Canada highly educated

OTTAWA — Canada has become a perplexing nation of high education — one in which women have dramatically surpassed men in their schooling, but remain congregated in traditional pink ghettos when it comes to the world of work.

OTTAWA — Canada has become a perplexing nation of high education — one in which women have dramatically surpassed men in their schooling, but remain congregated in traditional pink ghettos when it comes to the world of work.

Nearly two-thirds of the adult population reported having post-secondary qualifications in 2011, according to the latest release of data Wednesday from Statistics Canada’s National Household Survey, the replacement for the cancelled long-form census.

That’s up from 60.7 per cent in 2006, and a stunning turnaround from the four per cent of Canadians who had a university education in 1961.

By gender, 64.8 per cent of working-age women now have a post-secondary education, compared with 63.4 per cent of men. It’s the first time females have bypassed males in overall educational attainment. And the gender gap grows by leaps and bounds as the level of education increases.

Far more working-age women than men now hold university degrees — a fact especially true for the younger generation, and even more so in the field of medicine. Females make up 62.2 per cent of the adults aged 25 to 34 with a medical degree — a dramatic shift from previous generations. Among adults aged 55 to 64, only a quarter of doctors are female.

“Young women are very highly educated,” said Doug Norris, chief demographer for Environics Analytics and a former senior Statistics Canada official. “It’s a woman’s world today.”

The workplace, on the other hand, appears somewhat stuck in time.

Women overwhelmingly dominate the fields of childcare, administrative assistants, nursing and cashiers. Men comprise more than nine out of 10 workers in the fields of truck driving, carpentry, welding and electricians.

“There are still some professions that are traditionally women and still some that are traditionally men,” said Sylvie Michaud, Statcan’s director-general of education, labour and income.

The most common occupation for both men and women, however, is retail sales. Indeed, for the first time, the retail trade sector ranked first of all sectors for its share of total employment, surpassing manufacturing for the first time.

By comparison, in 2006, manufacturing was the top employer, and retail, while on the rise, was in second place. By 2011, manufacturing had slipped to third as a source of jobs — behind both retail and the health care and social assistance fields.

Analysts say the shift in jobs reflects the broader long-standing shift in the Canadian economy from a landscape dominated by factories to one that is known for its services.

Finding a job is closely related to level of education, the data show. Almost 82 per cent of those with university degrees had a job in 2011, compared with just 55.8 per cent of those without a high school diploma or any post-secondary qualifications.

Aboriginal Peoples appear to be gaining ground when it comes to educational attainment, although Statistics Canada is reluctant to make comparisons with the past because it has changed its methodology.

At a time when aboriginal education is a focal point for policy-makers, Statcan reports that nearly half of aboriginal people — 48.4 per cent — had some kind of post-secondary qualification in 2011. That’s up from the 44 per cent reported in 2006.

Only 9.8 per cent of aboriginal people have a university degree. That’s an increase from the 2006 proportion of just eight per cent. But it’s substantially below the 26.5 per cent of the non-aboriginal population that has a university degree. And the gap between aboriginal and non-aboriginal has definitely not narrowed when it comes to university education.

At the college level, however, the gap is quite small. About 20.6 per cent of aboriginal people have a diploma, compared to 21.3 per cent of non-aboriginal people. And the proportion of aboriginal people with a trades certificate actually surpassed that of non-aboriginal people slightly.

Immigrants, on the other hand, far surpass the general population in university attainment. In 2011, 38.1 per cent of immigrants reported having a degree, compared to 24.2 per cent of non-immigrants.

The gap has grown since 2006, when 31.6 per cent of immigrants reported having a degree compared to 20 per cent of non-immigrants. The growing gap likely reflects the federal government’s policy to favour highly educated newcomers, analysts say.

The survey also shines a light on the aging of the workforce. In 2011, about 18.7 per cent of all workers were over the age of 55, up from 15.5 per cent in 2006. Similarly, 34.9 per cent of workers over the age of 55 were employed, up from 32.2 per cent in 2006.

“This is the result of the aging of the baby boom generation and the increased participation of older workers in the labour force,” Statcan said.

Farm managers, religious leaders, bus drivers and taxi drivers tend to be dominated by older workers, the survey shows.

The survey also showed that when it comes to getting to work, Canadians are addicted to their cars.

Almost three quarters of Canadian commuters drive to work, while just 12 per cent use public transit. The proportion of people who walk to work has actually shrunk, from 6.4 per cent in 2006 to 5.7 per cent now. And the proportion of cycling commuters has stagnated at 1.3 per cent.

Just Posted

Readers’ Choice Awards 2021
Best of Red Deer 2021: Winners list

Here’s the Best of Red Deer Readers’ Choice Awards 2021 winners list:… Continue reading

FILE - Albertans enter a COVID-19 mass immunization clinic in downtown Calgary, on May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Red Deer down to 115 active COVID-19 cases

Province identifies 165 new cases Sunday

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021.  The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

The national spotlight on residential schools is also highlighting a difficult question… Continue reading

A woman wears a hijab as she attends a demonstration against Bill 21 in Montreal, Sunday, October 6, 2019. The controversial Quebec secularism law bans some public-sector employees from wearing religious symbols in the workplace. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Somali-Canadian group says another woman wearing a hijab attacked in Edmonton

EDMONTON — The chair of a group representing Somali Canadians in Edmonton… Continue reading

Canada head coach Bev Priestman reacts during the women’s international friendly soccer match between England and Canada at Bet365 stadium in Stoke on Trent, England on April 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Rui Vieira
Canada coach Bev Priestman hopes to see improved performance against Brazil

Priestman will likely field a more senior lineup to start Monday

Jimmy Smits arrives at a special screening of “In the Heights” during the Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival at the TCL Chinese Theatre on Friday, June 4, 2021. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)
Jimmy Smits figured he could carry a tune ‘In the Heights’

‘In the Heights’ follows dreams and struggles of Latino community in New York

Actress Devery Jacobs poses for photographs on the red carpet during the Toronto International Film Festival in Toronto on Thursday, September 13, 2018. Jacobs grew up in the Kanien’kehá:ka Mohawk Territory in Quebec but says shooting her new TV series “Reservation Dogs” in the U.S. felt like “a sense of home. ” THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Toronto-based Devery Jacobs on starring in Indigenous-led series ‘Reservation Dogs’

Series to make its world premiere at Tribeca Film Festival

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Most Read