Canadian soldiers are better educated than they used to be, but they are still less educated than the general public, according to a recently released Statcan report that profiled the military.
“To meet the high technical demands of modern warfare, more recognized training and education are necessary,” the report reads. It points out that a majority of those enlisted who were 25 years old and above had completed post-secondary studies in 2002, but it also indicated that the discrepancy among ranks is significant.
Although 88 per cent of officers and 63 per cent of reservists aged 25 or older had received a degree or diploma, only seven per cent of non-commissioned members of the same age group in the regular forces had achieved a similar level of education.
More soldiers have attended university and college than was the case 20 years ago. Only 19 per cent of regular-force personnel had finished post-secondary education in 1988, compared to 48 per cent of the same cohort in 2002. And while a little more than one-fourth of 1988’s regular force had dropped out of high school, only seven per cent of 2002’s regular military had dropped out.
It’s not all good news, though. Soldiers are still less educated than the general public. Although 53 per cent of those soldiers aged 25 years and higher had received post-secondary education, it lags behind the civilian number of 59 per cent.
69 per cent of reservists of all ages had received post-secondary education, a number that the report attributes to the success of on-campus recruiting.
“Many individuals join the reserves while attending university since the CF offers pay and summer jobs that may be ideal for students,” a footnote in the report reads.