In 2015, 290,268 people graduated from 195 Canadian universities up from 100,413 graduates from 65 Canadian universities in 1980.
In the 35 or so years since 1980 the number of universities grew by 200%, the number of graduates by 189% and the Canadian economy by 81% (in real terms). The growth in universities and graduates outstripped the growth in the economy by 133% to say nothing of the loss of jobs created by technological developments and retirement postponement by the “Baby Boom” generation.
Research by the Parliament Budget office in 2015 indicates that 56% of university grads below the age of 24 are underemployed (working in jobs that do not require and university degree) and that the underemployment rate falls to 40% for the 25 to 34-year-old cohort. Both trends have been increasing since the mid-1990’s.
The competition for entry-level jobs is intense. Companies report hundreds of on-line applications for even the lowest level roles. Job seekers submit dozens, if not hundreds, of on-line applications that disappear into a black hole. Todays grads need to out perform their peers to secure a great career opportunity. There will be winners and there will be losers – some will get great jobs and others will be baristas but isn’t that the way life is?
Finding a great job today requires a solid strategy executed at the highest level. Developing strategy is relatively easy – executing it is extremely difficult. Developing that strategy requires self- and market-knowledge, and excellent execution skills including a compelling resume and social media presence, strong interviewing skills and the ability to network effectively and capture the maximum value from “informational meetings”.