Congrats to all of those who will be graduating this month, completing your degree is no small accomplishment. Take a moment, sit back and enjoy for a while.
You deserve it.
However, don’t revel in your accomplishment for too long, you need to capitalize on the moment. Here are some stats on how your peers are doing after graduation, courtesy of the Council of Ontario Universites:
- 93.6% of 2012 graduates from bachelor degree programs surveyed by an independent research firm on behalf of the Ontario government had jobs two years after graduation.
- 87.6% of 2012 undergrads had jobs six months after graduation.
- 89.1% of graduates working full-time within two years of graduation considered their work closely or somewhat related to the skills developed at university.
- $49,000 is the average salary for university graduates in full-time employment two years after graduation.
- $75,396 is the average earned in 2011 by bachelor degree graduates of Ontario universities – 58% more than graduates from other Ontario postsecondary institutions, and twice as much as high school grads.
Have I ever told you, I love stats? Let’s keep going with University Canada:
- Between March 2008 and March 2016, 1,416,600 new jobs were created for university graduates — almost triple as many new jobs for college and trades graduates combined.
- Social science and humanities grads share in the income premium for university graduates. For example, full-time workers with degrees in history earn, on average, above $65,000 annually.
- While 97% of universities offer international experiences, just 3.1% of full time undergraduate students had taken advantage of these opportunities in 2012-13.
So what does this all mean, you ask?
You are in a pretty good position to get out there and start your professional career, but don’t get complacent. To proceed and accelerate your potential, I hate to say it, but you will likely need to continue learning in some form or another. I am currently taking my 3rd course after graduating in 2012, which truth be told is on the lower end for students. All the courses that I have completed are related to what I am doing professionally. As a professional, you will likely find that you are more goal-oriented and you don’t have time to be taking interest-based courses. Everything you put into a course needs to provide tangible results and develop skills to help you advance your career trajectory.
I’m sure the last thing that you want to hear is that you will need to take more courses and accrue more debt. But wait, for the most part once you enter the professional workforce, companies have policies in place to help with professional development. In London, Ontario where I live, 73% of companies claim to provide professional development or training opportunities for their employees. When you are taking courses to help with your job performance, companies are willing to pay. It makes sense to pay to improve your staff if you think about it. If a company has to update software in the office, or purchase new equipment to keep up with operations they wouldn’t hesitate. So, if you aren’t willing to invest in your employees, then what are you trying to tell them?
To date, I have completed a stats course, because, well who isn’t into analytics these days. I have also completed a pre-Masters course on post-secondary education and one on digital strategy and communications (hence Abstract-Ed, it is one of my assignments). All of these courses have helped me professionally over the past 5 years. Between MOOC’s like Coursera, on-site professional development and the vast amount of Cont Ed offerings in Canada, you most certainly can find something to supplement and further develop your skill-set.
So what are you waiting for? Go ahead, punch this in the Google to find what is being offered near you https://www.google.ca/#q=Continuing+Education+online