Retention, attraction, and labour market outcomes of post-secondary graduates in New Brunswick

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New Brunswick Institute for Research, Data and Training


Executive summary This report examines the retention/attraction rates and labour market outcomes of graduates from New Brunswick’s public post-secondary educational institutions. It uses Post-Secondary Information System (PSIS) data and tax data, linked through the Canadian Research Data Centre Network’s Education and Labour Market Longitudinal Platform. Graduate counts, retention rates, and annual incomes are presented according to sex, province of permanent residence, immigration status, level of study, field of study, and institution for the 2009-2016 study period. Counts About 7,000 to 8,000 students graduate from NB public post-secondary institutions each year – a number that has slowly been decreasing. Around 3,000 students graduate from college programs. Between 3,000 to 4,000 students graduate from undergraduate university programs. About 600 to 700 students graduate from graduate-level university programs. Retention rates On average, 78% of graduates remain in NB by the December of their graduation year, and 72% remain two years later. College graduates have the highest retention rates (92% in the year of graduation and 87% two years later). Retention is slightly lower for graduate students (70% and 64%) and undergraduate students (69% and 61%). Students residing in NB prior to admission have the highest retention (92% in graduation year; 84% two years later). The similarity in retention rates for college graduates and students living in NB prior to admission could be due to the attraction that community colleges have for students from surrounding communities. Domestic students have higher retention (77% in graduation year and 73% two years later) than international students (60% file taxes in NB at the end of their graduation year, and 38% do so two years after). Graduate income On average, graduates have a mean taxable income of around $36,000 in their first full year and $40,000 in their second full year after graduation (nominal dollars). Differences in taxable graduate incomes are primarily driven by differences in level and field of study, with undergraduate degree holders having more taxable income than college graduates, and graduate degree holders having the most. Following the presentation and discussion of results, this report compares its findings to those of a similar NB-IRDT report that utilized different data and demonstrates the impact of varying data sources and methodologies on study outcomes.