Is it easy for university graduates to find a first job? Twenty months after their studies, two–thirds of Bachelors and more than three-quarters of Masters had a full-time or part-time job, according to the latest Relance survey from the Quebec’s Ministère de l’Éducation et de l’Enseignement supérieur, published in 2017.
For those who obtained a Bachelor’s degree in 2015, it took 9 weeks on average to find a job, according to the same survey.
Graduates in high demand
“We require candidates with more advanced skills than before,” explains Denis Morin, professor of human resources management at UQAM. The development of artificial intelligence leads to a high demand for graduates in health, engineering and in the pure and applied sciences. This trend will increase in the next few years, he believes.
Graduates of technical college programs also have an advantage, continues Denis Morin. And the figures tend to confirm this: 10 months after completing their studies, less than 4% of graduates of technical training were still looking for a job, according to the Relance survey of college graduates conducted among graduates of the 2014-2015 class.
While 60% had a job, more than one third chose to continue their studies, mainly in a field related to their initial training.
The importance of know-how
But the diploma is not everything, Denis Morin insists. Beyond technical skills employers are on the lookout for “soft skills”, which are all about self-knowledge, such as the ability to work in a team and manage conflicts. This is especially true in fields that require a specialization.
“Employers will try to find compatibility between the candidate and their organization,” explains Mr. Morin. “They will try to get to know someone better to see if they will work well with their boss and with the other employees.”
For certain young graduates, finding a job that matches their professional aspirations can seem to be a challenge. But Denis Morin wants to be reassuring: “Those who have a degree tend to remain unemployed shorter.”