News and Events

Invest in yourself

February 13, 2014
Written by Mark Keller, director of college advancement
Featured in"On Campus" in the Medicine Hat News

Ever wonder who benefits when a dollar is spent by taxpayers or students at an Alberta college? I’m happy to say that a new study suggest that we all do. Education happens to be one of the best investments individuals or governments can make.

That’s the case laid out by a study launched by Medicine Hat College and eight other Alberta colleges. The province-wide economic impact study reveals that attending college pays huge dividends for students who complete post-secondary education, reduces costs for taxpayers, and boosts revenue for businesses who hire college graduates.

Not only does post-secondary education pave the way for a higher quality of life for students creating great career opportunities, it also provides the much needed skilled workforce our province needs to thrive and remain competitive globally.

I suppose I should add that, as a paid college employee who thinks this is about the best workplace around, tuition and tax dollars also pay my salary. So, yes, I have a personal bias towards college education and for that reason I invite you to look at the study in more detail and form your own opinion.

For myself, I think the study does a great job showing how Alberta’s colleges contribute to the economy of our province.

As a taxpayer, you can be assured that your investment in colleges pays off. Quite simply, when students graduate they earn more, and with higher pay come higher taxes.

The stats also show that students with advanced education are more likely to develop good health habits, commit fewer crimes and depend less on income assistance. Not a bad deal at all for the taxpayer; college grads pay more taxes but require less taxpayer funded assistance.

Business benefits too. The enhanced skills of well-trained college students help increase the productivity of the businesses that hire them. And because Alberta colleges contribute a steady flow of qualified workers to the workforce, thousands of college alumni are employed in Alberta.

In fact, just about 91 percent of students remain in Alberta once they achieve their educational goals, building careers, families and communities that support the province’s economy.

How much do grads contribute?

The study says that the accumulated contribution of former students currently employed in the provincial workforce amounted to $3.1 billion in added income in the single year of the study. That’s a lot no matter how you look at the numbers.

The results of the study, at the provincial scale, are available here. But, we’ll soon add information showing the impact of Medicine Hat College in this community. And that means even more good news to share. or @mark_mhc on Twitter.

The Medicine Hat News is a great community partner. Thanks!