Colleges Ontario reports positive outcome for job-ready graduates
Credit: ANGELA MCINNES
Darlene O'Neill, senior manager of employment and student entrepreneurial services at Fanshawe College, said it's a good time to be a college student in Ontario.
Eighty-six per cent of Ontario college graduates find employment within six months, according to recent statistics released by Colleges Ontario.
The organization, which advocates for the province’s 24 colleges of applied arts and technology, announced the latest results of its annual key performance indicators (KPIs) in a Nov. 19 press release.
“Our career-focused programs provide an excellent pathway to employment,” Linda Franklin, president and CEO of Colleges Ontario, said in the release. “In this increasingly competitive economy, Ontario college graduates enter the workforce with the professional expertise that is valued by employers.”
In an email to Interrobang, Franklin said that the most sectors in Ontario now require applicants to have a college education.
“Over the past 25 years, rising Ontario employer skill requirements have led to an increase of over 900,000 more jobs for adults aged 25 to 44 with post-secondary credentials, largely offset by a drop of 700,000 jobs for those without post-secondary credentials,” Franklin said. “Colleges offer 900 programs that prepare students for a wide range of rewarding careers, and there is currently enormous demand in some areas like the skilled trades, technology, animation, and in health care.”
Darlene O’Neill, senior manager of employment and student entrepreneurial services at Fanshawe College, said that colleges tend to have a more workplace-oriented approach to its instruction than universities. This helps students in their transition to post-graduate life.
“[College students] get that practical, hands-on approach to the occupations that they’re choosing to pursue, whereas universities are more theoretical, and just learning to catch up with the experiential learning programs,” O’Neill said.
At Fanshawe, the rate of co-op employment is good, at approximately 60 per cent for domestic students and 40 per cent for international, which has particularly seen significant growth in recent years.
“I have seen a difference in the seven years I’ve been here in employers being more receptive to international students,” O’Neill said. “I think that in the beginning there was a bit of a fear around them not knowing the Canadian workplace, the culture, and the communication pieces. But because of the good job that they do when they get to the workplace and the fantastic job that Fanshawe does in preparing them, they’re seeing more and more success.”
O’Neill said that there are employment opportunities in many sectors, especially IT, manufacturing, and hospitality. There are also supports for graduates starting their own businesses, such as LEAP Junction.
She encouraged students to visit the Career Services office, located in room D1063 at the Fanshawe College Blvd. campus, all throughout the year. There, students can get help developing their interview skills, develop a job search tool kit, and connecting with mentors.
“Any choice that a student makes, it’s ultimately the student’s drive and the work that they do from the minute that they enter the college until the minute they graduate to prepare themselves for that job. They need to work in partnership with their professors, as well as in partnership with our office to prepare them to be successful,” O’Neill said. “Regardless of what you choose to study, you have the power to be successful in your career.”
Other highlights of Colleges Ontario’s KPIs include a 92 per cent rate of employer satisfaction with graduates they hired, and more than 79 per cent of satisfaction among graduates with their college programs.
To learn more about Fanshawe’s own KPI ranking, visit fanshawec.ca/kpi and collegesontario.org.