The Best (And Worst) Degrees To Find A Job And Make Serious Cash

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Justin Sullivan via Getty Images
Justin Sullivan via Getty Images

Half a decade after the global economic crisis, Canada’s graduates are still having a harder time than they used to when it comes to finding work.

All the same, many fields of study are still providing 100-per-cent, or near 100-per-cent employment for graduates.

The Council of Ontario Universities’ annual graduate survey, released this week, found 87.4 per cent of 2011 graduates had found a job within six months of graduating. That compares to 94.1 per cent for those who graduated in 2006.

Additionally, salaries for new grads have fallen somewhat. They averaged $41,699 for 2011 grads, six months after graduation, and were $42,636 for 2011 grads. But adjusted for inflation, that amounts to a roughly $3,000 reduction in wages.

The data highlights the Canadian economy’s struggle to create jobs in the wake of the Great Recession, even as other areas of the economy, such as exports and car sales, show signs of strong growth.

But the data also shows the value of a university degree has hardly been diminished. Despite elevated unemployment rates in recent years, many graduate courses can still pretty much guarantee graduates jobs.

Medicine, optometry and therapy/rehabilitation grads had a 100-per-cent employment rate six months after graduation. Two years after graduation, dentistry, forestry and veterinary graduates also joined the 100-per-cent club.

At the other end of the spectrum were many arts- and humanities-related programs, though not exclusively. Only 86 per cent of humanities grads in 2011 had jobs six months after finishing school. But the worst spot went to graduates of agricultural and biological sciences, with only 82.2 per cent employed six months after school.

Check out the best and worst degrees for employment and for salaries, according to the Council of Ontario Universities.

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