Teacher’s college applications plummet

Nine per cent drop in Ontario


Photo by cdsessums on Flickr

The Ontario College of Teachers sounded the alarm bells in 2011 about the gap between the number of graduating teachers and the shrinking number of  jobs available. Their survey of new graduates showed 24 per cent were unemployed and only one-third were employed full-time.

John Milloy, the minister in charge, reacted by taking the unprecedented step of capping the number of first-year education students at 9,058.

This week, new statistics show that students got the message. The Ontario University Application Centre reports that provincial teacher’s colleges received 8.9 per cent fewer applicants in 2012.

Some schools saw huge declines. Nipissing University in North Bay, Ont. got 15.8 per cent fewer applications. Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ont. got 21.5 per cent fewer applications.

In fact, the total number of applicants—9,311—is only slightly higher than the new cap. But it’s 72 per cent lower than the number of applicants five years ago—in 2007 when there were 16,042.

It’s not just Ontario where jobs are hard to find. The substitute list in Halfiax’s biggest school board had grown to 1,665 teachers in 2011, according to The Chronicle Herald. Last year just 119 teachers retired from the board. Meanwhile, Nova Scotia added 1,000 new teachers.

On the other side of the country, it’s a similar story. The number of applicants to education at the University of British Columbia fell from 688 in 2007 to 543 in 2011—a 21 per cent drop.

And UBC’s teacher’s college has been upfront with their students about the prospects of getting jobs directly out of school. “In 2010, roughly 2,700 new teachers were certified in British Columbia but only about 1,500 new positions were available,” the school admitted in a recent article online.

Still, UBC suggests there are reasons for grads to be hopeful. Certain specialty areas, like music, French, home economics, physics, math, and vocations like technology and cooking are in demand.

There are also plenty of jobs for adventurous graduates in places like Asia and the Middle East.

But most tellingly, UBC will introduce a mandatory non-traditional teaching practicum in 2012, to make their sure students explore other careers that education degrees might lead to.


Teacher’s college applications plummet

  1. Only those with a background in mathematics, sciences or language (French) are still actively being sought for teaching positions. But there are more financially lucrative careers than teaching for people with those skills. English, History, and other arts majors are a dime a dozen and it’s a crapshoot for those applicants ever finding full-time employment as a teacher these days.

  2. Well the thing is, teachers these days work till like their 65 and there’s only a handfull of teaching jobs available to begin with, so you combine that with these kids with their huge ego’s and heads that are as big as a bobble head doll thinking there is these amazing LOCAL teaching jobs for them when in reality they find out they have to move to isolated area’s of Alberta or whatever to find a teaching job. But thats the truth.

    • *they’re

      I am completely exhausted of listening to tired old relics berating new graduates. Arguing that a recent graduate has a huge ego because they hope to obtain full time employment after paying for and putting in 5 years of postsecondary education makes no sense. The real problem is that old greedy relics with massive egos, like you, certified far more new teachers than they knowingly could employ, solely as a money-grab.

  3. Young graduates are having a hard time getting their foot in the door to obtain teaching experience because so-called “retired” teachers, some of whom chose to start collecting their full pension at age 55 are claiming first dibs on supply teaching jobs through their unions or through principals’ hiring preferences. They are allowed to work an unconscionable number of days without impacting their pension, double dipping from taxpayers. Retired teachers are fattening up their already generous pension benefits at the expense of young would be teachers, eating their young so to speak. The seniors have their heavyweight union going to bat with cringing politicians like McGuinty whose wife is a teacher whereas young grads have no one speaking up for them.

  4. I would like to add to that list of exceptions of teaching positions still in demand. The Red River College/U of Winnipeg co-op program has close to 100% of Industrial Arts and Business Education teachers hired each year. Classroom teachers presently teaching Industrial Arts find it next to impossible to find a qualified substitute on the days they need one and with a large number of silver-hair teachers looking to retire in the next few years, this problem will only increase.

    Red River College and the University of Winnipeg operate a 5 year co-op program where students graduate with a double degree: Ind. Arts/Business Ed. & a second teachable of the students choice (math, physics, phys ed etc). Upon Graduation, our students are able to secure jobs from Ontario to BC, as well as overseas (Australia & New Zealand)
    (I’m not sure where Eastern Canada obtains their Ind Arts teachers from, but ours are qualified and have received training to SAFELY teach Ind. Arts to K to 12 students)

    In addition, due to the safety training and organizational skills our students gain, they are also in demand in the “World of Work” where they become training supervisors and safety officers.

    So it is not all doom and gloom, potential teachers need to be aware of options that are available to them, and choose wisely when they first apply to the University to become a teacher.

    This program can be found at:

  5. Just a clarification about the UBC statistics above: the quote refers only to the applicant numbers for the BEd Elementary program, not for the entire BEd program. The total number of applicants for the BEd program in 2007 was 1433 and in 2011, it fell to 1129.

    Dilys Chiew
    Admissions Officer, BEd (Middle Years and Secondary) program
    UBC Teacher Education Office