National Graduates Survey (NGS)

Status:
Active
Frequency:
Irregular
Record number:
5012

This survey was designed to determine such factors as: the extent to which graduates of postsecondary programs had been successful in obtaining employment since graduation; the relationship between the graduates' programs of study and the employment subsequently obtained; the graduates' job and career satisfaction; the rates of under-employment and unemployment; the type of employment obtained related to career expectations and qualification requirements; and the influence of postsecondary education on occupational achievement.

Detailed information for 2002 (class of 2000)

Data release - April 26, 2004

Description

This survey was designed to determine such factors as: the extent to which graduates of postsecondary programs had been successful in obtaining employment since graduation; the relationship between the graduates' programs of study and the employment subsequently obtained; the graduates' job and career satisfaction; the rates of under-employment and unemployment; the type of employment obtained related to career expectations and qualification requirements; and the influence of postsecondary education on occupational achievement.

Each graduating class is interviewed twice: two years after graduation (National Graduates Survey) and five years after graduation (Follow-up Survey of Graduates--FOG).

Subjects

  • Education, training and learning
  • Employment and unemployment
  • Fields of study
  • Labour
  • Outcomes of education

Data sources and methodology

Target population

Graduates from Canadian public postsecondary education institutions (universities, colleges, trade schools) who graduated or completed the requirements for degrees, diplomas or certificates during the reference calendar year are the targeted population for this survey. Excluded are: graduates from private postsecondary education institutions; completers of continuing-education programs (unless these led to a degree, diploma or certificate); persons who completed vocational programs lasting less than three months; persons who completed programs other than in the skilled trades (e.g. basic training and skill development); completers of provincial apprenticeship programs and those living outside of Canada or the United States at the time of the survey.

Instrument design

For the most part, the questionnaire used was the same as for the previous National Graduates Survey (Class of 1995) and the Survey of Graduates Who Moved to the United States (SGMUS, record number 4436). Where new questions were introduced, they were designed in consultation with questionnaire design specialists and testing was done with focus groups.

Sampling

This is a sample survey with a cross-sectional design and a longitudinal follow-up.

The sample plan is a non-replacement stratified random plan including systematic selection of graduates within strata where graduates were previously sorted by program. Stratification is based on establishment province, level of certification and field of study. Sample units refer to persons living in Canada or in the United States who, in the year 2000, received or met the requirements for a certificate, diploma or degree awarded by a recognized Canadian postsecondary learning institution. The purpose of the plan is to meet the overall survey requirements and the specific needs of external clients.

Data sources

Data collection for this reference period: 2002-05-15 to 2002-08-23

Responding to this survey is voluntary.

Data are collected directly from survey respondents.

Computer-assisted telephone interviews were conducted with graduates living in Canada or in the United States.

View the Questionnaire(s) and reporting guide(s) .

Error detection

For quantitative variables such as financial variables, editing which includes outlier detection and imputation was performed. These variables include reported information on personal income and student loans. Graduates' reported values were distributed into groups based on field of study, level of certification and preferred mode of reporting data where applicable. Values reported beyond a number of standard deviations away from the median of the group (typically greater than 6) were identified as potential outliers. These cases were then manually investigated in order to confirm their outlier status. In light of other information from the respondent, these investigations revealed that the outlier cases were actually highly implausible values.

Imputation

Values identified by outlier detection were replaced by the median value of the group.

Estimation

The chosen technique for adjusting for non-response is based on Response Homogeneous Groups (RHG). RHG are developed with the premise of identifying sample units with similar response probabilities. In other words, it is assumed that graduates pertaining to a given RHG are equally likely to respond to the survey in a similar fashion. Many factors, among them gender and age traditionally are known to be factors associated with different non-response patterns. Analyses were completed and as a result of these, RHGs were identified. The implementation, i.e. the calculation of the adjustment was carried out using Statistics Canada Generalized Estimation System (GES) two-phase approach. This approach also ensures the proper variance formula is used.

Quality evaluation

Data was confronted with other published sources such as Census data, the Labour Force Survey (LFS, record number 3701), the Postsecondary Student Information System (PSIS, record number 5017), the Survey of Graduates Who Moved to the United States (SGMUS, record number 4436) and previous National Graduates Survey (NGS) releases.

Disclosure control

Statistics Canada is prohibited by law from releasing any information it collects which could identify any person, business, or organization, unless consent has been given by the respondent or as permitted by the Statistics Act. Various confidentiality rules are applied to all data that are released or published to prevent the publication or disclosure of any information deemed confidential. If necessary, data are suppressed to prevent direct or residual disclosure of identifiable data.

Data accuracy

The sample can be divided into two components: the core sample and the supplementary sample. The core sample is designed to yield estimates of a minimal proportion of 5.5% with a maximum CV of 16.5% for any marginal in the NGS. A marginal is defined as i) a given field of study regardless of the province of institution; or ii) a given province of institution regardless of the field of study; and that for each of the levels of certification. The additional sample units were purchased by provincial agencies in order to supplement their base sample so that better levels of reliability could be attained for their province. The additional sample was allocated in such a manner as to meet the reliability requirements specified by these provinces.

In all, 38,483 usable interviews were obtained from the initial sample of 61,558, from which 2,898 units were deemed out-of-scope, for a response rate of 65.6%.

Data file