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University degree no guarantee of financial success

For parents who have scrimped and saved thousands to send their children to university, one of the burning questions that remains is, will their investment pay off?

Similar to an investment in the stock market, a report from the Globe and Mail indicates that earning a bachelor’s degree in Canada comes with no guarantee of a positive return on your investment.

While most graduates with a bachelor’s degree earn significantly more than those with a high school diploma, nearly one in five Canadian university grads ends up earning less than half of the median income of $37,000 a year .

The figure means Canada has a higher proportion of poor graduates than any other country in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.

The general consensus in the past was the “million dollar bonus” exists, meaning the average University grad will earn more than a million dollars more than their high-school graduate counterparts over the period of a lifetime.

However, some large disparities among graduate incomes and between which field was studied shows the bachelor’s degree is still a risky investment.

The Globe and Mail reports data from the federal Department of Finance shows students who study business, engineering and mathematics generally earn a 12 to 17 per cent return a year on their education costs.

Meanwhile those who study the humanities and social sciences could earn as little as 4 to 6 per cent year on their costs.