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Alumni Impact Survey

Results from our 2017 Alumni Impact Survey reveal that U of T alumni help generate economic wealth and prosperity, are respected community volunteers and mentors, and are prolific creators of academic and creative works.

Alumni Impact Survey
“These results confirm what members of the University of Toronto community have known for decades—that our extensive alumni network is a significant driver of economic growth and societal well-being both at home and globally. Our graduates are also making important artistic and cultural contributions around the world, and they are giving back to their communities as volunteers.”
Prof. Meric S Gertler, President, University of Toronto

Survey Highlights

Today, a distinguished network of more than half a million U of T graduates is making valuable economic, social and cultural contributions around the world. Now, thanks to the 2017 Alumni Impact Survey results, we can more accurately measure the many ways our diverse and multitalented alumni contribute to society.

global_map 3.7 million jobs created globally
sml_global_map 3.7 million jobs created globally
global_ventures 197,000 ventures created
global_alumni 172,000 boards on which alumni serve
global_academic 760,000 academic, professional and artistic works produced
“Thanks to the many U of T graduates who took the time to participate in the survey, we now have a more complete picture of how alumni shape our world. It’s clear that our alumni lead in every field, as innovators, volunteers and creators.”
Barbara Dick, Assistant Vice-President, Alumni Relations

Employment, entrepreneurship & investment

U of T alumni start flourishing and profitable companies, invest in innovative startups, and are employed in meaningful and important work.

U of T startup Trexo Robotics produces easy-to-use robotic devices for children with walking impairments.

Alumni are gainfully employed

When it comes to employment, alumni active in the labour force enjoy a 97.6 per cent employment rate, with a higher percentage of alumni participating in the knowledge-intensive economy compared to the national average, particularly in the educational, legal, health and government sectors.

employed_bar_chart 38% 12% 18% 7% 13% 16% 10% 8% 9% 9% 5% 3% 3% 25% 14% 1% 1% 2% 1% 5% U of T Alumni Canadian Workforce Education, law, social, community, government services Health Business, nance and administration Natural and applied sciences Management Art, culture, recreation, sport Sales and service Trades, transport, equipment operators Natural resources, agriculture Manufacturing and utilities 40% 35% 30% 25% 20% 15% 10% 5% 0%
employed_sml 40% 35% 30% 25% 20% 15% 10% 5% 0% 13% 16% 9% 9% 5% 3% 3% 25% 14% 1% 10% 8% 18% 7% 38% 12% 1% 2% 1% 5% Education, law, social, community, government services Health Business, finance and administration Natural and applied sciences Management Art, culture, recreation, sport Sales and service Trades, transport, equipment operators Natural resources, agriculture Manufacturing and utilities U of T Alumni Canadian Workforce
breakdown BREAKDOWN OF ALUMNI IN THE LABOUR FORCE 2% or laid off Unemployed 2% caregiver leave parental or On maternity, 4% and working Going to school 11% part time Work 81% full time Work
breakdown_sml 2% or laid off Unemployed 2% caregiver leave parental or On maternity, 4% and working Going to School 11% part time Work 81% full time Work BREAKDOWN OF ALUMNI IN THE LABOUR FORCE
Graphic of 5 people walking
walk_of-alumni-are-employed 97.6% of alumni are employed, compared to 93.6% for the total Canadian workforce.

Alumni are company founders

Whether it’s founding major multinational companies or vibrant local businesses, the Alumni Impact Survey confirms U of T alumni catalyze innovation and prosperity throughout Canada and internationally. They have launched hundreds of thousands of ventures across a broad section of industries and fields.

leaf_alumni_have_founded 1 in 4 alumni have founded at least one company
leaf_of_alumni_founders 13% of alumni founders have started three or more companies
leaf_patents licensed into 1,112 U of T patents licensed into companies at founding
Majority of companies founded in Canada Majority of companies founded in Canada
leaf_for-profit 153,000 ventures founded globally for-profit
leaf_34000_not for 34,000 non-profit ventures

Alumni-founded companies: revenue & jobs

Alumni-founded companies generate billions of dollars in annual revenues—an amount roughly equivalent to one quarter of the Canadian GDP (2016). These companies employ millions of people in Canada and around the world.

