University Degree as Valuable as Ever
Prince George, B.C. – The president of Universities Canada emphasized the importance of a university education while at UNBC this week.
Paul Davidson was invited for a tour of the university and to meet with faculty and students during a three-day trip.
“Well first of all we need skills of all kinds in this country,” he told reporters in McCaffrey Hall Thursday afternoon. “We have skill shortages right across the board.”
Even in the face of increased competition from community colleges? After all the B.C. government, has been pushing the importance of trades as seen in its much-publicized Skills for Jobs Blueprint.
“We’re very supportive of the work community colleges are doing to prepare for skilled trades and we’re working more closely between universities and colleges to find pathways for students that move in both directions.”
He said for some students that means getting a university degree and later supplementing their background with a different kind of skills.
“But what we do know is that university graduates do exceptionally well after graduation and that’s not just based on survey data,” said Davidson.
“There’s actually been some good research done over the last while looking at the income tax records of graduates from the class of 2008 from seven universities and colleges across the country and what it tracks is all post-secondary education is a valuable investment.”
To keep it a valuable investment though he said students will need to continue to adapt to our changing world.
“We’ve been very good in Canada at attracting international students – now we have to work on getting young Canadians out of Canada for part of their studies. So, they can see what’s happening in China, in India, Brazil,” said Davidson.
“To help them find these opportunities. We want them to come back to Prince George, back to the north, back to Canada, but we have to have a better understanding of what’s happening in these other parts of the world so that we can be global citizens so we can grow global businesses.”