National Graduates Survey (NGS)

Summary of changes

Activity on this program started: 1978

Reference period of change - 2020 postsecondary graduates (cycle collected in 2023)

New topics for NGS Class of 2020 have been included to measure important changes since 2018:
• the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic;
• online or distance learning;
• microcredentials (short training);
• language used at work.

The following content changes were also made:
• Modules and questions rearranged slightly to facilitate a better flow of the survey.
• Questions relating to gender, Indigenous identity and immigration have been updated to meet Statistics Canada standards.

Reference period of change - 2018 (class of 2015)

For the first time, the NGS was available for online self-completion, although respondents still had the option to complete the survey over the telephone assisted by a Statistics Canada interviewer. The 2018 questionnaire was modified in order to facilitate respondent self-reporting and alleviate respondent burden. This was done by updating the questions, response categories, introductory text, instructions, help text and examples. Several new questions were introduced to address new data needs, including a series of questions relating to work-integrated learning (WIL) and entrepreneurship.

Graduates of trades and vocational college programs and graduates living in the United States at the time of survey data collection in 2018 were removed from the survey target population.

Another enhancement to the 2018 NGS is the addition of bootstrap weights.

Reference period of change - 2013 (class of 2009/2010)

Instrument design - - Added new concepts on lifelong learning, mobility, skills and qualifications mismatch, intended occupation at graduation, student loans, debt management and sources of support during graduate school.

- Reworded certain questions to match harmonized content (i.e., a process developed to ensure standard concepts, definitions, classification and wording across all household surveys).

Reference period of change - 2005 (class of 2000: follow-up)

Sampling - Trade/vocational graduates were not interviewed in the follow-up survey.

Reference period of change - 2000 (class of 1995: follow up)

Target population - Starting with the class of 1995 (follow-up), the target population was revised to include graduates who had moved to the United States.

Reference period of change - 1984 (class of 1982)

The National Graduates Survey (NGS) is conducted for the first time. Each graduating class will be interviewed twice: two years after graduation and five years after graduation.

Target population - Excluded from the target population are: graduates from private postsecondary education institutions; completers of continuing-education programs (unless these led to a degree, diploma or certificate); part-time trade course completers; persons who completed vocational programs lasting less than three months; persons who completed vocational 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 at the time of the survey.

Reference period of change - 1978 (class of 1976)

The Survey of Graduates of Post-secondary Programs was conducted as a pilot survey.

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