Work and Labour Studies

Ubiquitous societal concepts, work and the dynamic rapport developed between labourers and those that employ them have been accompaniments to every human civilization. If you have always been fascinated by the relationships that exist between employers and workers in Canada and around the world, studying Work and Labour Studies at York is the first step to finding a career in this field. You will follow an interdisciplinary program and will gain exposure to core ideas as the impact of globalization, the role of the state and private enterprise, the politics of labour relations as well as the social consequences of labour-related decisions.

Below is a sample list of some future choices to explore following studies in Work and Labour Studies. 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 Work and Labour Studies degree can offer. Some options are more directly associated with specific areas of Work and Labour Studies than others.

  • Activist
  • Career Counselor
  • Community Developer
  • Corporate Recruiter/Trainer
  • Diplomat
  • Entrepreneur
  • Event Planner
  • Foreign Service Worker
  • Health Policy Advisor
  • Human Rights Advocate
  • Immigration Officer
  • Industrial Relations Manager
  • Journalist
  • Labour Market Researcher
  • Lawyer
  • Legal Aide
  • Lobbyist
  • Media Correspondent
  • Mediator
  • Museum Curator
  • Non-Profit Organization Director
  • Occupational Health and Safety Officer
  • Political Consultant
  • Politician
  • Public Relations Representative
  • Public Policy Advisor
  • Publisher
  • Researcher
  • Social Service Worker
  • Sociologist
  • Speech Writer
  • Teacher
  • Union Representative

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 Work and Labour Studies Degree

Core Work and Labour Studies Skills

  • An understanding of related fields and the core pillars of economic, social and political theory.
  • Exposure to the intricacies and historical experience of worker relations and questions regarding inequality, rights, workplace conditions requirements and ethics.
  • Comprehension of key legal questions related to work and labour relations in Canada and abroad and ideas as collective bargaining and the role of media.
  • Hands-on experience opportunities through concurrent practical work in the labour industry.

Communication, Data Gathering and Organizational Skills

  • The ability to present your thoughts clearly and intelligently in written statements and written opinion pieces
  • 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 Skills

  • 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
  • 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 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 Work and Labour Studies that you may want to visit as you research career options for Work and Labour Studies graduates.