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The value of a degree: Education, employment and earnings in Canada

Access to post-secondary education matters. This chapter presents data that underpin the importance of widening access to post-secondary education in Canada. It demonstrates that the relationship between em- ployment, earnings and higher education remains clear: post-secondary graduates are more likely to be employed, and they earn more than those who did not continue their studies past high school. For this reason, they are the strongest contributors to the tax revenues that sustain the key programs and services provided by governments. This information needs to be highlighted in order to challenge assertions that there is already too much pressure on young Canadians to pursue post-secondary education and that access should be restricted so as not to dilute the market value of a degree. These assertions notwithstanding, the data show that while the number of post-secondary graduates has grown in recent years, the benefits of a degree in terms of more stable employment and higher earnings have not diminished.