the male-female earnings gap reverses in all Atlantic Provinces (where females earn more than males) and is eliminated in Manitoba (equal median earnings between males and females).  

At the Master's level, the national gap between male and female full time median earnings in 2018 was narrower.  Male Master's graduates had full time median earnings of $70,700 while females had earnings of $68,600.  Female Master's graduates had higher earnings than males in Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Manitoba and Saskatchewan. 

Male-female earnings differentials are notable; for all levels of education below doctorates, there were more female than male graduates (except for New Brunswick colleges).   

Of the class of 2015, 49 per cent of Canada's college graduates owed some debt (to all lenders) when they graduated.  A higher share of Nova Scotia college graduates (58 per cent) had debt upon graduation than the national share.  A larger share of Canada's bachelor's graduates (54 per cent) had debt upon graduation.  A higher share of Nova Scotia bachelor's graduates had debts upon graduation (58 per cent - the same as the share of Nova Scotia college graduates with debt).  The share of Master's graduates with debt was lower at 46 per cent nationally and 49 per cent in Nova Scotia. 

The value of debt on graduation was lowest for college graduates at $15,300 nationally ($15,800 in Nova Scotia).  By 2018, the average remaining debt of a college graduate was $13,500 nationally (11.8 per cent repaid) and $12,900 in Nova Scotia (18.4 per cent repaid). 

Bachelor's graduates had higher average levels of debt upon graduating in 2015.  Nationally, average student debt of bachelor's graduates was $28,000 while bachelor's graduates in Nova Scotia had average debts of $37,000.  By 2018, the average remaining debt of Canada's bachelor's graduates was 24,000 (14.3 per cent repaid) while the remaining debt of Nova Scotia bachelor's graduates was $30,000 (18.9 per cent repaid).  

National Master's graduates from 2015 had similar levels of average debt as bachelor's graduates: $28,000.  Nova Scotia Master's graduates from 2015 had lower level of debt than their counterparts in the class of bachelor's graduates: $31,000.  By 2018, average remaining debt of Canada's Master's class of 2015 was $23,000 (17.9 per cent repaid).  Nova Scotia Master's graduates of 2015 had average debts of $28,000 remaining in 2018 (9.7 per cent repaid).

 The share of class of 2015 college graduates who had fully repaid their debts by 2018 was 31 per cent nationally and 21 per cent in Nova Scotia.  

The share of class of 2015 bachelor's graduates who had repaid all their debts was 34 per cent nationally and 15 per cent in Nova Scotia.  

The share of class of 2015 Master's graduates who had fully repaid their debts was 36 per cent nationally and 31 per cent in Nova Scotia.  

Source: Statistics Canada. Table  37-10-0031-01   National Graduates Survey (NGS), postsecondary graduates, by location of residence at interview and level of study

Table  37-10-0033-01   National Graduates Survey (NGS), labour force activity of postsecondary graduates, by location of residence at interview, level of study and sex

Table  37-10-0035-01   National Graduates Survey (NGS), estimated gross annual earnings of postsecondary graduates working full time at interview, by location of residence at interview, level of study and sex

Table  37-10-0037-01   National Graduates Survey (NGS), student debt from all sources, by location of residence at interview and level of study

 



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