Data shows the value of a university education in the workplace

A recent report was released from The Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations highlighting the importance of a university education. In data released from Statistics Canada, it was noted that “over a 20 year period, male university grads make on average $732,000 more than individuals with only a high school credential, and $485,000 more than community college graduates, [while] women earned $448,00 and $269,000 respectively”.

However, along with the benefit of a university education comes the persistent pay gap between male and female graduates as well. In an article posted within the Huffington Post, panelists from the Aspen Institute discussed the “lack of female-friendly policies plaguing science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.” Despite this absence of policies, women are being termed as the “untapped resource in STEM fields, outperforming men in acquiring advanced skills.” What is suggested from vice president of DuPont Engineering Karen A. Fletcher is that through the use of exposure to the field, mentorships, and cultural competence, we can tap into that resource, and not only recruit but maintain more women in the field.

These numbers should spark discussion, as they may suggest that even though universities do not teach specific skills for specific jobs, individuals with university education do appear of have acquired skills that may help them to achieve employment with more long-term financial reward.  It might be noteworthy to explore what these less tangible skills are that appear to be so valuable and transferrable.