Disaster and Emergency Management

Do you want to pursue a career helping prepare for and respond to emergencies and disasters taking an all hazards approach to identifying threats, natural and human made, including terrorism and cyber attacks, vulnerabilities and risks as they relate to the environment, public health, humanitarian law, critical infrastructure and business continuity? You will study theoretical concepts through the examination of disasters and emergency situations, learning of the importance and complexities of crisis management, interconnectedness, and to identify, assess, and manage risks and strategies to enhance resiliency in order to mitigate the social and economic consequences of disaster. One of only two such programs in Canada, this program takes an interdisciplinary approach and will appeal to those currently working in the field looking to assume positions of increasing responsibility as well as those aspiring to become disaster and emergency management professionals in the public or private sector.

Career Options in Disaster and Emergency Management

This list is not exhaustive but provides an idea of the options graduates have and what they have gone on to do. Some options are more directly associated with a Disaster and Emergency Management degree than others.

  • Anti-terrorism Emergency Manager
  • Business Continuity Planner
  • Business Risk Manager
  • Campus Emergency Manager
  • Crisis Communication Specialist
  • Disaster Recovery Coordinator
  • Disaster Risk Specialist
  • Emergency Management Policy Advisor
  • Emergency Public Health Manager
  • Emergency Social Services Manager
  • Emergency Telecommunications Manager
  • Environmental Emergencies Specialist
  • Event Safety and Emergency Manager
  • Hospital Emergency Manager
  • Humanitarian Assistance Professional
  • Industrial Emergency Manager
  • International Aid Director
  • International Development
  • Worker
  • NGO Disaster Relief Coordinator
  • Oil and Gas Emergency Manager
  • Professor
  • Project Manager
  • Public Policy Analyst
  • Public Relations Representative
  • Public Safety Consultant
  • Researcher
  • Safety Analyst
  • Social Program Director
  • Teacher
  • Trauma Centre Supervisor

Some of these career choices may require additional education or preparation in the form of graduate studies, experiential education or professional formative courses and exams. For a more in-depth description of some of the careers mentioned above visit Career Cruising (login information can be found on the home page of the Career Centre's online system) or the National Occupational Classification website.

Skills Developed through a Disaster and Emergency Management Degree

A background in Disaster and Emergency Management ensures that you develop the skills and mindset to tackle many different professional challenges.

Core Skills

  • An ability to critically analyze and research disasters and emergencies using perspectives from sociology, politics and public policy
  • An understanding of the key concepts governing the methodology and effective management of contemporary emergency situations
  • A technical and academic comprehension of the considerations and the demands of dealing with disasters of different natures and origins

Communication, Data Gathering and Organizational Skills

  • The ability to present your thoughts clearly and intelligently in written statements and written opinion pieces
  • Deduction of information from various sources and the ability to concentrate on relevant resources
  • The ability to organize, understand and analyze sources of information and to apply novel forms of technology or new information to different professional settings and tasks
  • The capacity to critically analyze problems, think creatively and make sound decisions while considering different sides of an argument
  • The skills to collect various types of information, assess them, analyze and incorporate potential linkages from different fields, put them into writing and efficiently convey your message and the goal of your work

Management and Teamwork

  • The ability to interpret and analyze information presented by peers and efficiently and constructively support or challenge their proposals, theories, ideas and reports in order to achieve a project’s intended and successful end result
  • Skills enabling you to work effectively in group situations, partaking in decision-making, leading and contributing in various capacities to the ultimate success of the team and task
  • The ability to debate, persuade, mediate and present your thoughts and opinions to others, as well as the capacity to recognize and incorporate other potential solutions or applications to given problems
  • The capability to identify priorities and proper courses of action, to plan the execution of tasks and to determine and delegate responsibilities to group members to most effectively carry out projects

Professional Associations and Organizations

Knowing the industry and how to excel in it after receiving a degree are key elements of future success. University study sets up the building blocks you will need to develop and enhance your understanding and knowledge in your career. Being part of a professional organization or network and gaining further insight through training are excellent ways of increasing your knowledge of the field.