Thunder Bay boasts a highly educated workforce. 61.4% of adults in Thunder Bay posses a post-secondary education which is a higher rate than any other OECD country.*

Lakehead University students

Population by Education Level
Education Level Total
Total population aged 15 years and over with higher level certificate, diploma or degree 101,100
No certificate, diploma or degree 21,775
High school diploma or equivalent 25,360
Postsecondary certificate, diploma or degree 53,960
Apprenticeship or trades certificate or diploma 10,745
College, CEGEP or other non-university certificate or diploma 23,050
University certificate or diploma below bachelor level 2,605
University certificate, diploma or degree at bachelor level or above 17,565
Bachelor's degree 10,850
University certificate, diploma or degree above bachelor level 6,720

*Source: Statistics Canada, 2016; OECD, 2016

Post Secondary Educational Institutions

Thunder Bay is home to major educational institutions such as Confederation College, Lakehead University, and The Oshki-Pimache-O-Win Education and Training Institute.

Confederation College offers over 60 full-time post-secondary programs, as well as part-time credit and non-credit courses, specialty programs for business and industry, pre-employment and skills training programs, apprenticeship programs and cooperative/workplace training programs.

Lakehead University is home to Canada's newest medical school,the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, as well as the Bora Laskin Faculty of Law.

The Oshki-Pimache-O-Win Education and Training Institute provides post secondary education programs and training for people of the Nishnawbe Aski Nation and other learners.

All of these educational institutions are pro-active in the ongoing development of the skill sets needed by employees to enable companies in Thunder Bay to maintain their competitive advantage.

Lakehead University has a higher provincial average employment rate with 94.4% of their graduates finding employment within 2 years of graduation. Students in Forestry, Biology & Natural Sciences, and Computer Science & Math all benefit from a 100% employment rate. (Source: Lakehead University).

Confederation College surveyed employers who had hired recent graduates and they received an overwhelming 90% employer satisfaction rate. (Source: Confederation College)

Lakehead University

Lakehead University logoLakehead University has enrolments of just under 10,000 students and offers a diverse range of science, arts, and professional degree programs. They also offer 28 Masters programs and Doctoral programs in Biotechnology, Educational Studies, Clinical Psychology, Forest Sciences, and Sociology. Lakehead University ranked in the top 10 Canadian Universities to attend for a primary degree in the 2019 Macleans University Rankings (Source: Lakehead University).


Confederation College

Confederation College logoConfederation College of Applied Arts and Technology has an enrolment of 12,000 students and provides over 70 programs across the seven Northern campuses. The college offers a variety of corporate and customized business and industry training programs and services, including upgrading, pre-technology, apprenticeship and employment.


Oshki-Pimache-O-Win Education and Training Institute

Oshki-Pimache-O-Win Education and Training Institute logoOshki-Pimache-O-Win Education and Training Institute is a result of federal and provincial funding provided to Confederation College. The Oshki-Pimache-O-Win Education and Training Institute has also received funding for the Pathways to Prosperous Future project. This will provide specialized training for First Nations people in 49 communities across the Nishnawbe Aski Nation. It will also upgrade the trades lab at Dennis Franklin Cromarty High School which will provide more training opportunities for First Nations youth.


The Northern Ontario School of Medicine

The Northern Ontario School of Medicine logoThe Northern Ontario School of Medicine is a joint initiative between Laurentian University in Sudbury and Lakehead University in Thunder Bay. This medical school was created with a mandate to help improve the health of the people in Northern Ontario. From its unconventional beginnings, this medical school continues to explore new ideas and to work to enrich lives in its communities.



Testimonial: Superior Propane

Superior Propane logo"We were looking for a well skilled work force and Thunder Bay was hands down the place to be. The city was very open and friendly, from the economic development group to training provided by Confederation College. In fact Confederation College actually ended up training across the country for us, so we were totally impressed with what we saw. To think that we went from nothing to 30 trained people in 90 days is amazing. Phenomenal!" - John Gleason, President of Superior Propane


For additional information please contact the Development Officer at (807) 625-3960 or visit our Contact Us page.


Sign Up for the Go To Thunder Bay Newsletter

Why Thunder Bay

Technicians working in lab

Thunder Bay is Northwestern Ontario's commercial, administrative and medical hub.


“We ship every day… Plane leaves here at 5 o’clock every day. Our goods are in their owners hands as quick as 18 hours anywhere in North America.” - Owner, Cinevate Inc.

Quick Stats

Logo Map