Data Check : PhD grads enjoy high employment, though not always where they want

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Recent Statistics Canada research on the career paths of graduates of Ontario doctoral programs shows that while most are employed, many are not in academic jobs and others are overqualified for their current positions.

Of the Ontario respondents surveyed in 2007, two years after completing their studies, almost two-thirds had aspirations of becoming a university professor. For the other third, more money and better job opportunities appears to be the biggest single reason to pursue other career options.

Two years after graduation, 86 per cent were employed and another four per cent were self-employed. Close to 80 per cent had found full-time employment. Overall, 58 per cent found work in educational services, but there were differences corresponding to field of study – ranging from 34 per cent for engineering doctorates to 83 per cent for humanities doctorates.

The proportion of doctorates over-qualified for their job varied by field of study as well, but those with degrees in engineering or “education and other fields” experienced the highest rates of over-qualification. Earnings were typically higher for those who had found jobs matching their qualifications. The gap in median salaries between over-qualified and qualification-matched engineering grads was $2,000; for education and other doctorates it was $9,000. The biggest gap was in the humanities — $16,000.

Source: Statistics Canada, Profile and Labour Market Outcomes of Doctoral Graduates from Ontario Universities

This article originally appeared in the OCUFA Report. To receive stories like this every week in your inbox, please subscribe.

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