Labour Studies Index

Updated: 2022-05-16

A Comparison of the Labour Market Outcomes of Postsecondary Graduates of Various Levels and Fields over a Four-Cohort Period

Document type Article
Author Walters, David
Journal Canadian Journal of Sociology
Volume 29
Date 2004-03-31
ISSN 1710-1123
Pages 1-27


The evolving "knowledge-based" economy is widely believed to affect the labour market outcomes of highly educated workers. However, there are conflicting arguments regarding the needs of the new economy, and there is little evidence available in the research literature to determine whether the labour market outcomes of various postsecondary graduates have changed among graduates of recent cohorts. Drawing on the 1982, 1986, 1990, and 1995 National Graduates Surveys, this paper builds on previous research by comparing the earnings and employment outcomes of graduates of various levels of postsecondary schooling (i.e. trades, college, and university) and fields of study over a 13-year period. The analyses suggest that the labour market experiences of postsecondary graduates of the various programs have remained relatively stable over the period investigated.