It has become increasingly apparent that an interdisciplinary approach is required to solve some of the world’s most pressing issues, and this is also the case for work and organizations. The Work and Organizations (WO) program will provide students with an in-depth understanding of the complex economic, political, social, cultural, and historical embeddedness of work and organizations, and the skills necessary to develop solutions to contemporary challenges in work and organizations. The WO program has been designed to meet this societal need for an interdisciplinary approach to understanding work and organizations. In addition, this new program will meet the increasing demand among A&S students for access to courses on work and organizations that provide foundational knowledge in these areas, while complementing and enriching their other chosen programs of study by providing the knowledge and tools needed to leverage their university education upon graduation. The program will consist of a core set of required program courses that have been designed to achieve eight program learning outcomes, along with a set of relevant elective courses from across three sectors.
The WO program is divided into three streams. Students will apply for enrolment to the stream that matches their other program of study, thus connecting core concepts in the study of work and organizations to other disciplinary areas. The areas of study are:
- ASMAJ1532 Work and Organizations Major: Humanities Context
- ASMAJ1533 Work and Organizations Major: Social Science Context
- ASMAJ1534 Work and Organizations Major: Sciences Context
The WO program has been designed to meet societal need for an interdisciplinary approach to understanding work and organizations. OW program will meet the increasing demand among A&S students for access to courses on work and organizations that provide foundational knowledge in these areas, while complementing and enriching their other chosen programs of study by providing the knowledge and tools needed to leverage their university education upon graduation.
The WO major will help students to leverage their other humanities, social science, or science major in future work and organizational contexts, and be prepared for a range of careers. As such, the program has been structured as a major to be combined with another A&S major, rather than as a freestanding specialist program. It is expected that graduates of the WO program will move forward into a broad set of career paths by becoming administrators, scientists, public servants, writers, inventors, politicians, entrepreneurs, consultants, small and medium-sized business owners, and professionals in a variety of for-profit, not-for-profit, government, and social economy organizations.
Students are encouraged to use the resources available in both the IRHR Library and Career Exploration and Education Centre in order to investigate current labour market trends and career options in WO.
Work Experience and Opportunities
Start early by seeking relevant summer, part-time and volunteer opportunities that will help you gain experience and develop the skills that employers want. Networking at job fairs and doing volunteer work are an invaluable asset. To access summer, part-time, temporary and volunteer postings, register with the Career Centre. Among its many services, the Career Centre maintains a Career Resource Library, operates the Graduating Students Employment Service and organizes the volunteer Extern Program which offers students a chance to explore a career in the actual workplace. The Centre offers workshops on Discovering Your Skills and Options, Successful Strategies for Finding Work, Interview Techniques and Resume and Cover Letter Writing. Make sure to visit other job boards as well such as HRPA, Eluta and Talent Egg.
Can I apply to more than one WO program?
Yes. However, you may only accept one offer. Students are not allowed to be enrolled in more than one undergraduate program offered by CIRHR. Only one Active /Complete status is allowed at any time in a CIRHR sponsored program.
Can I switch from one stream to another in the WO program?
Yes. Requests to enrol in another WO stream must be made during the program enrolment period (Round 1). Changing programs may also impact the number of courses you will have to complete as program electives are not transferable.
Can I be enrolled in the IRHR and WO program?
As an WO student, do I have access to all IRE courses?
All WO students will complete the same core set of required courses and this includes some IRE courses. If there is space available in an IRE course that is not part of your program stream you may ask permission to enrol but you should note that the course will not count towards fulfilling electives in your WO program stream. Requests for enrolment in additional IRE courses will be considered only after the registration priority period for IRHR students has passed.
Do I have to apply to the stream that matches my other program?
It is expected that students applying to the program will select a stream at the time of their application based on the fit with their other chosen program(s). This develops the students’ understanding of work and organizations in stream-specific contexts, as electives for each stream align with the WO program learning outcomes. Students who opt to enrol in a stream that does not align with their other program do so at their own risk. Students must ensure that they will be able to complete the required electives of the stream as no exceptions or waivers will be granted.
Can I switch from WO to IRE?
Students will need to apply to the IRHR program during the first round enrolment period, meet the published enrolment requirements and, if admitted, complete the published program requirements. Admission to the IRHR program is not guaranteed. IRHR is a limited enrolment program.
What is the difference between IRHR and WO?
There are broadly five major areas of study that fall within the discipline of industrial relations:
3) management (particularly human resource management)
4) labour and employment relations
5) labour policy and institutions
IRHR covers the last three areas of study. The new major in work and organizations will cover the first two areas of study within the discipline. The WO and IRHR undergraduate programs will overlap in their joint focus on work and on certain management-related topics and areas within organizations (e.g., people management). However, the existing major has focused on employment relations and human resource management (with a major emphasis on employment in larger unionized organizations). In contrast, the new WO program will: 1) confer broad knowledge about how work is coordinated in different types of organizations; 2) build a holistic and in