First Data Project

Looks like I’ve caught the data bug, so I thought I’d try a small project.

I was playing around on LinkedIn and stumbled across some interesting data that they have about university alumni, such as current location, major and current employer. I had found my first project…

What are the top employment destinations for those who attended Canadian Universities?

I focused on the biggest Universities in the four biggest cities in Canada;

  • Montreal – Concordia University, McGill University, University of Montreal and University of Quebec Montreal
  • Ottawa – Carleton University and University of Ottawa
  • Toronto – Ryerson University, University of Toronto and York University
  • Vancouver – Simon Fraser University and University of British Colombia

Top 20 employment destinations for Canadian university students (attended 1975-1994).
Top 20 employment destinations for Canadian university students (attended 1995-2014).

A few trends are immediately apparent;



  • There are more people studying in the biggest schools in Montreal than in the biggest schools in Toronto, but Toronto is the most popular destination.
  • In the second time period each of our four big cities does a better job of retaining it’s own students.
  • In the second time period less students (proportionally) went to USA, 13.6% in first period, versus 6.9% in the second period.
  • UK and France were in 13th and 17th place, respectively, in the first time period, and 10th and 8th, respectively, in the second time period. Also, Europe (other) didn’t make the cut in the first time period, but in the second time period it’s 16th place.
  • China and the Middle East didn’t appear in the first list, but did appear in the second one.

Here we focus on the movement between the big four metro areas;

In which city did attendees (1995 – 2014) of of each of these universities ultimately settle?

Which city had the highest retention rate of it’s university students?


Have we hit a bias here? Ottawa seems to have much lower retention than the other cities. Is it possible that employees of the federal government (who I assume are a big proportion of the workforce in Ottawa) aren’t on LinkedIn?

LinkedIn provides current employer information as well, and a quick perusal of major employers of our group show that employees of Government of Canada, Health Canada, Global Affairs Canada, Canada Revenue Agency, Department of National Defense and Statistics Canada are all well represented on LinkedIn.

So it would appear that Ottawa is just not that great of an attraction for our group.

Disclaimer; I grew up in Ottawa, and now live in Toronto.


  1. All data was obtained from LinkedIn, I copy/pasted it from my browser, used MS Excel to clean it up, and used Excel and MS Access to do the analysis.
  2. The images were generated (for the most part) by the website RAW.

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