Getting a bachelor’s degree from a college instead of a university could mean more money, StatCan says

Recent study states college grads make 12 per cent more each year over university grads

Photo submitted by Kaely Blanche
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By Lina Chung

Kaely Blanche would not be an event coordinator with Vancouver Film School without the co-op work experience she gained while doing her business degree at Langara College.

“My resume would have been passed over,” Blanche said, since she only had restaurant server work experience previous to getting co-op work experience in event coordination for Langara.

Finishing your degree at college, instead of transferring to a university, could mean more money

A recent Statistics Canada study found that two years after graduation, people with college bachelor degrees made on average 12 per cent more than people with university bachelor degrees. The study found that the major reason was because college degree participants chose higher paying fields such as business.

Marc Frenette, the study’s author, said that although the wage gap is a significant finding, college degree graduates are only a small percentage, of roughly four per cent, of total university degree graduates.

“If bachelor degree programs were offered in all community colleges across Canada, would the findings still hold?” said Frenette.  “It’s not clear. This could be a very select group of colleges and types of students taking those programs.”

Small colleges have a lot to offer that universities can’t

Don Hill, chair of Langara’s business management program, is not surprised by the wage differential because colleges, in general, are more applied than universities.

“We tend to give [students] more of an education that is business ready,” Hill said.

Rochelle Grayson, chair of Langara’s marketing management program, said she is consistently reading job descriptions that are posted online.

“That’s what drives my curriculum,” Grayson said.

Although Blanche attended Langara with the intention to transfer to UBC’s business program, she changed her mind and decided to stay.  “I just had such a great connection with the teachers and I was just enjoying the small classes and the entire school,” Blanche said.

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