Colleges in Canada were created to broaden access to post-secondary education, and their economic value has proven itself again and again.
In British Columbia the numbers are in for 2014 and they are definitive. A recent economic impact study conducted for the BC Colleges, a consortium representing the province’s 11 public, community colleges, found its colleges and their students contributed $7.8 billion to the provincial economy, equal to approximately 4.2 per cent of GDP.
That demonstrated that BCs colleges have an effect comparable to industry sectors such as, finance or food services, the report said. It also found that B.C. college students gain valuable skills to advance in the workforce, strengthening the economy and adding $7.1 billion in income annually. “These students also earn 51 per cent more than their peers with a high school diploma. The result is college students can earn more, pay more taxes and therefore are active contributors to the BC economy,” the report said.
Information and Communications Technology (ICT) is a critical enabler of this access and the resulting provincial and national economic benefit.
In 2014 we have reached a point in the post-secondary education system where ICT services are mission-critical and a significant contributor to the economic benefits colleges create in Canada.