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Is It Worth Doing a Science or Technology Degree in Canada? Empirical Evidence and Policy Implications

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  • Marie Lavoie
  • Ross Finnie

Abstract

This paper looks at the early careers of science and technology graduates in Canada using three waves of the National Graduates Surveys. Employment rates, earnings levels, job satisfaction, the job-education skill match, and the overall evaluation of the education program are studied in order to evaluate the attractiveness of careers in science and technology and the degree to which these graduates' skills and talents are being efficiently utilized. We find that computer science and health graduates have generally done very well; that engineers have performed in a solid, although not spectacular, fashion; and that pure and especially applied science graduates have lagged behind, especially at the undergraduate level. The implications of these findings for the accumulation of the science and technology knowledge bases in Canada in the context of the emerging "knowledge-based economy" are discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • Marie Lavoie & Ross Finnie, 1999. "Is It Worth Doing a Science or Technology Degree in Canada? Empirical Evidence and Policy Implications," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 25(1), pages 101-121, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpp:issued:v:25:y:1999:i:1:p:101-121
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    Cited by:

    1. Gunderson, Morley & Krashinsky, Harry, 2009. "Do Education Decisions Respond to Returns by Field of Study?," CLSSRN working papers clsrn_admin-2009-62, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 28 Nov 2009.
    2. Finnie, Ross, 2002. "Early Labour Market Outcomes of Recent Canadian University Graduates by Discipline: A Longitudinal, Cross-cohort Analysis," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2002164e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
    3. Ross Finnie & Alex Usher, 2007. "Room at the Top: Strategies for Increasing the Number of Graduate Students in Canada," C.D. Howe Institute Commentary, C.D. Howe Institute, issue 245, February.
    4. Paul M. Anglin & Ronald Meng, 2000. "Evidence on Grades and Grade Inflation at Ontario's Universities," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 26(3), pages 361-368, September.
    5. Finnie, Ross & Frenette, Marc, 2003. "Earning differences by major field of study: evidence from three cohorts of recent Canadian graduates," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 179-192, April.
    6. Lavoie, Marie & Roy, Richard & Therrien, Pierre, 2003. "A growing trend toward knowledge work in Canada," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(5), pages 827-844, May.

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