Every year, thousands of Canadian high school students on the verge of graduating are asked to make one of the most important decisions of their lives: what they want to do for work.
But when it comes time for them and their parents to chose a field of study and an institution, both often overlook a very important detail: will their choice in career be in-demand come the end of school?
According to the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario’s Canadian Postsecondary Performance: Impact 2015 report, between two per cent and 15 per cent of Canadian university graduates aged 25 to 34 are unemployed. What’s more, between eight per cent and 27 per cent aren’t working in a job related to their studies three years after graduation.
The numbers are similar for college grads; between two per cent and 14 per cent were unemployed and between 12 per cent and 21 per cent were not working in a job related to their schooling.
The statistics varied depending on which province students studied in.
This supply and demand gap is widening, especially in Ontario. According to the report, 21 per cent of college grads and 27 per cent of university grads in the province are still without jobs in their desired field.
Why? It might have to do with the fact that about one-third of registered applicants at Ontario universities in 2014 were enrolled into arts programs — an area of the job market that isn’t sparking much demand, as reported by the Council of Ontario Universities.
A 2013 CIBC World Markets report reiterates the issue; it says today’s students aren’t gravitating toward well-paying careers in a way that reflects the changing labour market.
Given all of that, Global News spoke with Sheryl Boswell, director of marketing at Monster.ca, to break down the top eight jobs of the future that today’s students should consider (and how they can prepare for them).
Jobs of the past
When combining students in both college and university, the majority (18 per cent) in 2013 were choosing courses in business, management and public administration followed by humanity studies (15 per cent) and health and related fields (12 per cent), according to Statistics Canada.
Another Statistics Canada report looked at the average earnings of graduates by their field of study in 2010.
The report found the highest earnings were among graduates in management sciences and quantitative methods, who made an average annual income between $94,525 and $130,547. The second highest earnings were among chemical engineers with an income average of between $94,385 and $120,148.
Theological and ministerial studies ($51,791) and music ($55,942) were the least paying jobs for men, while French literature ($50,328) and human development, family studies and related services ($50,607) paid the least for women.
But the changing landscape means the job demands are shifting.
The top eight jobs of the future in Canada
Median salary expectations: Starting at between $50,000 to $55,000/year.
Schooling needed: Bachelor’s degree in education.
The outlook: “You have to have a real passion for wanting to help people better themselves,” Boswell explains. “You have to enjoy working with children, seeing them learn and help them to grow.” Although the competition for teachers in some provinces is tight now, Boswell says it’s a job that will always be in demand. Both elementary school and high school level teachers will be needed, however high school teachers will see the most demand. According to the Government of Canada’s Job Bank, provinces and territories with the best outlook for elementary teachers are in Alberta, The Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Québec and the Yukon. Poor growth is expected in Ontario, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. The rest of Canada, however, is expected to experience fair demand. For high school teachers, Manitoba, the Northwest Territories, Nunavut and the Yukon will see the most growth while Ontario, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia will see the least.
2. Informatics security analyst
Median salary expectations: Starting at around $64,000/year.
Schooling needed: Bachelor’s degree in computer science or in a related field. Some jobs in this field may require a Master’s degree.
The outlook: “More and more data requires much more information security,” Boswell says. “(This job) is working with companies to ensure that their networks and systems are secure.” For this type of career, Boswell says, people must love the computer sciences. New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Québec and Nunavut will have the highest demand for the job. The rest of Canada, with the exception of the Northwest Territories, will see moderate growth in this type of employment.
3. Market research analyst
Median salary expectations: Starting at around $50,000/year.
Schooling needed: Bachelor’s degree in market research, marketing or statistics.
The outlook: “It’s one of the best future jobs because markets are in a constant flux,” says Boswell. “New competitors are entering the market all the time so companies need to stay on top of who their competitors are and also who is purchasing their products.” The best candidates for this career are people with analytical minds and critical thinking skills. Growth is expected to be limited in Saskatchewan and and P.E.I. The rest of Canada, however, will see a healthy demand. The cities where the industry will be booming are Ottawa and Hamilton-Niagara.
4. Construction manager
Median salary expectations: Starting at around $85,000/year.
Schooling needed: College or university education in civil engineering, construction management or a related field or an apprenticeship.
The outlook: “I mention this job but with a bit of caution,” Boswell says. “It’s high in demand now because there is such a boom in construction… But if this boom does taper off then it may not be as viable as some other careers.” And while construction jobs didn’t require much education in the past, Boswell says that will no longer be the case as construction companies become sophisticated and take on more complex projects. This job would appeal to those who are leaders and like to work outside. Manitoba, New Brunswick, the Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Ontario are all expected to see high growth. Alberta is the only province that is predicting poor demand.
Median salary expectations: Starting at around $72,000/year.
Schooling needed: Bachelor’s degree in pre-law, a first-level law degree and passing the bar exam.
The outlook: According to Boswell, law school enrollments have been on a steady decline. The Law School Admission Council reports a 38 per cent decrease in applicants since 2010. “There is always going to be a need for lawyers,” says Boswell. “But there’s been this sharp decline in enrollment so that demand is going to be there across all fields like corporate law, criminal defence and family law.” Boswell says that those going into law should be committed and passionate about the profession as it involves a lot of schooling. They should also be driven and articulate. British Columbia, Manitoba, Nunavut and Québec will see high demand, while the rest of Canada is expected to see a healthy moderate demand.
6. Registered nurse (RN)
Median salary expectations: Starting at around $60,000/year.
Schooling needed: Bachelor’s degree in nursing.
The outlook: Much like law school, nursing schools across Canada are seeing less enrollment. According to the College of Nurses of Ontario, the number of applicants for RN registration across Canada dropped 23 per cent between 2010 and 2015. Because of this, Boswell says the high demand for nurses is already there and will continue for many years. People who are compassionate, caring, able to handle stress and have stamina will make for great nurses. Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, the Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Nunavut, Ontario and Yukon will all see very strong growth. The remaining provinces are still expected to see a healthy and steady demand.
7. Software developer
Median salary expectations: Starting at around $61,000/year.
Schooling needed: Bachelor’s degree in computer science or related field.
The outlook: “(Information technology) jobs are the highest in demand,” Boswell says. “The emergence of gaming software developers wasn’t something that existed years ago but now it’s something that’s really high in demand, but there’s also other types of software that will be a part of our future.” Those ideal for the job are creative and enjoy design. The job includes the research, design, development, implementation and testing phases of software. Strong demand will be in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, P.E.I. and parts of Québec. Demand is expected to be low in Alberta and Newfoundland and Labrador.
8. Marketing manager
Median salary expectations: Starting at around $85,000/year.
Schooling needed: Bachelor’s degree in marketing, public relations, communications or related fields.
The outlook: “A marketing manager focuses on strategies to push their products and services,” says Boswell. “Much like a marketing analyst, it’s a high in-demand job we will see in the future.” Because of that high demand, competition will be fierce so the more education you have the better, she says. Creative people who understand market trends and are good communicators will do well in this career. New Brunswick, Nunavut, P.E.I. and some parts of Manitoba will have high demand while Saskatchewan and Alberta will see slow growth.
Graphics created by Deepak Sharma