Canada needs better data if it wants to be an innovation leader, writes Polytechnics Canada CEO

October 28, 2016

“[If] we really want to retool Canada’s economy and become the ‘innovation nation’ ... so far, a key piece to this puzzle is elusive: data,” writes Polytechnics Canada CEO Nobina Robinson. The author argues that Canada’s tendency to measure productivity through credentials has “serious implications” for the country, as it does not take market demand for those credentials into account and can often leave “individuals with high levels of academic achievement working jobs far below their skill sets.” Robinson highlights data from the 2011 Review of Federal Support for R&D to show that Canadian firms hire individuals holding technologist designations, BAs, and Master’s degrees more than they do PhDs, even while many Canadians “decry our underproduction of PhDs relative to global counterparts.” It is this type of dissonance, Robinson concludes, that should be resolved with reliable data rather than “hunch or anecdote.” Globe and Mail