annual_revenues ANNUAL REVENUES JOBS $349 Billion For-profitcompanies 3.2 Million For-profitcompanies $19 Billion Non-profitorganizations 500,000 Non-profitorganizations $368 BILLION (USD) 3.7 MILLION
sml_annual_revenue For-profit companies $349 BILLION For-profit companies 3.2 MILLION Non-profit organizations $19 BILLION Non-profit organizations 500,000 3.7 MILLION $368 BILLION (USD) JOBS ANNUAL REVENUES

Alumni invest in startups

U of T alumni actively support and fund entrepreneurial growth and have a strong record of success as investors, with two thirds of invested startups still in operation.

START-UPS BY LOCATION - 69% within Canada, 31% outside Canada STARTUPS BY LOCATION WithinCanada OutsideCanada 31% 9,800 69% 21,800
sml_startups 31% 9,800 69% 21,800 Within Canada Outside Canada START-UPS BY LOCATION
startup_6.75B $6.75 B total alumni investment in startup companies
startups_4.96B $4.96 B in companies still in operation
startups_50000 50,000 companies total ( ~65% still in operation)

Alumni Stories

These featured alumni profiles on alumni.utoronto.ca reveal how U of T graduates fuel economic growth and prosperity.

Anthony Lacavera 

Telecommunications is a big industry, run by major players. Anthony Lacavera started Globalive and made room for one more.

David Berkal 

David Berkal considers himself an entrepreneur, an activist and a traveller at heart.

Janice Fukakusa 

Many believe Canada withstood the world-wide financial crisis better than most because of the stability of our financial institutions. Janice Fukakusa is someone who helped us stay the course.

Board service, volunteerism & mentorship

University of Toronto alumni lead by example, sharing their time and expertise to help others as board members, volunteers and mentors in their respective communities.

Alumni help frame a house at a Habitat for Humanity event.

Alumni Serve on Boards

University of Toronto graduates are leaders and advisors for various influential organizations in the for-profit and non-profit sectors, with approximately one in five alumni serving on boards.

boards OR 1 IN 5 ALUMNI SIT ON BOARDS 19% For-profit boards 15% Non-profit boards 84%
sml_boards boards 15% boards 84% 19% For-profit Non-profit OR 1 IN 5 ALUMNI SIT ON BOARDS
boards_172000_boards 172,000 boards on which alumni serve
boards_8-5_average 8.5 average years of board service
boards_1.16 million 1.16 million total years board service of non-profit

Alumni are active volunteers and mentors

330,000 alumni (62%) have served as mentors 2.8 million hours of volunteer service per month 52% of alumni volunteer average of 15.4 hours per month 59% at work 23% at U of T 23% at a non-profit organization 21% at another university or college 330,000 62% alumni ( have served as mentors )
sml_volunteers 52% of alumni volunteer average of 15.4 hours per month 2.8 million hours of volunteer service per month 62% alumni ( ) 330,000 have served as mentors 59% at work 23% at U of T 23% at a non-profit organization 21% at another university or college

Alumni Stories

Discover how alumni have given back to their communities as volunteers and mentors on alumni.utoronto.ca.

Leonard Simpson 

Leonard Simpson is a shining example of the more than 10,000 alumni and friends who serve as volunteers and mentors at the University.

Nakanyike B. Musisi 

Professor Nakanyike Musisi was one of two U of T faculty members honoured by the African Alumni Association.

Shawn Ahmed 

In 2007, Shawn Ahmed went to Bangladesh with a laptop, a camera and a passionate yet indeterminate plan to help alleviate global poverty.

Academic, professional & cultural works

U of T alumni create hundreds of thousands of academic publications, professional and public policy documents, and artistic and cultural works.

Award-winning violinist and composer Owen Pallett (BMus 2002) performs on stage.

Alumni are prolific creators

University of Toronto graduates have long been regarded as important contributors to academic publications, professional practice and public policy documents, and the performing and literary arts. Now, the Alumni Impact Survey reveals the scale of this remarkable creative output.

creative_txt More than 330,000 U of T alumni have produced over 760,000 individual professional, academic or artistic contributions
Pen Illustration

Alumni Output by type

Whether it's acclaimed professors, influential thought leaders, or legendary directors, visual artists, musicians and authors, U of T alumni produce a variety of works across a wide spectrum of fields.

