A new report by the Council of Ontario Universities (COU) demonstrates that Ontario’s university graduates enjoy higher earning, have better employment rates, and find employment in their fields. The findings, based on data from Statistics Canada and the Ministry of Training, Colleges, and Universities, was published on February 25, 2014.
The report counters recent media criticisms that a university education does not prepare students for the needs of the workforce. It echoes an American research study, released by the American Association of Colleges and Universities, outlining the strong employment outcomes of graduates in the liberal arts. These reports call into question recent criticisms that universities in Ontario and the United States do not prepare students for the workforce. In fact, a university education is still one of the best routes to a successful career.
OCUFA welcomes this new research, as it underlines what we have been saying all along- universities are instrumental in promoting success for graduates and encouraging economic growth. But it is also important to recognize the many other essential functions of our institutions: educating citizens and leaders; producing new knowledge and insight that improves human understanding; enhancing quality of life through teaching and research; and building stronger communities. Labour market outcomes are important, but a narrow focus in this area can obscure – and diminish – the many social and civic benefits produced by Ontario’s universities.