University Employment Outcomes, Graduation and Student Loan Default Rates

2018-19 Ontario University Graduate Survey

About the Survey

Each year the Ministry of Colleges and Universities, in cooperation with Ontario’s universities, administers the Ontario University Graduate Survey. The survey is administered to all graduates two years after graduation, and asks for information on their employment outcomes at six months and two years after graduation. The information is used to support policy development and analysis, and to ensure Ontario’s graduates are obtaining good, high quality jobs.

2018-19 Ontario University Graduate Survey respondents graduated in 2016. Respondents were surveyed between February and July 2019, and asked about their employment status at 6 months after graduation and two years after graduation. A graduate could respond online or by e-mail, mobile device, or paper.

In an effort to increase accountability and transparency, the Ministry of Colleges and Universities has provided the response counts for each question of the survey, as well as contextual information to help better understand calculations.

Graduate Responses

Of the 81,878 graduates, 74,641 were surveyed and 25,332 responded resulting in a 33.9% response rate.

Of the total survey respondents , 98% of survey responses were in English, while 2% were in French.

How to Interpret Survey Results

The data in this document is for summary purposes only. It cannot be used to calculate the graduate employment rate or to conduct research. The following information will also help users accurately interpret the survey results provided at the end of this summary.

In surveys, a partial non-response error can occur, when individuals respond to the survey but do not respond to a specific question. For instance, while it may be logical to assume that all respondents who indicated they were employed or offered employment would also indicate the number of hours they work in a week, not all respondents do.

Tables in orange include responses by graduates who were not in the labour force. Tables in blue only include graduates who were in the labour force.

Graduate Employment Rate Calculation

The ministry calculates the graduate employment rate as the proportion of graduates in the labour force who responded as being employed or offered employment. The labour force is defined as those who are employed, offered employment, and looking for work but not in school. Respondents that indicate they are not employed in Question 1/15, looking for work in Question 9/25, and not in school in Question 10/26, are included in the labour force and classified as looking.

2018-19 Ontario University Graduate Survey: Results for 2016 Graduates

2016-17 Graduate Employment Rate
Period Complete Surveys Employed/ Self-Employed Offered Looking Employed/ Offered a Job Individuals in Labour Force Employment Rate
n n n n n n %
6 Months 25,332 17,756 624 2,252 18,380 20,632 89%
2 years 25,332 19,966 547 1,043 20,513 21,513 95%

6 Months/2 Years Comparison Overall
1/15. Best applies to your situation: 6 Months 2 Years
n % n %
Not employed [Skip to Q9/Q25] 6,925 27% 4,797 19%
Offered employment 624 2% 547 2%
Employed in a Paid Job (PT/FT) 17,181 68% 19,227 76%
Self-employed 575 2% 739 3%
Total responses 25,305 25,310

This information cannot be used to calculate the graduate employment rate because it includes responses from graduates who were not looking for work (because they were in school or otherwise not in the labour market). See the above panel for the correct graduate employment rate.


Section A - Paid Employment

More than one paid job
2/16. More than one paid job: 6 Months 2 Years
n % n %
Yes 4,907 27% 4,360 21%
No 13,461 73% 16,131 79%
Total responses 18,368 20,491

This question identifies whether graduates who identified in 1/15 that they were in paid employment had more than one paid job. This table provides the breakdown of answers of those who responded to this question.

Was your employment for 30 hours a week or more?
3/17. Was your employment for 30 hours a week or more? 6 Months 2 Years
n % n %
Yes 14,752 80% 17,429 85%
No 3,608 20% 3,057 15%
Total responses 18,360 20,486

The survey uses Statistics Canada’s definition of full-time employment, which requires an individual to be employed for 30 hours a week or more to be considered employed full time.

Reason for working less than 30 hours a week:
4/18. Reason for working less than 30 hours a week: 6 Months 2 Years
n % n %
Going to school 1,267 35% 1,399 46%
Illness or disability 37 1% 39 1%
Personal or family responsibilities 79 2% 87 3%
Unable to find full-time work/ only job found/ insufficient business 1,593 45% 960 32%
Travelling 95 3% 51 2%
Unpaid internship 48 1% 29 1%
Personal preference 271 8% 256 8%
Other 187 5% 199 7%
Total responses 3,577 3,020

Respondents who identified in 3/17 that they were working for 30 hours a week or less were asked to provide a reason for why they were working part-time. This table provides the breakdown of answers of those who responded to this question.

