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Is field of study a factor in the earnings of young bachelor’s degree holders?

Young graduates from many different fields of study help ensure a prosperous future for Canada. They are those who will build and maintain a strong social infrastructure in areas such as education, communications, justice and health, alongside graduates in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), who will advance the frontiers of science and technology and increase the competitiveness of the Canadian economy globally. Understanding how these graduates fare in the labour market is not only important for policy makers, but also for young people themselves in making their education decisions. The 2016 Census in Brief article entitled “Are young bachelor’s degree holders finding jobs that match their studies?” (http://www12.statcan.gc.ca/censusrecensement/2016/as-sa/98-200-x/2016025/98-200-x2016025-eng.cfm) looks at whether young graduates from different fields of study are finding jobs that require their level of education, and whether their job matches their field of study. The analysis in the current article complements that publication by looking at the earnings of young bachelor’s degree holders by their field of study. This article will focus on the earnings of young people aged 25 to 34 who completed their education in Canada and are bachelor’s degree holders from STEM and BHASE (business, humanities, health, arts, social science and education) fields of study. To make earnings more comparable, it includes only graduates who were paid employees working full time and full year in 2015.