Recent reports from Statistics Canada demonstrate noteworthy relationships between high school academic performance and post-secondary earnings. While many studies have underscored that engineering, business, and mathematics graduates earn significantly more than those from the arts and humanities sectors, these disparities might be more about distinct skill sets.
Consider the earnings scenario five years after graduating for men with a certificate or diploma. Those from business, management, and public administration realms took the lead, earning an average of $64,382 annually. In contrast, their peers from visual arts, performing arts, and communication technologies reported an average of $39,035.
For women, it painted a slightly different picture. Those with qualifications in architecture, engineering, and related technologies enjoyed the peak earnings, averaging $46,645 annually. Conversely, women with educational credentials were on the lower end of the earnings spectrum, taking home an average of $30,821.
Contrary to what one might expect, there is no correlation between top academic performers and earners. Even with the highest grades, graduates from the physical and life sciences often earned average or below-average salaries. In contrast, graduates from business and management, despite their median high school performance, were among the top earners. While academic excellence is something every student should strive for, it only sometimes directly translates to higher earnings. It’s an interplay of field of study, inherent skills, and market dynamics.
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