Personal annual salary before taxes and other deductions:
5/19. Personal annual salary before taxes and other deductions: 6 Months 2 Years
n % n %
$0 - $5,000 713 4% 757 4%
$6,001 - $10,000 1,045 6% 805 4%
$11,000 - $15,000 1,199 7% 793 4%
$16,000 - $20,000 1,434 8% 883 4%
$21,000 - $25,000 1,433 8% 1,024 5%
$26,000 - $30,000 1,501 8% 1,092 5%
$31,000 - $35,000 1,373 8% 1,223 6%
$36,000 - $40,000 1,534 8% 1,476 7%
$41,000 - $45,000 1,451 8% 1,577 8%
$46,000 - $50,000 1,205 7% 1,581 8%
$51,000 - $55,000 1,191 7% 1,562 8%
$56,000- $60,000 1,101 6% 1,499 7%
$61,000- $65,000 839 5% 1,383 7%
$66,000- $70,000 571 3% 1,149 6%
$71,000- $75,000 427 2% 835 4%
$76,000- $80,000 265 1% 617 3%
$81,000- $85,000 184 1% 420 3%
$86,000- $90,000 135 1% 324 2%
$91,000- $95,000 96 1% 209 1%
$96,000- $100,000 98 1% 241 1%
$101,000- $105,000 58 0% 142 1%
$106,000- $110,000 40 0% 108 1%
$111,000- $115,000 22 0% 53 0%
$116,000- $120,000 28 0% 54 0%
$121,000- $125,000 15 0% 45 0%
$126,000- $130,000 16 0% 27 0%
$131,000- $135,000 19 0% 17 0%
$136,000- $140,000 10 0% 24 0%
$141,000- $145,000 18 0% 18 0%
$146,000- $150,000 13 0% 16 0%
More than $150,000 114 1% 255 1%
Total responses 18,148 20,209

Graduates who identified in 1/15 that they had been offered employment, were employed full time or part time in a paid job, or were self-employed, were asked what their personal annual salary from all employment was before taxes and other deductions (in Canadian dollars). This table provides the breakdown of answers of those who responded to this question.

What type of employment did you have at that time?
20 What type of employment did you have at that time? 2 Years
n %
Permanent 14,063 69%
Temporary/Contract 6,053 30%
Seasonal 378 2%
Total responses 20,494

For questions 6-8/20-23, graduates were asked to answer with respect to the paid job that they considered their primary or main job (at six months for Q 6-8 and 2 years for Q 20-23). Any respondent who indicated that they were employed was asked to respond to these questions, including those in part-time employment who were attending school.

This question (Q20) was only asked of graduates at the two-year mark.

Level of education needed for work:
6/21. Level of education needed for work: 6 Months 2 Years
n % n %
High school or less 3,572 19% 2408 12%
Postsecondary certificate or diploma 2,034 11% 2,274 11%
Bachelor’s degree 8,840 48% 10,372 51%
Professional degree 1,704 9% 2,338 11%
Post-graduate certificate or diploma 414 2% 675 3%
Graduate degree 569 3% 1,214 6%
No qualifications were specified 1,044 6% 980 5%
Other 148 1% 180 1%
Total responses 18,325 20,441

Graduates were asked what level of education was required for the position that they were working in. This table provides the breakdown of answers of those who responded to this question.

How closely was your work related to the skills you developed at university?
7/22. How closely was your work related to the skills you developed at university? 6 Months 2 Years
n % n %
Closely related 8,135 44% 10,745 52%
Somewhat related 6,324 34% 6,747 33%
Not related at all 3,849 21% 2,941 14%
Do not know 53 0% 64 0%
Total responses 18,361 20,497

The ministry splits relatedness into two categories to better reflect a graduate’s outcome. A graduate may now indicate their job’s relatedness to the skills developed at university and the relatedness to the subject matter of their program of study. These tables provide the breakdown of answers of those who responded to these questions

How closely was your work related to the subject matter of the program of study?
8/23. How closely was your work related to the subject matter of the program of study? 6 Months 2 Years
n % n %
Closely related 7,509 41% 9,228 45%
Somewhat related 5,046 27% 6,086 30%
Not related at all 5,771 31% 5,129 25%
Do not know 38 0% 55 0%
Total responses 7,509 20,498


Section B - Not Employed

Were you looking for work?
9/25. Were you looking for work? 6 Months 2 Years
n % n %
Yes 3,043 44% 1,496 31%
No 3,873 56% 3,297 69%
Total responses 6,916 4,793

If a respondent indicated they were looking for work and they were not in school, they are included in the labour force. Otherwise, if a graduate was not looking for work, they were not included in the graduate employment rate.

