2023 Brainstorm Student Interests Report

Universities & Colleges Custom Edition

Make informed, data-driven decisions with your staff and resources to better meet the career development needs of your students.

There is no cost to educational institutions to participate in this research.

The Brainstorm Student Interests Report is a comprehensive research study that provides an in-depth look at the mindset of Canadian post-secondary students with regards to their career aspirations; job search processes and behaviours; interests in prospective employers and industries; and, the services and support they require from their educational institutions to prepare for their careers and find work. The Report also explores numerous factors affecting student retention and academic success.

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The Report
helps universities and colleges by providing:

  • The most current information about students’ post-secondary intentions, experiences, interests, habits, and perceptions to optimize their students’ success;​
  • Students career goals and workplace readiness so that they may better align their career programs and services to increase students’ usage and engagement; and, ​
  • Information that will support their employer relationships to increase hiring and help students find a better fit with opportunities. ​

The 2022 edition of the Brainstorm Student Interests Report was based on a comprehensive national survey of more than 20,000 public university and college students. It was conducted in March through July of 2022. The 2023 edition is being fielded in February through June 2023.

Post-secondary institutions that assist in promoting the survey to their students receive a comprehensive custom report at no cost.

Schools wishing to get involved in 2023 can register to participate using the form below.

Go to the Subscription Form

Testimonials from Participating Institutions

“At Laurier, we find the results of the Brainstorm survey particularly helpful in informing program planning and our student marketing efforts, in addressing accountability and in communication with employers. Student feedback is important to us and this is a good barometer year over year.”

Jan Basso

Assistant Vice-President, Experiential Learning & Career Development, Wilfrid Laurier University

“At Brock, we continue to engage in the Brainstorm Student Career Interests Report as it gives us insight into our students and employer partners, what their interests are, what skills are valued and how those interests change year over year so we can make sure our operations reflect the current student and employer needs. In these changing times, it’s more important than ever to have data driven decisions and reports like this allow us to leverage our resources and ensure that we are providing value to our students and our employer partners with good information and insight.”

Cara Krezek

Director, Co-op, Career & Experiential Education, Brock University

“We have participated in the Brainstorm Student Career Interests Survey annually. From insights about student career goals and workplace readiness to expectations of career services support, the Survey provides timely, reliable Canadian data that helps to inform our services. Understanding the career objectives and employment preferences of our students, particularly within the broader post-secondary context, gives us valuable information that we can leverage to ensure that we are meeting the needs of our students and stakeholders.”

Alice Michaud

Associate Director, Talent Development & Career Services, Conestoga College

“Brainstorm has been an important partner in helping career centres gather data about the changing career needs of both students and employers. The information derived from their annual Student Career Interests Report helps us better focus our efforts and resources to ensure students are career-ready and employers engage with students in meaningful ways.”

Mary-Anne Moroz

Manager, Career Centre & Employer Partnerships, Gordon S. Lang School of Business & Economics at University of Guelph

“Participating in the Brainstorm Career Interests Survey has helped our department in two ways. First, we understand our students better on a variety of measures. This has allowed us to make decisions about our services. Second, the “Weekly” stat helps remind us of key points throughout the year. It has been very worthwhile for us to participate with Brainstorm!”

Stephanie Hayne Beatty

Director, Careers & Experience, Western University

More Than Data:  Actionable Insights and Advice

The Brainstorm Report provides accurate Canadian data that will give you the context needed to make actionable decisions specific to your institution. 

Topics explored include:

  • Reasons for choosing post-secondary education
  • Confidence in choice of school and major
  • Clarity of career path and likelihood of graduation
  • Likelihood of choosing the same major and school
  • Top sources of stress
  • School and faculty commitment to career support
  • Career goals & aspirations
  • Social media & job search habits
  • Co-op and internship experience
  • Careers planning and its relation to academic success
  • Job and workplace readiness
  • Influencers and career decision factors
  • Career services evaluation & expectations
  • Preferred career resources & websites
  • Employer & industry preferences

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Key Information for Your Employer Relations and Industry Partnerships

As institutions invest more in building industry relationships to support their programs; provide co-op and experiential learning opportunities; and help their graduates get hired, it has become increasingly important for them to understand their students’ career interests and how they engage with employers.

The Brainstorm Report provides post-secondary institutions with key data to inform how they deliver support services to their industry partners.

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Industry Experience

Brainstorm has been studying and reporting on Canadian students’ career interests and post-secondary experiences in depth for more than 18 years.

The insights and advice we share with our clients is based on extensive engagement with students and grads via surveys, focus groups, and discussion panels. It also comes from our work advising and training many of Canada’s largest employers, universities and colleges.

This experience makes Brainstorm uniquely positioned to interpret and advise institutions on how student opinions have changed over time and what they can anticipate in the future.

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How to Participate in the 2023 Study

Public post-secondary institutions are eligible to subscribe for a free custom report in exchange for assisting in promoting the survey tool to their students. To be eligible for the custom report, we require a minimum of 200 student responses (this minimum can be lowered for smaller schools or faculties).

To participate in 2023 research, please complete and submit the subscription details below. We will follow up with you to provide details to share the survey with your students.

We aim to launch the survey in late February 2023 and close it by the end of May 2023. (Schools can promote the survey at any time during this period). The school reports will be distributed in September 2023.

To participate in our 2023 research study, please complete and submit the subscription details below.

If you have any trouble submitting through this form, please email us at info@brainstorm.ca

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