Students in Ryerson University’s most expensive faculty are least likely to work part time, recent survey suggests

More than two-thirds of students in Ryerson’s faculty of engineering and architectural science said they do not have a part-time job

Despite tuition costs being higher than any other faculty, Ryerson engineering and architecture students are least likely to work part time while in school, according to a survey done by first-year journalism students.

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The survey suggested that 68 per cent of FEAS students did not work a part-time job this semester. This is 16 percentage points higher than science, the second highest faculty of students without a part-time job at Ryerson.

According to Ryerson’s admissions site, domestic engineering and architecture students were expected to pay anywhere from $10,881 to $12,241 for the 2018-2019 school term. Their average tuition cost is about $3,000 more than the average across all faculties.

Future payoff

IMG_4637.JPGOlivia Nunn, an architecture student at Ryerson University in Toronto.

Olivia Nunn, a first-year architecture student at Ryerson, said in an interview that she doesn’t think her program provides sufficient time for her to succeed if she was committed to something other than school. But she believes that tuition costs can be manageable with the job she will be able to get after graduating.


IMG_6798Marinus Lurz, a master of robotics and engineering student in his lab in Toronto on Wednesday.

Marinus Lurz, an engineer at a Toronto company designing UV products and a master of micronics, robotics and engineering student, did not work while completing an undergraduate degree. He said juggling six classes with his workload during the semester made it very difficult to find time for hobbies, let alone committing to a part-time position. In the interview he said he too hopes that his salary after graduation will make up for not being able to work as much.

Fortunately, students who successfully complete their degree can expect a well-above-average income.

The average Canadian salary in 2017 was $46,700 according to Statistics Canada. The average salary for an electrical engineer in 2015 was almost double, at about $89,000, according to Neuvoo, a Canadian job search website.

More hours, less breaks

Peter Wowk, a professional engineer and manager of special projects at SNC-Lavalin, said in an email that while he was able to work while studying, he sees how now the greater number of courses, hours per semester and workload required in the faculty of engineering can deter students from working part time.

IMG_3769Alicia Biggs, Ryerson graduate and civil design engineer working on a project in Toronto on Wednesday.

Alicia Biggs, a Ryerson graduate working as a civil design engineer, thinks it’s unlikely to find engineering and architecture students having part-time jobs “because of the hours they spend focusing in classes, labs and finding time outside of those hours to study and having sufficient rest in between.”

Ryerson architecture and engineering students have a 13-week term, as opposed to the 12-week term for students in other faculties. The reading week in first semester is eliminated.

First-year Ryerson School of Journalism students surveyed 1,179 Ryerson University students in person and online between March 1-4, 2019. Results for the full sample have a margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points, 19 times out of 20; it may be larger for subgroups.


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