Main reason you were not looking for work:
10/26. Main reason you were not looking for work: 6 Months 2 Years
n % n %
Going to school 3,390 88% 2,895 89%
Personal or family responsibilities 135 4% 162 5%
Discouraged with looking for employment 49 1% 24 1%
Other 260 7% 187 6%
Total responses 3,834 3,268

Respondents who identified in 9/25 that they were not looking for work were asked to provide a reason why. This table provides the breakdown of answers of those who responded to this question.


Section C - Additional Schooling

Were you attending school?
11/27 Were you attending school? 6 Months 2 Years
n % n %
Yes - Going to school full-time 7,065 28% 5,576 22%
Yes - Going to school part-time 1,311 5% 1,413 6%
Not in school 16,900 67% 18,269 72%
Total responses 25,276 25,258

Program enrolled:
12/28. Program enrolled: 6 Months 2 Years
n % n %
Postsecondary certificate or diploma 890 11% 713 10%
Bachelor’s degree 950 11% 547 8%
Professional degree 1,709 20% 1,779 26%
Post-graduate certificate or diploma 999 12% 631 9%
Graduate degree 3,360 40% 2,959 43%
Other 434 5% 332 5%
Total responses 8,342 6,961

Respondents who identified in 11/27 that they were attending school either part time or full time were asked to identify what type of program they were enrolled in. This table provides the breakdown of answers of those who responded to this question.

At what kind of postsecondary institution were you enrolled?
13/29. At what kind of postsecondary institution were you enrolled? 6 Months 2 Years
n % n %
College in Ontario 1,493 18% 1,088 16%
University in Ontario 5,525 66% 4,286 62%
Other postsecondary institution in Ontario 258 3% 309 4%
Postsecondary institution outside of Ontario 1,059 13% 1,268 18%
Total responses 8,335 6,951

Respondents who identified in 11/27 that they were attending school either part time or full time were asked to identify what kind of postsecondary institution they were enrolled in. This table provides the breakdown of answers for those who responded to this question.

In addition to the activities outlined above, were you in an unpaid internship or similar type of unpaid position (Six months/2 years) after graduation?
14/30. In addition to the activities outlined above, were you in an unpaid internship or similar type of unpaid position (Six months/2 years) after graduation? 6 Months 2 Years
n % n %
Yes 1,197 5% 652 3%
No 24,059 95% 24,592 97%
Total responses 25,256 25,244

It was important for Ontario and its universities to understand the incidence of unpaid internships and other types of unpaid positions.

In the period between graduation in 2016 and October 2018, did you complete another postsecondary education credential?
36. In the period between graduation in 2016 and October 2018, did you complete another postsecondary education credential? n %
Yes 6,945 27%
No 18,358 73%
Total responses 25,303

What credential did you complete during that period?
37 What credential did you complete during that period? n %
Postsecondary certificate or diploma 1,054 15%
Bachelor’s degree 452 7%
Professional degree 953 14%
Post-graduate certificate or diploma 1,392 20%
Graduate degree 2,533 37%
Other 521 8%
Total responses 6,905

Respondents who identified they had completed another credential were asked what type of credential they completed. This table provides the breakdown of answers for those who responded to this question.

The Ontario government is interested in the outcomes of underrepresented groups in the labour market. The questions below, were added to understand the outcomes of first-generation students, students with disabilities, and Aboriginal Students.

Have any of your parents/guardians ever completed a credential at a university or college?
38 Have any of your parents/guardians ever completed a credential at a university or college? n %
Yes 2,385 9%
No 21,556 86%
Unsure 1,210 5%
Total responses 25,151

Do you consider yourself to have a physical, mental health or learning disability?
34 Do you consider yourself to have a physical, mental health or learning disability? n %
Yes 2,385 9%
No 21,556 86%
Prefer not to respond 1,210 5%
Total responses 25,151

Do you want to self-identify as an Aboriginal Person? (An Aboriginal person is considered a person related to, or descended from, the Original peoples of Canada).
35a Do you want to self-identify as an Aboriginal Person? (An Aboriginal person is considered a person related to, or descended from, the Original peoples of Canada). n %
Yes 477 2%
No 24,602 98%
Total responses 25,079

Select the description(s) that you self-identify with:
35b Select the description(s) that you self-identify with: n %
First Nations (Status/Non-Status Indian) 234 50%
Métis 169 36%
Inuk (Inuit) 11 2%
I use an alternative term to describe my Aboriginal ancestry and/or identity (e.g. Anishinaabe, Treaty #3). 82 18%
Total responses 496


Back to University Employment Outcomes, Graduation and Student Loan Default Rates