Employment Profile

Survey results from Ontario's Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology

Frequently asked questions


What is here?

Every year, data are collected about the college experience at Ontario's Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology:

  • Students are surveyed in-class about their satisfaction with the overall quality of their learning experience.
  • Graduation rates are collected for each college program.
  • Six months after graduation, former students are surveyed about what they are doing. Graduates and their employers are also surveyed about what they think of the college program.

Up to 5 years of data are reported here.

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How to use this site?

Use the search and compare functions to check out what students have studied at Ontario's Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology and what they did after graduation.

This FAQ section answers common questions, and the glossary on the sidebar explains terms and details about the student, graduate and employer surveys, as well as the graduation rate.

The provincial summary on the sidebar provides downloadable tables of summary results for various data elements contained in this website.

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How can I use the information?

Things to think about:

  • For an individual program, have the results improved over time or become worse? If you are viewing multiple programs, then you can see this better by deselecting some of the programs under the 'Show/hide' option on the 'Compare programs' page.
  • How do the results of one program compare with those of another program? How well do they compare with the college system results overall, or another selected benchmark – see: How do I use the benchmark selector? In 'Graph view,' you can mouse over individual data points to display data. In 'Table view,' you can click column headings to sort.
  • Was there a large population of respondents available to answer the survey questions?
  • Was there a strong response rate?
  • Is the displayed information important to you?

Things to remember:

  • The events reported here have already occurred and do not predict what will happen in future.
  • An individual's employment situation may change over the course of his or her career. Employment outcomes reported here are from graduates at six months after graduation.
  • Many factors, including economic conditions, have contributed to the results.
  • The results should be interpreted with caution, especially where there were few respondents and/or low response rates.
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How do I use the benchmark selector?

On the 'Compare programs' page, a benchmark is included with your selection of programs. The default benchmark is 'All Colleges, All Programs' and is located at the top of the legend. By clicking this, you can select alternative benchmarks. Your choice includes the occupational clusters and occupational divisions in which your current selection of programs resides. For more information on how programs, occupational clusters and occupational divisions are connected, see: How are programs organized?

Why are some data missing?

Where data are missing, it could be for one of three reasons:

  • No one answered the question.
  • The data are not displayed to ensure that no individual can be identified.
  • The data are not available for that reporting year.

Also see: Can't find what you're searching for?

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Can't find what you're searching for?

If you can't find what you're searching for:

  1. Try a different but related search term. For example, instead of using the term 'nursing', try 'nurs'.
  2. Maybe there is no college program in that subject, or the program is too new to have graduates, or there aren't any data reported in the past five years. This college information is historical only. For current college program offerings, visit the Ontario College Application Service (OCAS) site.
  3. Maybe you are looking for a university program. This is historical college information only. For university programs, visit the Ontario Universities' Application Centre (OUAC) site.
  4. Sometimes the information has not been displayed to ensure that no individual can be identified. To read more about privacy protection, see: How has the privacy of the survey respondents been protected in this display?
  • For the particular information of interest to you, it could be that no program respondents answered the survey question.
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Looking for more help on career planning?

These sites have additional information to help you plan your career:

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How do I find out if a program is a good fit for me?

You need to find out more about the specific program that interests you and compare it to your personal interests, skills, and goals. It can help to talk face to face with people who know you or who know the program or profession that interests you. Possible sources of information include:

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How is the survey information collected?

The most recent five years of results for two annual surveys are summarized here: the Ontario Student Satisfaction Survey and the Ontario Graduate Outcomes Survey. Additionally, the two most recent years of graduation rates are provided. These data collections are conducted through the Key Performance Indicator initiative as a partnership between the colleges and the ministry.

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Student Satisfaction Survey

Who is surveyed?

Eligible college students are those enrolled in full-time postsecondary programs of instruction approved for funding through the general purpose operating grant (including international and Second Career students) or are enrolled in Co-op Diploma Apprenticeship (CODA) programs of instruction approved for funding through CODA contracts, except for students who are:

  • registered in their first semester of their program of instruction; or
  • have been given advanced standing and are in the program of instruction for the first time; or
  • registered as part-time students and are NOT pursuing a certificate or diploma.
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How is the survey conducted?

During classroom time, students fill out an anonymous paper survey. Survey data are compiled by a third party service provider. Completing the survey is voluntary.

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What does the Student Satisfaction rate indicate?

The student satisfaction rate is designed to identify the proportion of students satisfied with their learning experience, the relevance of their learning experience to future employment, and their overall satisfaction with college services, resources and facilities.

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What time of year is the survey conducted?

The main survey window is a two-week period in February of each year.

