Albertans are the highest earning graduates in the country; PEI in last place

[Published September 10, 2003 v11 i37]

Albertans are the highest earning graduates in the country; PEI in last place

This week Alberta Learning released a report which compared provincial tuition rates and the average salary of post-secondary graduates according to their province of residence.

“The comparison shows post-secondary graduates earn more money over their lifetime, experience fewer and shorter periods of unemployment, and have improved health and overall life prospects compared to those with only a high school diploma. While these benefits hold true for graduates in all provinces, the comparison also shows that graduates in Alberta earn among the highest gross salaries in Canada and, when taxes and cost of living are factored in, enjoy the highest take-home pay in the country.”

Albertans’ tuition rates are in the middle of the pack with an average fee of $4487 per year. The highest rates are in Nova Scotia ($5557) while the lowest, by far, are in Quebec (an incredible $1862 a year!).

Alberta grads with bachelor’s degrees will earn more than $46,000 a year – the second highest gross salary in Canada [after Ontario] and the highest in Canada once taxes and cost of living are taken into consideration. Diploma and certificate holders fare even better, with an adjusted salary of almost $29,000, which is $2000 more than the second-place earners in Ontario.

Alberta masters and doctorate holders earn more than those in any province in both gross and adjusted dollars. Ontario ranks a steady second place for all types of degrees, while British Columbia is more variable than most – standing at third place for certificate holders, sixth place for high school grads, masters and doctorate recipients, and seventh place for those with bachelors degrees. PEI’s grads are the lowest earners.

Albertans have been enrolling in post-secondary education in droves. Alberta enrolment has been among the highest in Canada, with an increase of 4.5 per cent last year over the previous year.

“It is estimated that Alberta’s publicly funded post-secondary institutions served more than 134,000 full-load equivalent students in the 2002-03 academic year, and there are currently more than 40,000 apprentices registered in Alberta – an increase of 50 per cent since 1997. ”