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Mar 19, 2019

Combining School & Work

March 19, 2019

An update on postsecondary student employment in Canada

Postsecondary students have been increasingly combining education and employment as a way of enhancing skills and not only as a way of managing costs. This Mowat note summarizes what descriptive statistics from Statistics Canada’s most recent Longitudinal and International Survey of Adults (LISA) data tell us about students’ work experiences while in postsecondary education.

We find that:

  • Combining work and studies is a common experience for postsecondary students.
  • Fewer than two in five PSE students report holding a job while enrolled that is related to their studies.
  • Nearly one in two students who combined employment with their PSE studies say it provided them with knowledge and experience needed to help them obtain their first career-related job.
  • Students with higher literacy, numeracy and problem-solving scores – who are less likely to face difficulties transitioning into the labour force – are more likely to work while in PSE.
View PDF



Andrew Parkin
with Brad Seward
Khuong Truong

Release Date

March 19, 2019



Mowat Research

No. 187


Research Initiative on Education + Skills

The Research Initiative on Education and Skills is an innovative collaborative policy research initiative led by the Mowat Centre and the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario. Its purpose is to access, analyze and mobilize data relating to the education, skills and labour market outcomes of Canadians, and to disseminate the findings to inform policy development.

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