Best Canadian Universities with High Salaries for Graduates

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Are you currently researching the best Canadian universities? You probably know who tops the list for rankings, subjects, student life, and facilities.

For some, universities that produce graduates with high starting salaries are also important considerations. A university education, after all, does not come cheap, which is why potential salaries after graduation can help you decide your return on investment.

A university that produces graduates with good starting salaries might also signal that its graduates are highly employable and in demand.

It should be noted that earning a degree from top Canadian universities will not guarantee you a high starting salary on its own, as many factors including your industry, work experiences and location your job, among other things, will affect this, but it may tip the scales in your favor.

Here are some of the top Canadian universities with high salaries for graduates, based on data from Fees, a crowdsourced compensation data provider. Note, however, that salaries are average figures.

(For context, according to Talent.com, the average graduate salary in Canada is C$55,744 per year, while the figure for entry-level positions starts at C$43,601 per year. Most experienced workers earn up to CA$77,883 per year.)

For some students, how much they earn as graduates is a deciding factor in choosing their university. Source: Geoff Robins/AFP

Best Canadian Universities With High Graduate Salary

University of British Columbia (UBC)

UBC is ranked in the 20 Best Public Universities in the world, and for good reason: it is a center of excellence in teaching, learning and research, while its university athletes have won 65 Olympic medals.

Data from Fees shows that graduates of UBC’s Executive MBA program earn the highest salary – a whopping average of US$173,000 per year. Doctoral, Masters in Finance, and Executive Masters graduates can earn an average of $150,000, $108,000, and $94,000 per year, respectively.

Graduates with Bachelor of Arts degrees, on the other hand, earn the lowest at US$56,000 per year.

University of Toronto

This university needs no introduction: it ranks 18th in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2022 and co-34th in the QS World University Rankings 2023.

Graduates of an Executive Master would earn an average salary of $222,000 annually, followed by PhDs at $100,000 and MBA graduates at $96,000.

The graduates with the lowest salaries are those with a master’s (other) degree, who earn around US$58,000 per year.

University of Ottawa

Located in Canada’s capital, the The University of Ottowa is the largest bilingual (English-French) university in the world, notes its website.

QS notes that the university has 111 undergraduates and 161 graduates programs, and they pride themselves on an impressive 97% employment rate for their graduates.

MBA graduates earn an average of US$124,000 per year, while students pursuing bachelor’s or other degrees earn around US$73,000 to US$75,000 per year.

best canadian universities

A child slides down UC Hill at Western University in London, Ontario, January 6, 2022. Credit: Geoff Robins/AFP

University of Calgary

Like the city where it is based, the University of Calgary is one of the most enterprising establishments: It is ranked among the top 10 research universities in the country, offers more than 200 undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs and boasts of a graduate employment rate of 94%.

Its Bachelor of Arts graduates are the highest earners in the university. They earn an average of $148,000 per year, followed by MSc graduates ($88,000) and Bachelor of Science graduates ($74,000).

The lowest salaries are for graduates with a bachelor’s degree (other), earning a salary of US$51,000 per year.

University of Waterloo

The University of Waterloo has offered programs in business, engineering, health, humanities and social sciences, environment, mathematics and science for more than 42,000 students.

An employer-student relations center and workplace learningthe university is ranked first in Canada for graduate employment rate, according to the QS Graduate Employment Rankings 2022.

PhD graduates from this university can earn an average salary of US$183,000 per year, according to data from Emolument. Holders of a master’s degree in finance can earn an average salary of US$107,000, while holders of a bachelor’s degree (other) earn an average of US$88,000. His lowest earners are those with another degree, earning US$57,000 a year.

University of Western Ontario

The University of Western Ontario is one of the few universities in Canada to 5 star QSmeaning it scored well against a comprehensive list of indicators that rate the institution.

It received high marks in the following categories:

  • Education
  • Employability
  • Internationalization
  • To research
  • Facilities
  • Specialization criteria: innovation
  • Inclusiveness
  • Specialization criteria: social sciences and management

Its graduate salaries are equally impressive. A PhD holder earns on average $258,000 annually. A master’s degree holder in finance, on the other hand, earns an average of US$136,000, while an MBA graduate earns US$100,000. The graduates with the lowest salaries are those with a master’s degree (other) and earning a salary of US$47,000 per year.

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