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A rising bar: Exploring education levels in Alberta

A rising bar: Exploring education levels in Alberta

Posted on: 9/21/2018 | Author: ATB Financial's Economics + Research Team


The number of Albertans with post-secondary credentials is on the rise, making the job market that much more challenging for those unable to include a diploma or a degree on their resume. For, while you don’t need a PhD to get a good job, it’s still true that post-secondary grads are more likely to be working and earning more than their less-educated counterparts.

As of the 1981 Census, 36 per cent of Canadians age 15 and over had a post-secondary credential. Ten years later, the number had risen to 43 per cent. By 2016, it was 55 per cent. Looking solely at those in their prime working years (age 25 to 64), the proportion of post-secondary educated Canadians is just shy of 65 per cent.

In Alberta, about 31 per cent of females age 25 to 64 have a university degree compared to about 26 per cent of males. The proportion of women with college credentials is also higher, at 26 per cent compared to 18 per cent for men. The educational category in which men outnumber women in Alberta is the trades, with about 17 per cent of males carrying a trade credential compared to just four per cent of females.

The rise of the knowledge economy, the offshoring of many low-skilled jobs and ongoing technological advancements all make education more critical than ever for those hoping to stay in the job market, especially as automation and AI continue to crowd out lower-skilled jobs and work that doesn’t require human creativity, problem-solving and emotional intelligence.

Looking for a new podcast? Dig deeper into this topic by listening to Perch, the podcast, where ATB’s economics and research team connects with the experts, influencers and big thinkers who are shaping Alberta.

Join host and Director of Insight, Rob Roach, as he brings the facts to life, then subscribe to hear future series on the many different topics that impact our province’s economy.

Perch3, graph​​​​

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