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Local brilliance : the attraction-retention of the UBC Okanagan Campus graduates in Kelowna

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Title: Local brilliance : the attraction-retention of the UBC Okanagan Campus graduates in Kelowna
Author: Talbott, Emma Marie
Degree Master of Arts - MA
Program Interdisciplinary Studies
Copyright Date: 2012
Publicly Available in cIRcle 2012-01-23
Abstract: One of the many challenges faced by recent graduates is finding a job. The problem becomes increasingly difficult in small and medium sized cities (cities possessing a population of fewer than 700,000 people). This study focuses on the challenges and barriers students who have recently graduated face in both one of Canada's most expensive housing markets and a city where there is an aging demographic. In addition, this study explores possible incentives for keeping the younger educated demographic in Kelowna following graduation. Data for this study were obtained from questionnaire surveys administered to both final-year students (those that graduated in June 2011 from the University of British Columbia Okanagan Campus) and all past students (alumni that graduated from the UBC Okanagan Campus from 2006 to 2010) in which 48 final-year students and 42 alumni participated. The questionnaire surveys focussed on the respondents' desire to either remain in or leave Kelowna following graduation and what factors encouraged these decisions. Supplementary data were acquired from 10 structured key informant interviews in Kelowna which assessed the aging population of the city and programs aimed to assist recent graduates or youth. Results from the case study indicate the majority of graduates from the UBC Okanagan Campus do leave Kelowna after graduation. Graduates had a variety of reasons for leaving Kelowna, and the majority cited a severe lack of jobs within their chosen career field. Respondents sought opportunities in other cities to gain workplace experience, well-paid jobs and have the affordable housing that Kelowna does not possess. This study expands on existing literature by emphasizing the importance of young adults in a growing city and the need for a population mix. This case study reveals that students who have recently graduated experience a multitude of factors when determining where to reside and work following graduation. Recommendations from this study suggest a need for increased social assistance in career services offered by the UBC Okanagan Campus, more affordable housing, and the need for a mixed population and more culturally diverse community.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2429/40210
Scholarly Level: Graduate

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