Over-education among immigrants in Canada

Release date: December 13, 2019

Infographic: Over-education among immigrants in Canada
Description: Over-education among immigrants in Canada

Over-education among immigrants in Canada

Over-education is when workers that have a degree are in jobs that require only a high school diploma or less.

Education-occupation match is when workers with a degree are in jobs that do require a degree.

From 2001 to 2016, considerably fewer immigrants with a degree worked a job needing a degree.

From 2001 to 2016, considerably fewer immigrants with a degree worked a job needing a degree.
  Over-education rate Education-occupation match rate
Immigrants in Canada 10 years or less Canadian-born workers aged 25 to 34 Immigrants in Canada 10 years or less Canadian-born workers aged 25 to 34
Percentage
2001 32 18 46 59
2016 35 16 38 59

Among recent immigrants with degrees, employment growth between 2001 and 2016 was concentrated in jobs not requiring a university education.

Percentage distribution of employment growth by educational requirement, 2001-2016.

Percentage distribution of employment growth by educational requirement, 2001-2016.
  Immigrants in Canada 10 years or less Canadian-born workers aged 25 to 34
Percentage
Jobs requiring high school or less 37 11
Jobs requiring some post-secondary education 34 29
Jobs requiring university education 29 60

The overall rate of workers with a Science, Technology, Engineering, math (STEM) degree working in a STEM occupation is about the same for both immigrant and the Canadian-born workers, but the difference is large among those with an engineering degree.

Percentage of employed individuals aged 25 to 64 with at least a bachelor's degree in a STEM field working in a STEM occupation, 2016.

Percentage of employed individuals aged 25 to 64 with at least a bachelor's degree in a STEM field working in a STEM occupation, 2016.
Total Science and technology Engineering Computer science and math
Canadian-born 48 30 66 57
Adult immigrants 46 32 48 54

Sources:

Picot G, Hou F. Skill Utilization and Earnings of STEM-educated Immigrants in Canada: Differences by Degree Level and Field of Study. Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series No. 435 (Catalogue 11F0019M). Ottawa: Statistics Canada, 2019.

Hou F, Schimmele C, Lu Y. Recent Trends in Over-education by Immigration Status. Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series No. 436 (Catalogue 11F0019M). Ottawa: Statistics Canada, 2019.

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