Education & Training

Educational Attainment

In 2018, 63.7% of adults in Nova Scotia had a post-secondary education as their highest educational attainment, this result is close to the Canadian level, 63.4%. The proportion of Nova Scotian adults (15.4%) with a bachelor’s degree is lower than the Canadian proportion (19.3%). However, the proportion of the province’s adults with an education attainment above a bachelor's degree continues to increase and stands at 10.9% in 2018 compared to 9.5% at the national level. 

Educational Attainment, 2018, Nova Scotia and Canada Ages 25 years and over

Unemployment Rate

The unemployment rate typically varies across levels of educational attainment with lower rates for those with higher levels of education. This trend in unemployment rates by educational attainment is observed at both national and provincial levels. 

Generally, unemployment rates are lower at the national level compared to Nova Scotia. However, Nova Scotia’s unemployment rates are lower than Canada’s for those with a bachelor’s degree or a degree above bachelor’s level. 

Unemployment seems to be more severe for those with lower levels of education in Nova Scotia than it is in Canada. In Nova Scotia, those with high school as the highest educational attainment had an unemployment rate (8.1%) that was double those who had a bachelor’s degree (4.0%) whereas at the national level the difference is less pronounced.  

Nova Scotia’s population with less than high school had an unemployment rate (12.2%) that was 3.1 times higher than that of those with a bachelor's degree. Nationally, the unemployment rate (8.1%) of those with less than a high school education was only 2.0 times higher.

Unemployment Rate by Educational Attainment, 2018, Nova Scotia and Canada Ages 25 years and over

Income

Nova Scotia’s employment income data shows that, on average, individuals with higher levels of education have higher annual employment incomes. The median income for those with a postsecondary educational attainment below bachelor level was $9,390 higher than those with a high school graduation and $14,155 higher than those with less than high school.

The differences were even greater when compared to those with a university bachelor’s degree and above.  The median income for those with a university bachelor’s degree and above was $29,538 higher than those with a high school graduation and $34,303 higher than those with less than a high school education.

Median Employment Income by Educational Attainment, Nova Scotia, 2016