Academic Literature

Short-duration Credentials After Graduation in Canada – Made employement in “low value-added service industries” fell from 22.1% to 9.9%

This study uses longitudinal data combining information from the Postsecondary Student Information System (PSIS) with data from personal income tax (T1 Family File) to analyze the impact of short-duration credentials (certificates and diplomas from colleges and universities), completed after an undergraduate degree, on the outcomes on the labour market of graduates from Canadian public universities.

Overview of the study

  • Of the 102,865 graduates who earned an undergraduate degree from a public postsecondary institution in Canada before the age of 25 in 2010, 34,715 (33.7%) completed one or more additional educational qualification between 2010 and 2016, either a degree, a diploma, a certificate or a combination of various qualifications. Of these individuals, 5,370 (15.5%) completed only one additional postsecondary certificate or diploma, called a short-duration credential in this study: two-thirds (3,555) at the college level and one-third (1,815) at the university level. These 5,370 individuals are the focus of this study which measures the impact of a short-duration credential completed after a bachelor degree.
  • BHASE (non-STEM) graduates were more likely to complete a short-duration credential after their undergraduate degree than STEM graduates. More than four fifths (82.7%) of graduates who obtained a short-duration credential had obtained their 2010 undergraduate degree in a BHASE field of study. This represented a 5.4 percentage points higher proportion compared to the proportion of BHASE graduates among the group without any additional short-duration credential.
  • While one third (33.3%) of graduates with an additional short-duration credential earned their second qualification in the same field of study as their undergraduate degree, large outflows were observed in the fields of “Social and behavioural sciences” and “Arts and humanities” towards fields related to “Business and administration” (35.0% and 27.0%, respectively).
  • Comparing two years before and two years after earning an additional short-duration credential, the proportion of graduates employed in “low value-added service industries” fell from 22.1% to 9.9%. Similarly, unionization rate was 42.4% two years after completion (+4.6 percentage points compared to two years before) and rate of participation in a pension plan was 46.5% (+16.3 percentage points compared to two years before).
  • Although a large proportion of graduates who completed a short-duration credential started with a lower employment income and returned to school full-time, their median employment income two years before and two years after completing a short-duration credential rose faster, almost to the level of those who did not go back to school, in almost all fields of study.
  • In 2017, graduates who had earned an undergraduate degree in 2010 but did not seek an additional short-duration credential earned more than those who had completed an additional short-duration credential between 2011 and 2016. However, this gap was mostly due to the starting level of employment income of both groups, and narrows if controlled for the other factors.

Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story @ The Impact of Short-duration Credentials After an Undergraduate Degree on Labour Market Outcomes

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