Data Check: University degrees continue to be in demand

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It is now well know that 70 per cent of new jobs would require some form of post-secondary education. But the origin of this figure is not so clear, and despite its prevalence, no one is ever quite sure where it came from. However, the of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada’s (HRSDC) occupational projections finally confirms that estimate.
According to HRSDC, 70 per cent of Canadian new job openings between 2011 and 2020 will be for those with post-secondary education or in management. If replacement demand – or the number of existing jobs that become vacant – is included, two-thirds of job openings will require higher education, compared with 62 per cent in 2010. Clearly, a university degree, college diploma, or apprenticeship will be increasingly necessary for success in the labour market.
If replacement demand is a benchmark of educational requirements for jobs that currently exist, the percentage of positions requiring a university education will rise from 19 to 26 per cent. If management positions are added, the demand will rise from 31 to 35 per cent. Compare that with Ontario’s university participation rate: 32 per cent for full-time university students (as a proportion of 18-24 year-olds), or 28 per cent if only full-time undergraduates are counted.
Human Resources and Skills Development Canada,
Imbalances Between Labour Demand and Supply – 2011-2020, Canadian Occupational Projection System 2011 Projections
Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities, USER Enrolment Report
Statistics Canada, Canada’s population estimates: Age and sex, July 1, 2012

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