Highest Paying University Degrees in Canada

Annual Giving- Student on Campus
Annual Giving- Student on Campus

According to current CIBC World Marketplaces research, “completing post-secondary education is still the greatest road to a well-paying, quality employment in Canada.”

They go on to suggest, however, that the quality of education is slipping marginally. Too few students are graduating from degrees that are highly valued by businesses. What is the misalignment between what students are learning and what corporations are prepared to pay extra for?

This is not a new occurrence. Many students prefer to follow their passions and learn about what interests them. Learning for learning has undeniable significance.

However, if you are looking for the best financial return on your university degree, a few stand out above the rest.


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Highest Paying University Degrees

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Overall, a university education still results in higher pay than a senior high school diploma or a university diploma alone. For example, a Bachelor’s degree entitles you to more than a 30% increase in “earnings high quality” over senior high school graduates. Add a Master’s or Ph.D., and you’ll get another 15% off.

Despite this, today’s unemployment rate among college or university graduates is only 1.7 percentage points lower than that of senior high school graduates. This disparity was substantially more expansive in the 1990s.

The advantage of a university diploma over a high school diploma has also shrunk. It has now shrunk to a mere 0.7 percentage point. It is worth noting that many Canadian institutions began awarding concurrent school degrees more than ten years ago.


Graduate Degrees That Pay Higher Salary

Graduate Degree Earnings Premium
Medicine/Physician 184%
Dentistry 157%
Accounting 141%
Law 123%
MBA 102%
Public Administration 87%
Education 86%

Specialized Undergraduate Programs

Professional Undergraduate Degree Earnings Premium
Engineering 117%
Computer Sciences 86%
Commerce 74%
Nursing 71%
Architecture 65%
Occupational or Physical Therapist 60%
Pharmacist 58%
Education/Teacher 53%


Standard Undergraduate Degrees

Professional Undergraduate Degree Earnings Premium
Social sciences 38%
Life sciences 37%
Humanities 23%
Fine & Applied Arts -12%