In an ever changing global community, issues at the intersection of modern concepts of medicine, culture, morality, law and technology are of crucial importance and most certainly in vogue both in Canada as well as internationally. The Health and Society major offered by the Department of Social Science will allow you to follow a curriculum that brings together knowledge from various fields that will prepare you to analyze and understand contemporary health policy and how it is affected and shaped by social, historical and technological realities. At its core, it is a comprehensive and excellent base for a great number of career options and life paths.
Below is a sample list of some future choices to explore following studies in Health and Society. This list is not exhaustive but it provides a solid idea of what fellow graduates have gone on to do and what potential careers a Health and Society degree can offer. Some options are more directly associated with specific areas of Health and Society than others.
- Behavioural Therapist
- Clinical Researcher
- Community and Youth Worker
- Event Coordinator
- Health Journalist
- Health Policy Advisor
- Hospital Administrator
- Human Rights Advocate
- Industrial Relations Consultant
- Laboratory Technician
- Lifestyle Instructor
- Marketing Specialist
- Media Correspondent
- Medical Technology Developer
- Medical Anthropologist
- Medical Sales Representative
- Medical Writer
- Mental Health Counsellor
- Non-Profit Organization Director
- Public Policy Advisor
- Rehabilitation Counsellor
- Social Worker
- Workplace Health Consultant
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 Health and Society Degree
A background in Health and Society ensures that you develop the skills and mindset to tackle many different professional challenges. Here are just a few of the skills a Health and Society degree can help you develop:
- Exposure to an interdisciplinary approach to the study of the application of medicine within the scope of economic and social agendas and the ability to personalize your studies by following a variety of possible degree options combining knowledge from many interrelated fields.
- An ability to parse through various issues and dilemmas facing modern health policy creation, implementation and improvement both in Canada and on the global scale.
- A strong ability to express yourself in both written position statements and in oral discussions and presentations.
- Understanding of the political, anthropological and economic aspects of “illness” and “wellness” in contemporary societies.
Communication, Data Gathering and Organizational Skills
- 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 ability to explain complex ideas clearly to others and to apply complex theoretical concepts to everyday practice and professional dilemmas
- 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
- The capacity to lead and interact with a variety of people with different approaches and personal and professional backgrounds
- 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. The following is a selection of organizations related to the field of Health and Society that you may want to visit as you research career options for Health and Society graduates.
- York University Health and Society Student Association
- World Health Organization)
- Health, Wellness and Society
- Canadian Public Health Association
- Canadian Mental Health Association
- American Public Health Association
- Public Health Physicians of Canada
- Ontario Public Health Association
- York University Health and Society website