Two advanced survey windows are also available to colleges. Colleges may choose to survey during a two-week period in June to those approved through the Non-Traditional Pattern of Program Delivery option. As well, colleges may survey in November to field, co-op, and clinical placement students who are unavailable to be surveyed in February, or to those approved through the Non-Traditional Pattern of Program Delivery option.

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Have there been any changes to the survey questions over the time period being reported?

In 2011-2012, 24 questions focusing on student engagement (questions 48-71) were piloted on the survey, along with question 78 which asks the student if they are enrolled on an international study permit.

In 2012-2013, four of the questions on student engagement were removed as part of the pilot review (questions 56, 60, 62 and 64). This left 20 questions on student engagement (questions 48-67).

In 2013-2014, questions leading up to the four capstone questions were revised. For this reason, comparison to previous years' results should be made with caution.

In 2014-2015, Question 73 (Your age is (in years)) was modified to ask students for their specific age as opposed to asking students to assign themselves to a pre-determined age range. This allows for greater flexibility in reporting student satisfaction results by age.

In 2015-2016, Question 82 was added which asks students if they wish to self-identify as an Aboriginal person, and if so, with what description they self-identify     

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Where can I view the survey?

The full  2015-2016 survey is available as a PDF: Ontario Student Satisfaction Survey.  

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Graduate Outcomes Survey

Who is surveyed?

Eligible college graduates are those from postsecondary programs of instruction approved for funding through the general purpose operating grant including international and Second Career graduates. With a graduate's consent, their employer is also surveyed.

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How is the survey conducted?

This is a telephone survey conducted by a third party service provider. An attempt is made to contact every graduate, even if they are residing out of the province. With a graduate's consent, an attempt is made to contact the employer. Completing these surveys is voluntary.

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What time of year is the survey conducted?

The survey cycle begins with graduates of the summer term. There are three survey windows per year, each at approximately six months after the end of a term. Graduates of each term are asked about their activities during the corresponding reference week as follows:

  • For the summer term ending August 31, the reference period is the first week of March.
  • For the fall term ending December 31, the reference period is the first week of July.
  • For the winter term ending April 30, the reference period is the first week of November.
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Have there been any changes to the survey questions over the time period being reported?

In 2009-2010, questions focusing on transitions to further education (questions 3, 4 and 5) were modified.

In 2012-2013, questions focusing on the outcomes of Co-op Diploma Apprenticeship program graduates were added. This included new questions 23-30 as well as additional response options for questions 8, 9, 14 and 15.

In 2013-2014, questions focusing on further education and credit transfer (especially questions 5b to 5kkk) were modified or added. In addition, a question was added to find out whether employed graduates were working for the same employer as during their program’s work placement.

In 2014-2015, the variable collecting the graduates’ Full-Time and Part-Time status was modified to capture more aspects of program status. To preserve the historical coherence of the data, the revised variable was re-grouped into Full-Time or Part-Time status bins. In addition, two new self-identification questions were added to the survey. One question asks graduates if they consider themselves to have a physical, intellectual, mental health or learning disability, and the other asks if they registered with the Office for Students with Disabilities at any point during their studies.

In 2015-16, two new self-identification questions were added to the survey which ask graduates if they wish to self-identify as an Aboriginal person, and if so, with what description they self-identify. In addition, a series of 16 variables was added to capture whether or not a graduate was in a program where Work Integrated Learning was an essential component of that program. The new variable series captures Work Integrated Learning types, and whether or not those experiences were considered mandatory for professional practice and/or eligible for a co-op tax credit.

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Where can I view the survey?

The full  2015-2016 survey is available as a PDF: Ontario Graduate Outcomes Survey.

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How do the survey dates align?

The survey results in this site are displayed by reporting year, defined as April 1 to March 31. For example, the  2015-2016 reporting year is April 1, 2015  to March 31, 2016.
Students and graduates can also be identified by their academic year, which comprises a summer, fall and winter term. For example, the 2015-2016 academic yearcontains the following terms:

  • Summer Term (May 2015  – August 2015 )
  • Fall Term (September 2015  – December 2015 )
  • Winter Term (January 2016  – April 2016 )
For each reporting year, the table below shows the academic year of students and graduates who responded to each survey.

Reporting year

Student Satisfaction Survey

responses of students in academic year

Graduate Outcomes Survey

responses of graduates of academic year

2015-2016

2015-2016

2014-2015

2014-2015

2014-2015

2013-2014

2013-2014

2013-2014

2012-2013

2012-2013

2012-2013

2011-2012

2011-2012

2011-2012

2010-2011


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How are graduation rates collected and calculated?

Graduation rates are calculated and reported annually by colleges using ministry guidelines. College reports are compiled by the ministry to calculate a provincial level graduation rate.

The graduation rate is based on tracking individual students who entered a program in a given semester and assessing how many of those individuals completed the program a number of years later.

