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2006 Census: Educational Portrait of Canada, 2006 Census: National picture

Male and female university graduates study in different fields

Young women are graduating in fields of study that are very different from those of their older counterparts – and in very different fields from men as well.

For example, in Business, Management, Marketing and Related Support Services, young women are graduating with a university degree in much larger numbers than their older counterparts. An estimated 16% of female university graduates (105,900 women) aged 25 to 34 had a university degree in this field, more than twice the 7% (19,100 women) in the 55 to 64 years age group. There was an increase in the proportion of men who studied in this field, but the increase was not as pronounced as it was for women. Notably, about 16% of male university graduates aged between 55 and 64 studied in this field while 20% of the 25 to 34 year-olds did so.

At the university level, Education was the most popular field of study for women, but it was third among men. However, for both men and women, there was a smaller proportion of younger Canadians who studied in this field than older Canadians. Some 34% of female university graduates aged 55 to 64 had a degree in Education while only 16% of 25 to 34 year olds did. Similar differences between older and younger male university graduates were also noted. About 15% of men aged 55 to 64 had a degree in Education, compared with only 6% of men aged between 25 and 34.

Even though the number of women studying in Engineering remains small compared to men, a greater proportion of young women have studied in this field than their older counterparts. Slightly more than 1% of female university graduates aged between 55 and 64 (3,200 women) had a degree in this field, while 4% of the 25 to 34 year-olds (26,700 women) had one.

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