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How Much Do Grads Make In Canada?

October 20, 2020

Contributing to the cost of your children's higher education is one of the best ways you can help them achieve their important life goals and earnings potential.

Research consistently shows that post-secondary graduates are more likely to be employed, and they earn more than those who did not continue their studies past high school.

According to a January 2020 report called How Much Do They Make?, on average five years after graduation, Canadian graduates in architecture, engineering and related technologies earn the most among college-level certificate, college-level diploma and bachelor's degree students (respectively, $60,500, $64,500 and $80,400). Among master's and doctoral graduates, those from business, management and public administration earn the most ($103,800 and $123,600, respectively).

However, not all degrees are equal when it comes to earning potential.

On average, STEM graduates earn more

The report, which was produced jointly by the Education Policy Research Initiative (EPRI) and the Labour Market Information Council (LMIC), also shows that grads in STEM studies (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) had higher earnings than those in business, humanities, health, arts, social science and education – 23.9% more for men and 11.5% for women.

Based on cumulative earnings, the relationship between higher education and earnings is even more evident.

York study looks at cumulative earnings

The Price of Knowledge, a York University research report on access to higher education and student finance in Canada, found that, compared to a high school graduate over a 40-year span, a college graduate will earn $394,000 more in cumulative income, a bachelor's degree holder will earn $745,800 more in cumulative income, and a post bachelor's degree will earn $1,165,280 more in cumulative income.

Further, Statistics Canada points out that this type of earnings data tends to underestimate the real earnings differences between workers with higher and lower levels of education because they compare only workers employed on a full-time basis. However, those with less education are more likely to be unemployed and, therefore, to have no earnings at all.

Get Started

Saving for your child's higher education starts with making your first contribution. Get started by estimating the expenses your children will incur during their post-secondary school years.

Saving for your child's higher education starts with making your first contribution. Get started by estimating the expenses your children will incur during their post-secondary school years. 

Keep in mind that the cost of tuition, housing, books and incidentals continues to rise, so you must adjust your figures for anticipated inflation. Through this process, you can quite accurately determine the monthly, yearly or one-time deposit required to fund the future costs of education.


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