What will our job be when we graduate? Will we work in finance, or engineering, or sales, or law? Will there even be work for us when we leave McGill? While I certainly hope the answer to the last question is a resounding yes, I recognize the uncertainty of our future. There are no guarantees other than the mantra engrained in us from a young age: “Hard work pays off.”
Undergraduate life is tedious, and the day-to-day can be overwhelming and lack direction. It’s easy to get disenchanted with the process and question your goals. I often find myself wondering what I will do for a career, and what role a McGill degree will play in making that happen? I decided to look at some LinkedIn statistics to find out.
There are currently 215,000 McGill alumni in the world today, and about 40,000 currently enrolled students at the graduate and undergraduate level. That compares to nearly 131,000 members of the McGill Network whose LinkedIn profiles suggest that they had graduated by 2014, with an assumed mix of both graduate students and alumni. It is not a perfect sample of the population, but it will certainly do in helping us understand what life after McGill is like for graduates-to-be.
Where do we go?
It probably comes as no surprise that the majority of qualifying LinkedIn members live in Canada: around 69% of them. However, due to various reasons I won’t speculate about here, McGill has been increasing its share of international admittances steadily for quite some time. As recently as 2008, McGill accepted only 18.6% of the entering class from its international applicant pool. In context, last year’s class was 24% internationally represented. So while, the high number of Canadian residents is not alarming, it might be poised to fall as fewer graduates have roots in Canada and opt to return home.
The United States, United Kingdom, and France take the next three spots as the most popular countries for McGill graduates at 15.9%, 2.3%, and 1.8% respectively. The United States has traditionally been the largest international base. Yet, the highest portion of the student body they have represented in the past five years is only 6.5%, and other years do not differ much from that percentage. This suggests that there is a large flow of McGill graduates whom are not themselves US citizens, to the United States.
What do we do?
While I appreciate the highly academic environment that McGill perpetuates, I was rather taken aback at the fact that 9.1% of graduates, the largest career subgroup, go into education. In digging deeper, I found that the University of Toronto is the most popular destination.
Not far behind are the 8.7% who pursue research-based careers. As a prestigious science research university, this is expected, but at least we can feel fulfilled knowing that our graduates are out working on thousands of projects to help provide solutions for numerous problems in today’s world.
Media & Communication, Sales, and Consulting round out the top five of most popular career paths for McGill graduates, but by no means is there a steep drop off throughout the top ten. Engineering, entrepreneurship, finance, healthcare, information technology, and so many more areas of expertise are well represented.
Which direction will we head?
We are a bright and incredibly driven university. As a transfer student it has taken me quite some time to truly understand just how motivated our student body is. Jobs and careers will not hand themselves to us, that will always require effort on our part to an extent. However, our position is a unique and prestigious one that very few people in the world have the good fortune to experience. Eventually we will all eventually head in different directions, and follow different careers. It is up to us to take advantage of our time here, using the resources around us and making sure the connections we make are strong and lasting. LinkedIn is not the whole story, and it should not be leaned on as such, but if it is any indication, we might just be alright.
Written By: Matthew Kunihiro
Mcgill.ca,. 2015. ‘Fall 2014 | Enrolment Services – Mcgill University’. https://www.mcgill.ca/es/registration-statistics/registration-statistics.