Career Paths: What do I do with a degree in Work and Labour Studies?

The Work and Labour Studies Program prepares students for employment in the labour movement, private industry, community and advocacy groups, government service in Canada and internationally, journalism, public or private administration, social work, law, or teaching.  Work and Labour Studies students who have earned an Honours degree often continue studies in graduate school or professional programs. Depending on the student's academic background, a graduate degree may be pursued in Labour Studies or a variety of professional fields and disciplines such as law, industrial relations, occupational health and safety, public policy, global studies, human resource management, political science, sociology, history, environment studies, women's studies, communications or psychology.

Related Graduate Programs in Canada
Many Work and Labour Studies students have gone on to one of these graduate programs:

York University: Master of Arts
Faculty teaching in the Work and Labour Studies Program are also affiliated with graduate programs at York, namely History, Geography, Political Science, Socio-Legal Studies, Sociology, Social and Political Thought, and Women’s Studies. These departments all offer MA programs in which a specialization in labour issues is possible.

McMaster University, School of Labour Studies: Master of Arts, Work and Society
Graduate Program

University of Toronto, Centre for Industrial Relations: Master of Industrial Relations and Human Resources

University of Toronto, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education: Master of Arts and Master of Education, Sociology and Equity Studies in Education, focus on Workplace Learning and Social Change

Queen’s University: Master of Industrial Relations

Related Graduate Programs Outside Canada
The American Sociological Association’s Section on Labor Movements maintains a very thorough list of labour-related academic programs around the world. To get to this list, click on “Links” and then on “Labor Academics”.

The Global Labour University
The Global Labour University offers Masters degrees at campuses in Germany, Brazil, South Africa and India; each campus has a unique issue focus. Universities and workers’ organizations from around the world have jointly developed the curriculum. The GLU is aimed at candidates who have experience working in labour and social movements, and who intend to work in these organizations upon graduation. The program also usually involves an internship for one term at a labour organization or federation. For more information, see:

Law School
Many Work and Labour Studies graduates pursue a law degree, specializing in labour and employment law. Applications to law school are run centrally through the Ontario Law School Application Service (OLSAS): Osgoode Hall Law School and Queen’s University’s Law School are particularly noted for their strengths in labour law.

Internships: International Labour Organization
The ILO offers internships for senior undergraduate and graduate students from between two to six months, either in the Geneva or field offices. These internships are located in the various ILO departments, and applicants must apply directly to the department they are interested in working in.

Ontario Ministry of Labour: Job Opportunities Page:

Government of Canada: Careers in the Federal Public Service:

Labour Movement / Voluntary / Non-Profit Sector Jobs
Union Jobs Clearinghouse: A comprehensive listing of job postings for union organizers and educators, primarily in the United States

 Charity Village Jobs Database: This site includes many positions within union, social justice, and not-for-profit organizations.