North American Studies - A Career Overview

It is important to understand that employers hire people, not degrees. The skills and knowledge you develop as a result of your education, as well as in your work and community activities, have the greatest impact on hiring decisions. Listed below are some specific knowledge and transferable skills you will acquire as a result of your university education and your focus on North American Studies.

Specific Knowledge Skills

  • An awareness of how to effectively evaluate and examine past, present and future North American life
  • The ability to explore topics and issues relevant to Canada from a variety of perspectives
  • Knowledge of how to compare North American culture/society with international cultures/societies
  • A solid understanding of North American geography, economics and political systems
  • Skills in gathering information, conducting research and evaluating the needs of North Americans
  • A comprehensive knowledge and understanding of selected North American problems and issues
  • An understanding of how the unique North American climate, geography, government policy and culture impact on the continued development of North American society
  • The ability to identify and examine the key factors which affect the continued development of North America for the purposes of extrapolating information and planning for future development

Valuable Transferable Skills

Information-gathering and Communication Skills

  • The skills required to identify and access a wide range of relevant information and resources
  • The ability to compile and organize facts and information and to comprehend and apply new and/or unfamiliar information to different situations and settings
  • Skills in preparing interesting, creative and informative presentations which target diverse audiences
  • The ability to develop attractive/effective reports, presentations and materials using current technology

Thinking, Planning and Organizational Skills

  • The ability to learn, understand and interpret information and apply knowledge to new situations
  • The ability to set priorities, meet deadlines and effectively plan/manage time, data and resources
  • Problem-solving skills and the ability to make well-reasoned decisions, think creatively and search for, identify and consider all sides of an issue
  • Skills to effectively analyze and interpret a wide range of information and data to discuss, support and/or reject ideas, opinions, reports, theories and proposals

Teamwork and Management Skills

  • Skills enabling you to work effectively as part of a team by identifying your role and contributing, through leading, teaching, motivating and/or encouraging others, to the success of the team
  • An understanding of how to successfully identify, plan and contribute to the goals of a project
  • The ability to oversee, supervise and/or contribute to a project from beginning to end including determining outcomes, planning details, making decisions, assigning roles and completing task

Career Options (Samples Only. Additional education, training or experience may be required.)

Aboriginal Issues Officer
Campaign/Elections Officer
Canadian Biographer
Canadian Historian
Community Researcher
Community Worker
Corporate Communications
Corporate Historian
Cultural Affairs Officer
Cultural Interpreter
Documentary Writer/Producer
Economic Researcher
Event Planner
Foreign Service Officer
Human Resources
Immigration Officer
Information Specialist
International Business
Librarian/Library Technician
Market Research Analyst
Media Researcher
Multiculturalism Officer
Museum Administrator
Policy Advisor/Researcher
Political Correspondent
Political Strategist
Politicial Aide
Public Policy Analyst
Public Relations
Records Management
Resources Co-ordinator
Speech Writer
Theatre Management
Tourism Consultant
University Administrator
Urban Planner

Potential Employers

Chamber of Commerce
Community Development
Educational Institutions
Film/Television Producers
Heritage Foundations
Historical Societies
Media Organizations
National Parks
Non-Profit Organizations
Political Parties
Polling Organizations
Public Opinion Researchers
Research Firms
Statistics Canada


Canadian Heritage -
Association for Canadian Studies -
International Council for Canadian Studies -
Canadian Museum of History -
Canadian Studies Directory of Online Resources -

Are you interested in learning first hand about the careers our alumni have successfully pursued? Connect with Laurier alumni through the Alumni Sharing Knowledge (ASK) program. Participating alumni represent a variety of disciplines, careers and industries.

In addition, the Career Centre has compiled Career Profiles from Laurier alumni. Read about their career paths and how their experiences have led them to their current roles.

This resource is available at the Career Resource Centre.

© 2019 Wilfrid Laurier University - Orbis Career / Co-op Portal Professional v3