Work is the refuge of people who have nothing better to do. : Oscar Wilde

Friday, July 24, 2009

A University Degree Practically Guarantees a Job: Really?

A recent item (dated 15 July) in the 'Latest News' column of the Council of Ontario Universities announces a survey of 2006 graduates and makes the claim, "Survey shows graduates consistently experience high employment and earning rates."

I realise that the document they present contains only highlights. But, unfortunately, in itself it does not provide significant evidence for this claim.

Let me argue this way. The response rate for the COU survey was only about 22%, or about 1 out of 5. One out of five graduates that were polled chose to respond. Now, ask yourself, would a graduate be more likely to respond to the survey if she had been successful in finding suitable, well-paid employment, or less likely to respond? Put personally, if you were asked to participate in the survey would you be more inclined to report what happened to you if you had 'failed' or more inclined to report it if you had 'succeeded'?

A degree represents a big outlay of time and money. For what my opinion is worth, go carefully.