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Reporter’s Notebook: Interview with Ross Finnie

Listen to an audio interview about graduate earnings.


For all those students and parents wondering which university degree will yield the most financial success and which will doom you to a life as a barista, Ross Finnie has one piece of advice: Just relax.

Dr. Finnie is director of the Education Policy Research Initiative at the University of Ottawa and a long-time researcher on postsecondary issues. Recently, he and his colleagues at EPRI completed a major study (PDF) that used income tax records to track the before-tax earnings of graduates from the University of Ottawa from 1999 to 2011, the last year for which tax data were available. Dr. Finnie’s group matched 98 percent of graduates with bachelor’s degrees with at least one tax year, resulting in a dataset of 82,000 students. (Those with advanced degrees were excluded.)

So who came out on top? Listen as our News Editor Rosanna Tamburri speaks with Dr. Finnie about his findings (Run time: 26:59).

If you would rather read the interview with Dr. Finnie, please see our Q&A with him.

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  1. Adam Fortais / August 24, 2019 at 20:36

    Haven’t listened to the audio yet, but the first line upset me.

    I think we can make the point of “not getting the job you want” without belittling the profession of barista or service staff. In academia we concern ourselves with public perception and wonder why people don’t trust scientists. Let’s try not to insult people, just to make a stupid joke.