Start Learning and Start Earning!
There have been many studies by Statistics Canada that have looked into the Labour Market and Educational Background of Canadians who have attained a post-secondary qualification versus those who haven’t, and the difference between the wages of each group. The reports have come to show that those who have no post-secondary qualification (i.e. certificate, diploma, or degree) are generally paid significantly less than those who have received some kind of formal post-secondary education.
“Completing post secondary education (PSE) translated into average earnings that were between $10,700 (Prince Edward Island) and $16,500 (Ontario) higher than the average earnings of those with a high school diploma alone” – Statistics Canada
Post-secondary education refers to any kind of formal education and/or training that one has received beyond secondary school, such as at a college or university. It has proved extremely important for students to continue in their studies beyond a high school education as it directly affects their earning potential. Those who have received either a college diploma or a university degree consistently earned significantly more than those who obtained a high school education alone.
In a study that Stats Can representatives completed entitled, “Education-to-Labour Market Pathways of Canadian Youth: Findings from the Youth in Transition Survey”, there is a particular Table (A.4.1) that may pique the job-seekers interest, labelled “Respondent’s average hourly earnings across all jobs in December 2003, by education-to-labour market pathway”. It is within this table that we are able to see that the average hourly wage for those in the 25th percentile without a post-secondary certificate, diploma, or degree was $9.14, whereas the hourly wage for those who completed their post-secondary education was a full $1.25 – $1.86 more ($10.39-$11.00). For those in the 50th percentile without a certificate, diploma or degree, the average hourly wage was $11.80, while those with a post-secondary qualification made anywhere from $2.20 to $4.03 more ($14.00-$15.83). For those in the 75th percentile who did not complete their post-secondary education, the average hourly wage was $15.25, while those with a post-secondary qualification earned between $2.86 and $5.75 more ($18.11-21.55) per hour.
“Having a post-secondary diploma (PSE), compared to obtaining a high school diploma, was associated with lower unemployment in all provinces” – Statistics Canada
Although some may think those numbers are not vastly significant, if we assume that someone earns the same amount of money (without a raise or bonus) over the course of a 30-year work period, those working for 40 hours a week in the 25th percentile will earn between $78,000 and $116,064 more over the 30 year period if they have completed a post-secondary qualification. For those in the 50th percentile, they will earn between $137,280 and $251,472 more if they have a post-secondary certificate, diploma, or degree. And for those in the 75th percentile, a person stands to earn between $178,464 and $358,800 more by completing a certificate, diploma or degree.
“Canadian university graduates, like university graduates in the United Kingdom, earned about 1.7 times more than high school graduates” – Statistics Canada
It is clear that one should begin taking post-secondary education seriously if they desire to earn more money, as there is a direct correlation between education and earning potential. It is wise to invest in one’s education because no matter what percentile one may belong to, one will always earn more if a post-secondary qualification has been attained. Higher levels of education will “contribute to financial security through higher earnings, higher earnings growth, lower job loss risk, greater accumulation of net worth, and higher income in retirement” (Statistics Canada) . Therefore, an investment in education is an investment for, not just the future, but the present as well.
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