Dictionary, Census of Population, 2016
Major field of study (based on the Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) Canada 2016)
'Field of study' refers to the discipline or area of learning or training associated with a particular course or program of study.
This variable refers to the predominant discipline or area of learning or training of a person's highest completed postsecondary certificate, diploma or degree, classified according to the Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) Canada 2016.
This 'Major field of study' variable can be used either independently or in conjunction with the 'Highest certificate, diploma or degree' variable. When the latter is used with 'Major field of study,' it should be noted that different fields of study will be more common for different types of postsecondary qualifications. At the detailed program level, some programs are only offered by certain types of institutions.
There was an explicit instruction in the questionnaire which instructed respondents to be as specific as possible in indicating a subfield or subcategory of specialization within a broad discipline or area of training.
This variable is reported for persons aged 15 years and over in private households.
For comments on data quality for this variable, refer to the Education Reference Guide, Census of Population, 2016.
Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) Canada 2016
2016 (25% sample); 2011Note 1 (30% sample); 2006, 2001, 1996, 1991 and 1986 (20% sample).
Population aged 15 years and over in private households
Coded variable: Question 27
Major field of study was a write-in response. This variable was created by assigning a field of study code from the Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) Canada 2016.
See Appendix 6.2: Major field of study – Classification based on the Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) Canada 2016 codes for the CIP Canada 2016 structure.
Respondents who completed a paper questionnaire selected 'No certificate, diploma or degree higher than high school' for persons without a postsecondary certificate, diploma or degree.
Respondents who completed an electronic questionnaire automatically skipped question 27 on major field of study when they indicated they had obtained no postsecondary certificate, diploma or degree in question 26.
CIP Canada 2016 is subdivided into three levels: 49 'series' (a series represents the most general groupings of programs that are related in subject area, 2-digit codes); 387 'subseries' (an intermediate grouping of programs that have comparable content and objectives, 4-digit codes); and over 1,600 instructional program classes (which represent the most detailed and specific subjects of study, 6-digit codes).
There is also a variant of CIP Canada 2016 that consists of 13 primary groupings, 12 of which are used for the 2016 Census of Population. The category which includes courses in personal improvement and leisure is not used. There is also a variant of CIP Canada 2016 that can be used to examine the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics and computer sciences) and BHASE (non-STEM) fields of study.
Some series and their subcomponents are not used when coding major field of study: series 21, 32 to 37 and 53, which represent non-credit and personal improvement fields of study.
For more information on the CIP classification, please see Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) Canada 2016.