The completion time frame is based on approximately 200 per cent of the normal program duration, or seven years for Degrees in Applied Areas of Study. For example, the 2015 to 16 KPI Graduation Rate is based on students who started one-year programs in 2013 to 14, two-year programs in 2011 to 12, three-year programs in 2009 to 10 and four-year programs in 2008 to 09, and who had graduated by 2014 to 15.

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What are the names of Ontario's Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology and where are they?

There are 24 publicly funded Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology in Ontario. They are listed below along with the region to which they belong. Also see: College contact information.
College Region
Algonquin College South East
Boréal College North
Cambrian College North
Canadore College North
Centennial College Central – GTA
Confederation College North
Conestoga College Central – non GTA
Durham College Central – GTA
Fanshawe College South West
Georgian College Central – non GTA
George Brown College Central – GTA
Humber College Central – GTA
La Cité collégiale South East
Lambton College South West
Loyalist College South East
Mohawk College Central – non GTA
Niagara College Central – non GTA
Northern College North
Sault College North
Seneca College Central – GTA
Sheridan College Central – GTA
St. Lawrence College South East
Sir Sandford Fleming College South East
St. Clair College South West

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How is profession/occupation information organized?

We use the National Occupational Classification (NOC) of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC). When working graduates indicate the kind of work they are doing, our survey service provider for the Graduate Outcomes Survey looks it up in the NOC classification. This enables employed graduates to be grouped by similar occupations. The NOC system evolves with time. The data displayed here use the 2011 NOC edition.

The Ontario Job Futures (OJF) and Ontario Skills Passport (OSP) sites continue to use the 2006 NOC edition for classification purposes. As a result, when using links to OJF and OSP found in the top occupational categories data elements:

  • There may be differences in occupational category titles between the various sites.
  • There may be cases where an occupational category in the Employment Profile has multiple links to OJF or OSP.
  • There may be cases where an occupational category in the Employment Profile has no link to either OJF or OSP.

To read more about occupations and their classification, visit:

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How is industry information organized?

We use the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). When working graduates indicate their employer's type of business, industry or service, our survey service provider looks it up in the NAICS classification. This enables employed graduates to be grouped by similar industries of employment. The NAICS system evolves with time. The data displayed here use the 2012 NAICS edition.

To read more about industries, visit: North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) 2012

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How are programs organized?

The ministry organizes programs according to a subject hierarchy – system, occupational division, occupational cluster, program – as follows.

All programs in the system are grouped into one of 4 broad program areas known as the occupational divisions. Each division is made up of a number of occupational clusters and each occupational cluster is made up of a number of related programs.

For example, the Early Childhood Education program can be found in the Education occupational cluster, which falls in the Applied Arts occupational division.

The 'Browse by subject' search tab allows you to view the complete program hierarchy. By selecting your occupational division of interest, all of the related occupational clusters are revealed. Selecting one of these occupational clusters will then reveal a list of the associated provincial programs.

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What are the different credentials and how long does it take to get them?

The following table lists credential types and their typical durations. Please note that actual program lengths may be different than the typical duration. For instance, co-op requirements or clinical placements may extend the duration while a compressed program will be shorter.

Credential type

Typical program duration

 

In years

In semesters

Ontario College Certificate

1 year

2 semesters

Ontario College Diploma

2 years

4 semesters

Ontario College Advanced Diploma

3 years

6 semesters

Degree in Applied Area of Study

4 years

8 semesters

Ontario College Graduate Certificate

1 year

2 semesters


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How has the privacy of the survey respondents been protected in this display?

These rules were applied to the surveys to ensure that no individual can be identified:

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Student Satisfaction Survey

When fewer than five surveys were completed for an individual college program, these responses are not included in the student satisfaction rates at the occupational division, occupational cluster or program level.

These responses are, however, included in the student satisfaction rates at the system, region and college level. To read more about the system hierarchy, see: How are programs organized?

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Graduation Rate

When there are fewer than six graduates AND those graduates all came from a single college, the graduation rate data is suppressed.

When there are six or more graduates OR there were graduates from more than one college, the graduation rate is reported as a range.

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Graduate Outcomes Survey

When there are fewer than six graduates AND those graduates all came from a single college, ONLY the number of graduates is reported.

When there are six or more graduates OR there were graduates from more than one college, the number of graduates is reported and the remaining information is shown in ranges.

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What are the college Key Performance Indicators?

Developed in 1998, the college Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) track and report colleges' performance in providing high quality programs that meet the needs of students, graduates and employers.

Five college KPIs are collected and posted annually by the ministry and Colleges Ontario at the provincial and college level:

  • Graduate employment
  • Graduate satisfaction
  • Employer satisfaction
  • Student satisfaction
  • Graduation rate

In addition, program level results for graduate employment and graduation rates are posted annually on each college's website. For more information on the KPIs, go to:

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How do the Employment Profile calculations differ from those for the official Key Performance Indicators?

