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Post-secondary education pays: StatsCan

Largest difference in earnings was between bachelor's and master's degrees

A new study suggests it pays to go to school.

The Statistics Canada survey found that more than 80 per cent of college and university students who graduated in 2005 and did not pursue further studies had found full-time employment by 2007, while earnings generally increased by level of study.

A higher proportion of graduates with a master’s degree were working full time than college graduates or those with a bachelor’s degree or a doctorate.

The pool of graduates with a master’s was higher in 2005 than it was in 2000 for both men and women.

However, the employment rate among master’s graduates remained stable for men at 94 per cent, while it rose for women, to 92 per cent in 2007 from 89 per cent in 2002.

Findings also showed differences in earnings from one level of education to another, with the largest earnings gap existing between the bachelor’s and master’s levels.

The agency says the earnings gap between a master’s and doctorate suggests that the monetary gain from employment two years after graduation for doctorate students is marginal.

About half the 2005 graduates who did not pursue further education financed their post-secondary studies without taking on any education-related loans. Nearly half (46 per cent) of all 2005 bachelor’s graduates completed their studies debt-free, as did 56 per cent of doctorates, 55 per cent of college grads and 54 per cent of those with a master’s.

While relatively similar proportions of college, bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate graduates were able to find work two years after graduation, there were differences in terms of their earnings.

The median annual earnings among those working full time in 2007 was lowest for college graduates at $35,000. This increased to $45,000 for bachelor’s graduates, $60,000 for master’s graduates and $65,000 for doctorate graduates.

– The Canadian Press

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