Jun 19, 2024

Census data show that over 40 percent of Filipinos surveyed in 2021 hold a bachelor’s degree or higher.

March 1, 2023 - Statistics Canada (StatsCan)confirmed that over 40 percent of Filipinos in Canada holds a bachelor’s degree or higher but are underrepresented in occupations that require a bachelor’s degree, adding that a large part of this group is likely to have studied nursing.

This is in stark contrast to the greater Southeast Asian group, of which Filipinos also belong, who had lower levels of education.Over a fifth of Southeast Asians had neither a high school diploma nor a post-secondary credential, a larger share than any other racialized group.

The report released in January provided a snapshot of educational attainment and occupational outcomes among racialized populations in 2021. It showed that over 40 percent of Asian populations hold a bachelor’s degree or higher, well above the national average of 32.9 percent. 

StatsCan also acknowledged that immigrants with foreign degrees face above-average rates of overqualification. An example of this is a Filipino immigrant who holds a nursing degree from the Philippines but works as a caregiver in Canada.

A section of the said report stressed that not only were Filipinos underrepresented in occupations requiring a minimum educational attainment of a bachelor’s degree, but they were also underrepresented to a much greater extent than other racialized groups. It notes that a factor in overqualification and job mismatch could be that over a third of Filipinas immigrated as principal applicants through Canada’s caregiver program and were recruited to work in personal care occupations instead of as registered nurses in the health care system.

About the Author
Rachel Ramos-Reid started writing for magazines and newspapers when she was still a junior at the University of the Philippines’ Communication degree program majoring in Journalism. She continued to write in a public relations/corporate communications capacity in various private and government offices until moving out of the country in 1997 to work as Programme Officer for the arts and culture branch of the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO-SPAFA) in Bangkok, Thailand. At the end of her term, Rachel found herself immigrating to Canada in the year 2000 and again searching for new beginnings. Currently she is the Executive Assistant to a small rural college on Vancouver Island.

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