U OF T ALUMNI HAVE PRODUCED AT LEAST... U OF T ALUMNI HAVE PRODUCED AT LEAST... 200,000 peer-reviewed articles, books and conference presentations 125,000 standards and professional practice reports 79,000 educational programs, guidelines or policies disseminated beyond their employer or institution 64,000 textbook or manuals non-fiction books, 89,000 works of literary, performing or visual art for public consumption
sml_produced 200,000 presentations books and conference peer-reviewed articles, 125,000 professional practice reports standards and 89,000 consumption performing or visual art for public works of literary, 64,000 textbook or manuals non-fiction books, 79,000 guidelines or policies educatinal programs, disseminated beyond their employer or institution U OF T ALUMNI HAVE PRODUCED AT LEAST...

Alumni Stories

Read how alumni contribute to academic, policy and artistic works with these featured alumni stories at alumni.utoronto.ca.

John Mighton 

Imagine a popular playwright who doubles as an advocate for literacy in mathematics. No need to imagine: John Mighton is for real.

Pacinthe Mattar 

After spending years in far-flung locales such as Saudi Arabia, radio journalist Pacinthe Mattar is exploring Canadian concerns.

Rohinton Mistry 

Rohinton Mistry is the only author ever to have all his novels shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize.

Background & Methodology

The primary goal of the Alumni Impact Survey (AIS) was to evaluate the impact made by University of Toronto graduates. To achieve this goal, the university engaged in a research project in which we collected high quality survey data on key aspects of the impact of U of T alumni, including measures of social, cultural and economic impact. This project was reviewed and approved by the University of Toronto Research Ethics Board.

The project was carried out under the direction of principal investigators, Professor Vivek Goel, Vice-President Research and Innovation, and Professor Shiri M. Breznitz, of the Munk School of Global Affairs, and an Alumni Impact Steering Committee of senior University staff. An Advisory Committee of U of T faculty and alumni was consulted at various stages of the project. To ensure the confidentiality of the information collected, and to provide data management and preliminary analysis, an independent research firm, R.A. Malatest and Associates Ltd (Malatest), was engaged to administer the survey.

The total living U of T alumni population is about 545,000. The alumni were surveyed in four ways: first, all 238,768 alumni with email addresses, who had not opted out of receiving emails, were invited in April 2017 to participate in the online survey. Survey reminder emails were used to improve participation. Second, a sample of 10,000 alumni were contacted by Malatest by telephone and asked to complete the survey online or over the telephone. Third, a different sample of 10,000 were sent survey invitations by mail with a unique online survey access code. The characteristics of email respondents were monitored to inform the design for the phone and mail sample to ensure the overall respondent pool reflected the demographics of the entire alumni population. Lastly, alumni could also access the online survey directly through the Alumni Impact Survey website. The survey closed June 26, 2017.

The overall response rate was approximately 8% or just over 21,000 respondents. Demographic information about alumni from University records was used for weighting and other data-validation purposes following standard statistical methods. The resulting respondent sample was weighted to correct for differential response rates among demographic subgroups and then scaled so that estimates could be made for the University of Toronto alumni population as a whole. As demonstrated in the table, the characteristics of the respondents generally match those of the overall alumni population.

Survey respondents compared to Alumni population

Segment # Completes % Completes % of Alumni Population
20-29 3,243 16.8 14.2
30-39 3,910 20.2 20.3
40-49 3,268 16.9 17.7
50-59 3,132 16.2 16.7
60-69 2,722 14.1 14.7
70+ 3,068 15.9 16.1
Segment # Completes % Completes % of Alumni Population
Male 8,862 45.8 47.1
Female 10,472 54.1 52.8
Segment # Completes % Completes % of Alumni Population
St. George / NA 16,768 86.7 81.8
UTM 1,316 6.8 9.4
UTSC 1,267 6.5 8.8

For data on founded companies, several adjustments were made to remain conservative, such as independently validating ventures with high revenues or employment numbers, and applying a scaling factor (0.992) to account for the assumption that some companies would have multiple U of T alumni founders.

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