Working Knowledge is back again this year. It's a careers-focused look at the links between undergraduate degrees and employment, arranged by seven fields of study: Engineering and Technology, Arts and Humanities, Education, Sciences and Math, Health and Medical Sciences, Fine and Performing Arts and Business and Commerce. Cassandra Jowett, Danielle Lorenz, Alanna Glass and Vicky Tobianah look at each section in turn.
- Arts and Humanities
- Business and Commerce
- Engineering and Technology
- Fine and Performing Arts
- Sciences and Math
As Canada's population ages, demand for medical imaging technicians, cardiovascular technicians, medical sonographers, ultrasonographists and other jobs that are essential to the diagnostic end of the medical industry will continue to grow. Depending on a few factors, diagnostic technicians can earn more than $80,000 each year. The relatively new field of genetic counselling is also fairly lucrative with counsellors making an average of $65,000 to $85,000 annually. Doctors are among the highest paid professionals in the healthcare industry with an average starting salary of around $100,000. That amount can go as high as $500,000 depending on the type of speciality but the road to becoming a doctor—an MCAT, medical school and long work hours—can be extremely demanding for many students. Other careers for those graduating with a health sciences degree include naturopathic doctor, psychiatric nurse, gerontologist, midwife, athletic therapist, chiropodist, coroner, allergist or speech language pathologist.
What Employers Want
Northern Health searches for individuals who are genuinely passionate about the career paths they have chosen. We recruit to fill vacancies that span a wide range of professions, which include nursing, health sciences, support, and management and leadership roles. Considering there is a range of professions, minimum qualifications and certifications will differ; however, there
are crucial core traits that we look for in
We actively recruit individuals who are committed to providing exceptional health services. Top attributes that Northern Health looks for include: the desire to be a part of an outstanding healthcare team whose goals include building healthier communities, coming aboard
with a positive attitude, willingness to embrace cultural diversity, respect for yourself and others and a desire to make a positive difference in the lives of others.
National Director, Human Resources,
LifeLabs will recruit recent graduates of laboratory science programs for many roles. In addition to a medical laboratory science diploma or degree, some technologists may need additional certification or registration with a regulatory body or college. Our medical science staff will have PhDs in the laboratory science discipline they practice while pathologists are also medical doctors. Successful completion of the required programs is important, but we also look for a depth of technical knowledge through testing, passion for
the role and for working in healthcare.
In the end, it's all about the patient and helping them. In addition to technical knowledge, LifeLabs looks for individuals with strong problem-solving skills and a dedication to quality and teamwork. What the potential hire brings to the table holistically is important as there are many career opportunities within LifeLabs that could exist down the road, as the organization and the individual learns and grows.
Health Force Ontario
New Grad Initiative,
Trillium Health Centre
Bachelor of Science (Nursing),
York University, 2011
Stephanie Walker, a 22-year-old registered nurse who works in the birthing suite unit at Trillium Health Centre in Mississauga, says her first experience in the field was during her practicum placement at Trillium in January. After graduating in April, Walker came back through the Health Force Ontario New Grad Initiative, which includes a six-month orientation. "I wanted to come back to Trillium to start my career because I had a wonderful placement here," she says. "My role as an RN in the Birthing Suite Unit is to assess and triage pregnant women who come into the hospital, provide supportive and assistive care in all stages of labour for the pregnant woman and her family, and care for mother and baby post-delivery recovery period." The unit also includes an operating room to perform caesarean section deliveries in which the RN is the scrub and circulating nurse.
Research Assistant, University of Calgary
Bachelor of Science (Psychology),
University of Calgary, 2008
Kirsten Fiest worked to develop her research skills in the medical field by engaging in extracurricular activities that connected her with professors. One of them even ended up as her honours degree supervisor. "My class to career transition was made easy because I had fostered relationships with many professors and students," she says. "Research experience early in your degree is invaluable when looking for a job once you have graduated."
Fiest, 25, now works as a research assistant at the University of Calgary in epidemiology, specifically focusing on seniors' mental health. She knew she wanted a career in the medical field after volunteering in research labs in different disciplines. "I generate research questions, conduct literature reviews and searches in that area, perform the relevant statistical analysis and write the results for publication in peer-reviewed journals. I have the opportunity to present my results at academic conferences, as well as to industry partners and specialists in the academic world."
Healthcare programs you may not know about...but should:
> Bilingual Nursing Program
Combining a standard nursing curriculum, which is taught in English with class work that is conducted in French, this program's students are fully bilingual by the end of their degree. It allows graduates to work as nurses
in any province or territory
—University of Alberta
> Addictions Counselling
In the only program of its kind in Canada, students learn theoretical knowledge, clinical expertise and practical skills to treat, prevent, and promote issues related to addiction.
—University of Lethbridge
Adaptive Movement Science
> Students use theory and practical applications to learn how to develop sports and excercise programs and policies for people with disabilities.
—University of Regina
> Fitness and Health Promotion
Using practical experience through workplace internships, graduates can explore career possibilities
in clinical environments as well as in health and fitness fields. Students can earn a Bachelor of Applied Science as well as a diploma
in health and fitness promotion
in only four years.
—Guelph University/Humber College joint program
> Health in Society
Determining how the environment impacts our health is the focal point of this program.
> Clinical Exercise Physiology
Through study and research, students develop specialized physical activity programs for individuals with diseases or
chronic illnesses. Students can become clinical exercise physiologists after graduation or pursue graduate education in physiology.
> Radiation Sciences
Using x-rays and other diagnostic imaging technology is crucial to
the health sciences field. Students learn about general radiography, mobile and operations room radiography, fluoroscopy, specialized contrast procedures, mammography, and computer tomography or CT scans.
—University of Prince Edward Island
Working Knowledge has been created in partnership with TalentEgg, Canada's leading job site and career resource for students and new graduates. TalentEgg features co-op, internship, summer and entry-level job postings from some of Canada's top employers, plus industry guides and career tips in its online magazine, the Career Incubator. Find out more at www.talentegg.ca.