Survey Indicates Calgary Post-Secondary Grads will need Competitive Edge to Succeed in Current Job Market

Calgarians believe that competition from previous year’s grads and recently laid-off, experienced workers make earning a bachelor’s degree, social career networking, and internships all the more critical

CALGARY, AB – MARCH 29, 2011

Despite signs of economic recovery, a recent survey conducted by Leger Marketing shows that almost 70 per cent of Calgarians think this year’s post-secondary grads will have a difficult time finding employment in today’s economy. Calgarians also indicate that advantages may be held by graduates attaining a bachelor’s degree and by those who supplement their education with savvy career-building strategies like networking and internships.

“The good news is, some companies are hiring again,” says Adam Legge, president of the Calgary Chamber of Commerce. “We are seeing an increase in demand for skilled workers across several key sectors; but competition for those jobs also increases with each new class of post-secondary graduates.”

According to the survey, 75 per cent of Calgarians believe grads are competing with both previous years’ grads, who have yet to find employment, and with experienced candidates who have been laid off.

“The recession created a larger supply of available labour, increasing the skill and experience base of the pool of people looking for work.” says Legge. “The current situation is one where recent graduates do face increased competition from experienced workers.”

To be employable in today’s job market, 80 per cent of Calgarians believe people require at least some level of post secondary education. In terms of education level, 45 per cent cited a bachelor’s degree, 31 per cent cited a college diploma, and five per cent cited a master’s degree as required to be employable in the current economy.

“The days of being competitive in one’s chosen career with just a high school degree are gone,” says Anila Umar, director of career services at DeVry Institute of Technology in Calgary. “In today’s employment market, a quality bachelor’s degree education will separate you from the pack. Even then, new graduates must find supplemental ways to gain an advantage over a growing number of competing candidates.”

A majority of Calgarians identified networking (58 per cent of respondents), personal references (55 per cent) and internships (52 per cent) as key to increasing a graduate’s employability. Additionally, more modern methods of finding employment (social media networking and online job boards) were recommended by three-in-ten Calgarians (12 and 19 per cent of respondents, respectively).

“Calgary is a tight-knit marketplace,” says Keith Daser, managed print services specialist at Carbon Copy Digital, whose aggressive networking efforts landed him a new job prior to graduating from DeVry Calgary. “In my case, I was recommended to my employer by someone who could vouch for my professional skills and capabilities.”

Leger Marketing conducted the online survey of 507 Calgarians aged 18 years and older between February 7 and 10, 2011. The survey was commissioned by DeVry Calgary to help the school understand the needs of the Calgary population. DeVry is conducting these surveys quarterly.

About DeVry Institute of Technology

DeVry Institute of Technology in Alberta is part of the DeVry University system, one of the largest degree-granting higher education systems in North America, with nearly 93,000 students enrolled in the United States and Canada. At more than 90 locations, DeVry University delivers practitioner-oriented undergraduate and graduate degree programs, onsite and online, that meet the needs of a diverse and geographically dispersed student population. DeVry Institute of Technology offers degree programs in Business Administration, Computer Information Systems, Electronics Engineering Technology, Computer Engineering Technology, and Network Communications Management. In Canada, the government of Alberta grants approval for baccalaureate degrees awarded by DeVry Institute of Technology. In the United States, DeVry University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association, DeVry University, a part of DeVry Inc. (NYSE: DV), is based in Downers Grove, Ill. For more information about DeVry Institute of Technology, find us on Twitter @DeVryUniv or visit


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DeVry University strives to close society’s opportunity gap by preparing learners to thrive in careers shaped by continuous technological change. Founded in 1931, the university offers undergraduate and graduate programs onsite and online within six areas of study: Accounting, Business, Healthcare, Technology, Liberal Arts, and Media Arts & Technology. DeVry University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC, The university’s Keller Graduate School of Management is included in this accreditation. To learn more, visit