How do CourseCompare’s annual school rankings work?

CourseCompare’s annual rankings, which include everything from Canada’s best online MBA programs to its top coding bootcamps, are guided by a comprehensive underlying methodology but a simple overarching purpose: To help prepare you for the future of work.

In compiling our annual rankings, CourseCompare places job placement rates at the centre of its methodology. Complementing job placement rates are four additional performance metrics: (1) verified ratings from recent graduates along four separate dimensions of quality; (2) industry recognition and satisfaction based on employer survey data; (3) graduate earning potential, typically based on salaries within six months of graduation; and (4) graduation rates taken from a variety of sources, including but not limited to provincial governments, Colleges and Institutes Canada, Universities Canada, Colleges Ontario, and in some cases post-secondary institutions themselves.

Ranking Methodology: Career Training Programs 

METRICDESCRIPTION WEIGHTING
Job Placement RateJob placement rates are reported by schools or third-party organizations. They reflect the percentage of students who obtained a job in their field of study, typically within six months after graduation. 40%
Student Satisfaction Our student satisfaction scores are based on verified user ratings submitted on CourseCompare.ca. We collect ratings along four dimensions: instructor quality; curriculum; career support; and overall student satisfaction. 25%
Industry RecognitionEmployer survey data is used to determine a program’s reach and reputation among employers. CourseCompare will deploy its own employer surveys where existing data is unavailable, out of date or unreliable. 20%
Salary ExpectationsSalary data is based on the average annual earnings of all graduates within a program, up to one year after graduation. Data is supplied by schools and student surveys. For coding bootcamps, data is sourced from the Council on Integrity in Results Reporting (CIRR). 7.5%
Graduation RateThis number reflects the percentage of students who met the requirements of their program and graduated/matriculated within the time permitted. 7.5%

Critically, our annual rankings are not influenced by advertising dollars — education partners cannot pay to appear in or influence our annual published reports. When evaluating the effectiveness of higher learning organizations, we start with an exhaustive list of schools in each area of specialty, which is put together solely by our editorial team and learning advisors. 

The sum of our research is a score that allows us to identify schools and programs that are indeed preparing learners for in-demand careers. As an added measure of quality, programs must maintain a job placement rate of at least 75 per cent to be considered for inclusion in our rankings.

Ranking Methodology: Online Programs 

For career training programs delivered primarily online, CourseCompare retains its core ranking methodology but adds a 10 per cent score for online infrastructure and the availability and quality of real-time virtual support.

METRICDESCRIPTION WEIGHTING
Job Placement RateJob placement rates are reported by schools or third-party organizations. They reflect the percentage of students who obtained a job in their field of study, typically within six months after graduation. 40%
Student Satisfaction Our student satisfaction scores are based on verified user ratings submitted on CourseCompare.ca. We collect ratings along four dimensions: instructor quality; curriculum; career support; and overall student satisfaction. 20%
Industry RecognitionEmployer survey data is used to determine a program’s reach and reputation among employers. CourseCompare will deploy its own employer surveys where existing data is unavailable, out of date or unreliable. 15%
Online Experience A combination of school and student surveys are used to determine the quality of Learning Management Systems and the quality of live online instructional support. 10%
Salary ExpectationsSalary data is based on the average annual earnings of all graduates within a program, up to one year of graduation. Data is supplied by schools and student surveys. 7.5%
Graduation RateThis number reflects the percentage of students who met the requirements of their program and graduated/matriculated within the time permitted. 7.5%

Ranking Methodology: Short Courses & Certificate Programs

Lifelong learners keep their skills sharp and marketability on track by taking microcredentials and other short courses. Unlike longer programs that track student success metrics such as job placement and salary expectations, we evaluate short courses and certificate programs based on a combination of factors, including on-platform user ratings, employer survey results, and CourseCompare’s own user analytics. Based on these elements we devise a long list and, using editorial discretion, determine which courses deliver the best value for learners.

As with our annual rankings of career training programs, education partners cannot pay to appear in or influence our annual published reports.

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