Job prospects University Professor in Ontario

Job opportunities for University professors and lecturers (NOC 4011) are fair in Ontario over the next 3 years. These job prospects are also applicable to people working as an university professor.

Note that these employment prospects were published in December 2019 based on information available at that time. You can read our new special report to learn about the impact of COVID-19 on some occupations in your province or territory. You can also visit the Canadian Online Job Posting Dashboard to find the latest data on the demand and work requirements for this occupation.

Job opportunities in Ontario

university professor
Prospects over the next 3 years

The employment outlook will be fair for University professors and lecturers (NOC 4011) in Ontario for the 2019-2021 period.

The following factors contributed to this outlook:

  • Employment growth will lead to a moderate number of new positions.
  • Several positions will become available due to retirements.
  • There are a small number of unemployed workers with recent experience in this occupation.

The main driver of employment growth in this occupation is post-secondary education enrolment, which has been rising over several years. The Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) and the Ontario Student Grant (OSG) are set to become more restrictive in the coming years, as the provincial government proposed in January 2019 to eliminate the non-needs-based portion of the OSG. A greater portion of its OSAP funds will be shifted from non-repayable grants into repayable loans. Low-income students will now be ineligible to receive grants large enough to cover the full cost of tuition, and post-undergraduate students will now receive a minimum of 50% of their funding in repayable loans rather than non-repayable grants.

In addition, the previous grace period that existed after graduation for six months interest-free is also set to be eliminated, while the definition of an independent mature student who is assessed for OSAP eligibility independent of their parents' income will become tightened. These measures will be balanced, however, by a 10% decrease in tuition fees for all domestic students in Ontario colleges and universities, although the decrease in tuition funding for colleges and universities, estimated at $440 million, will not be supplemented by the provincial government.

In addition, the total expenses for the postsecondary education and training sector will decrease by 5.8% for 2019/20 in the 2019 provincial budget, reflecting the savings sought for financial sustainability to the OSAP program. The Ontario budget also incorporates a significant decrease in postsecondary infrastructure expenditures of more than 60% from 2018/19 to 2019/20, as several campus expansions and a new Francophone university were cancelled in the fall of 2018. The Ontario government also intends to link the majority of university funding to performance outcomes by 2024/25 via strategic mandate agreements.

The job market for university professors is quite international in scope and very highly competitive. In addition, given the prevalence of contract and sessional work in this occupation, it is common for university professors to work a long time in this occupation or a related occupation before securing a tenured position as a professor. The average age of university professors in Ontario is significantly higher than other occupations. Although some job opportunities will arise from retirement needs, this may be moderated by the fact that many professors choose to work well into old age.

Here are some key facts about University professors and lecturers in the Ontario region:

Labour Market Information Survey
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