Ontario's colleges are seeing a rise in the number of applications from students with university degrees, a trend that may be fuelled by a difficult job market.

Over the past five years, the number of applications from students with university degrees has jumped some 40 per cent.

Linda Franklin, the CEO of Colleges Ontario, an advocacy group, says there is a general desire to see young people land good jobs through their post-secondary education efforts.

Franklin said that’s also what the students want themselves "and that’s really what colleges are all about."

Sonya Gulati of TD Economics said the recent recession may also be a factor.

"What we’re increasingly seeing with this past recession was that it was hard-hit for a lot of different people, and so people who are very focused on labour-market outcomes after their education, college might be more suitable for them," she said.