New data show that graduates from Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields not only earn more than Business, Humanities, Health, Arts, Social science and Education (BHASE) graduates, but are also more likely to find employment closely related to their fields upon graduation in Canada.
The data from Statistics Canada’s 2016 census offer new insights on the earnings and employment of immigrant and Canadian-born graduates between the ages of 25 and 34 with a bachelor’s degree in a STEM field of study.
For international students in Canada, the value of a STEM-related degree and work experience is also helping their chances of gaining Canadian permanent residence. as more and more provinces use their Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) to retain international students with specialized trade and professional skills in STEM fields.
Higher earnings for STEM fields
Statistics show male graduates between the ages of 25 and 34 with a bachelor’s level degree in a STEM field have higher earnings on average than those who have completed a degree in a BHASE field. In 2015, the average earnings of a STEM graduate were $75,443 annually, while a BHASE graduate was $58,488.
The percentage difference for female graduates was smaller, with female STEM graduates only earning 11.5 per cent more than BHASE female graduates.
Within the various STEM sectors, engineering, computer and information sciences graduates were more likely than other STEM graduates to land jobs in their field. The data showed70 per cent of graduates in those two concentrations found employment in related industries.
Among STEM graduates, those with an bachelor’s degree in engineering earned the most, with average annual earnings of $76,500 for both male and female graduates.
Further data reveals STEM graduates’ earnings also varied based on geographical location. In particular, STEM graduates in resource-rich provinces such as Alberta, Newfoundland and Labrador and Saskatchewan demonstrated a larger earning gap with BHASE graduates.
For example, in the Canada’s easternmost province of Newfoundland and Labrador, male STEM graduates earned 47 per cent more than males with a BHASE degree. Provinces with the highest earnings for both male and female STEM graduates were Alberta, Newfoundland and Labrador and Saskatchewan.
The three provinces that show the highest percentage of STEM graduates securing jobs in engineering are Quebec, Newfoundland and Labrador and Alberta.
A contributing factor for STEM graduates securing employment in these provinces may be the high demand for graduates in natural resource sectors in Alberta and Newfoundland and tech sectors in Quebec.
Immigration programs aligned with labour market needs
In 2011, 34 per cent of immigrant university graduates with a STEM degree completed their education in Canada. This implies that international students in STEM fields have immigrated to Canada after graduation. STEM occupations tend to be highly valued by Canada’s federal and provincial immigration programs.
Interestingly, software developers are among the top invited candidates in the federal Express Entry immigration selection system.
Also, provincial immigration programs are designed with a focus on occupations that meet the local labour market needs and enhance Canada’s competitiveness in the global economy. STEM occupations are among the highly prioritized fields of study in the majority of PNPs.
For example, Manitoba recently introduced a new STEM-focused in-demand occupations list, which is designed to prioritize international graduates from STEM fields through a new International Education Stream and a renewed Skilled Worker in Manitoba Stream.
Manitoba is not the only province seeking STEM graduates. In fact, nearly every Canadian province has a PNP focused on engineering, computer science and/or technology. British Columbia is currently running a tech pilot wherein skilled workers and international students with experience in the technology sector and a job offer in an eligible occupation are invited on a weekly basis.
Learn more about Canada’s Provincial Nominee Program.
To find out if you are eligible to immigrate to through a Canadian immigration program, please fill out a free online assessment.
International students and post-graduate workers in Canada can join the CanadaVisa Study Hub to access a range of tools and resources to assist in studying, working, and settling in Canada permanently. Study Hub members also have exclusive access to the CanadaVisa Study Hub Scholarship Contest for a chance to win $500.
© 2017 CanadaStudyNews All Rights Reserved