Enrolments in graduate programs in Ontario and across Canada have grown substantially over the past 15 years. This growth has been supported and encouraged by strategic investments from provincial and federal governments. Although it has been argued that an increase in the number of Canadians with master’s- or PhD-level education is needed to support increased innovation and economic advancement, there is a growing view that many recent master’s and doctoral graduates are unemployed or underemployed. The current lack of evidence regarding the employment outcomes of master’s and doctoral graduates makes it difficult to evaluate the extent to which this might actually be the case. Several reports have highlighted the need for universities to document and report on the employment outcomes of master’s and doctoral graduates.
The purpose of this project was to pilot test the feasibility and process of obtaining information about the career outcomes of doctoral graduates and alumni of Western University. The process included two surveys, a Graduate Studies Exit Survey and a Graduate Studies Alumni Survey. The surveys were designed with the intent that they would form the basis of ongoing collection of outcome data from graduating students and alumni. Invitations to complete the exit survey were sent to graduate students completing the final requirements of their degree, and invitations to complete the alumni survey were sent to alumni who completed a graduate degree at Western between 2008 and 2013. Although master’s program graduates and alumni were invited to complete the surveys, only responses from graduates and alumni of doctoral programsare included in this report.