Three of the five Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are calculated from information collected through the Graduate Outcomes Survey. The calculation method used for these KPIs differs from the method used in this website. The KPIs and their counterparts in this website are:
KPI Employment Profile Data Element

Graduate employment

Employment rate

Graduate satisfaction

Graduate satisfaction rate – combined satisfaction responses

Employer satisfaction

Employer satisfaction rate – combined satisfaction responses


The KPI calculation includes only those respondents whose date of birth was validated, who completed the telephone survey, and for whom the college received ministry operating grant or Second Career funds.

The Employment Profile data do not apply the validation and funding constraints and so report on a larger pool of respondents.

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How are the calculations used here different from those in earlier editions of the Employment Profile?

The conversion of the Employment Profile to an interactive website was taken as an opportunity to address some inconsistencies within the document, bring the calculations closer to those used for the Key Performance Indicators, and render the information more useful.

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Organization of the program data

Employment Profile results have consistently been provided at the program level. Recent years have seen an increase in the range of program delivery methods. In some instances, this has resulted in very similar programs being split up and presented as different programs. On this site, where we know that this has occurred, we have presented such programs according to the natural group of very similar vocational learning outcomes.

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Survey response rate

An online version of the Graduate Outcomes Survey was made available on a pilot basis to those graduates who were not reached through the standard telephone survey. In the early versions of the pilot, these respondents were excluded from the Employment Profile. In later editions, online respondents were included. On this site, no distinction is made between telephone and online respondents in any year.

Employment rate
Unemployment rate

Employment rate – full-time
Employment rate by gender – full-time

Employment rate – full-time related or partially related
Employment rate by gender
full-time related or partially related

Previous editions of the Employment Profile counted employed respondents as unemployed if they indicated that their current job had started more than one month after the survey window. This specific job start date filter is not used in calculating the official KPI Employment Rate. In order to more closely align the Employment Profile results with the KPI results, the filter has been dropped from the calculation used here.

The current calculation will tend to result in a marginally lower unemployment rate and marginally higher employment rate than reported in past editions of the Employment Profile.

Employment rate – part-time
Employment rate by gender – part-time

As per Employment rate / Unemployment rate, above.

Also, the Employment rate – part-time previously included responses where the full-time versus part-time status was unclear. These responses have been excluded from the current calculation of the Employment rate – part-time. The change will tend to slightly lower the results of these indicators.

Time needed to get a job – full-time
Time needed to get a job – full-time related or partially related
Time needed to get a full-time job by gender

As per Employment rate / Unemployment rate, above.

Also, an additional filter has been added to the calculation previously used in the Employment Profile to explicitly exclude responses where the graduate was not in the labour force but had provided job start date information. The impact of this change is expected to be negligible.

Employer satisfaction – combined satisfaction responses

The current calculation explicitly excludes respondents who indicated that they were not in the labour force but who had provided employer information and the employer had been interviewed. This is a stricter filter than previously used in the Employment Profile. The impact of this change is expected to be negligible and with no consistent direction.

Top industries for employment

Previous editions of the Employment Profile provided industry of employment for one specific reporting year. This site reports the results for the past five reporting years combined.

Top occupational categories

Previous editions of the Employment Profile provided graduate occupations for one specific reporting year. This site reports the results for the past five reporting years combined.

Average annual earnings – full-time employment
Average annual earnings – full-time related or partially related employment
Average annual earnings by gender – full-time employment

As per Employment rate / Unemployment rate, above.

Also, previous editions of the Employment Profile excluded responses for which the gender was unknown. No such exclusion is applied here, other than in the specific outcomes by gender area. The impact of this change is expected to be negligible and with no consistent direction.

Previous versions of the Employment Profile may be obtained by request to postsecondaryaccountability@ontario.ca.

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Are similar data collected for Ontario universities?

Both college and university sectors collect and publish information through the Key Performance Indicator (KPI) initiative. However, the timing and methodologies differ, such that direct comparisons between sectors should be interpreted with caution.

For college sector survey methodology, please see: How is the information collected?

Please refer to the table below for a comparison of college and university KPIs. Please note that universities define the graduate employment rate as the percentage of graduates in the labour force who are employed during the reference week, where labour force is defined as those employed, those not employed but looking for a job or those not employed but had accepted a job to start shortly.
KPI Colleges Universities
Student Satisfaction Rate X  
Graduation Rate X X
Graduate Employment Rate    
Six months after graduation X X
Two years after graduation   X
Graduate Satisfaction Rate X  
Employer Satisfaction Rate X  

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