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Understanding grad survey results

Results are in, and 87% of the 2016 class are employed — but there's more to the big picture than a single number.
Now that SAIT's annual survey to determine the employment rate, salaries and satisfaction of our newest SAIT alumni is complete, results are being shared internally as one method to ensure our programs are relevant to industry and our grads are finding success. We're also spreading the word outside of SAIT in order to help our prospective students make informed decisions about their career paths.

Grad employment survey snapshot

Before you dig into the complete 2016 Graduate Employment survey results, Poul Overgaard, Manager of Market Insight and Analytics at SAIT, wants you to consider a few factors.

1.  The employment rate includes grads working in any field.

The percentage of grads working in fields relating to their SAIT training is lower than the overall employment rate of our grads. Of SAIT's employed 2016 grads, 69% are working in training-related positions.

2.  Not all SAIT grads are looking for training-related work.

The 31% of employed grads working outside their field of study are not necessarily dissatisfied with their positions. Many of them are pursuing further education — 20% of all 2016 grads were enrolled as a student at the time of the study. Overgaard also points out that non-training related work doesn't always mean someone is off of their personal career path.

"A SAIT education helps build important soft skills as well as the industry-specific skills," he says. "Many of our grads find success through those more transferable skills."

3.  Employment rates will improve with the economy ... but not immediately

The economy is improving, but an increase in gross domestic product doesn't instantly translate to a stronger employment rate.

Despite a rising economy, the employment rate discovered for 2016 grads is almost identical to that of 2015 grads (87% for 2016 grads, 86% for 2015 grads). 

Overgaard says a couple of years in a slower economy has caused a bottleneck of job seekers. More jobs are being created, but it will take some extra time for the backlog of grads to find their fit in the workplace.

"It's definitely getting better, but we're digging out of a hole — we'll need to see a stronger economy for a longer time to get back to the extraordinary employment rates we saw between 2007 and 2014 when as many as 97% of new SAIT grads were employed," he says. "Satisfaction rates among our new grads remain an accurate way to measure the quality of our programming — our student satisfaction rates have increased from 2015 to 2016."