Class of 2000: Profile of Postsecondary Graduates and Student Debt


Mary Allen, Chantal Vaillancourt


Statistics Canada




Canada has a highly developed postsecondary education system with over half of
the adult population in Canada having some kind of postsecondary degree or
diploma. In fact, Canada has the highest proportion of adults with college or
university qualifications in the OECD. The Canadian education system is
characterized by a diversity and flexibility that offers Canadians a variety of ways
to pursue their education after high school.

The graduating class of 2000 reflects this diversity. While some young
graduates followed a direct path out of high school and on to college or university
programs, many graduates had been out of school for some time, or had some
previous postsecondary education and labour market experience. Transitions into
the labour market after graduation were similarly complex.

This report uses data from the 2002 National Graduates Survey (Class of
2000) to describe the characteristics and backgrounds of college and bachelor
graduates. It then looks at their experiences after graduation, focussing on the pursuit
of further education, entry into the labour market, and management of student loans.

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