Little impact on jobs, wages, StatsCan study discovers

Taking a break between high school and post-secondary studies has little impact on job prospects or wages, according to a new study.


But a university or college education is a good investment.


“Whether you have a gap or not, having completed a program pays off a lot more compared to those who did not go on” after high school, said Kathryn McMullen of Statistics Canada, which published the study.


Analyzing the schooling and employment achievements of 15,000 Canadian youths who were age 18 to 20 when the agency began following them in 2000, the study found that those with a post-secondary degree were more likely to have higher employment rates and salaries than those less educated.


At the top of the scale among the 22- to 24-year-olds were those with a university degree who didn’t take a break after high school: 80 per cent employment and earning a median weekly income of $625. At the bottom, those who dropped out of high school before going back to complete it: 72 per cent employment and $450 per week.

The study also found those university graduates who took a break after high school were making $85 less per week than those who didn’t, although their rate of employment was eight percentage points higher.

college graduates

  • The study found virtually no gap in employment rates or salaries for college graduates, who typically complete shorter programs and thus get into the workforce sooner.