Desana Written by Desana (she/her), student

You know what you want to do with your life and have your eyes set on a specific career. However, you’re not quite sure what the requirements are for medical school or teachers’ college, or you have literally no idea how to get a job in brand marketing. We get it.

Until I started applying to university, I had no clue how what the journey to law school would entail. But I figured it out and you will, too. There are many paths to get to the most popular career options, and Waterloo is a great place to start your journey.

 

Student standing in front of a bridge.

Whether you're thinking of becoming an engineer, teacher, or a doctor, choosing a co-op program provides hands-on work experience – and the opportunity to travel.

Become a lawyer

If, like me, you’re interested in the legal field, Waterloo can definitely help you get there. Waterloo offers a major in Legal Studies where you’ll take courses like Juvenile Delinquency, Terrorism, or Criminal Profiling.

While Legal Studies is a popular choice, any program can be a pre-law major, so it's best to choose the major you like best.

We also have extracurricular activities that can help prepare you for law school and being a lawyer. The Legal Studies Society, Debate Society, and Mock Trials offer you the chance to get hands-on experience with legal issues, and our 250+ other clubs can help you explore your other interests and round out your law school application.

One final thing: law school admissions officers are now giving more weight to applicants with work experience. Waterloo’s co-op program means you can graduate with up to two years of paid work experience, helping you stand out from the crowd.

Become an engineer

Waterloo’s Engineering programs are, admittedly, already pretty famous. One of the top 50 engineering schools worldwide, Waterloo is home to the largest Faculty of Engineering in Canada and the largest co-op program in North America.

One other thing that makes Waterloo stand out is our direct-entry programs. Instead of doing a general first year, you’ll apply right to the type of engineering you want and be able to focus on your interests sooner.

Outside the classroom, we offer tons of activities to help add to your education. There are more than two dozen student-led design teams run out of our Sedra Design Centre, as well as an active Engineering Society that advocates for student needs. And, of course, Waterloo engineers are involved in research that’s shaping the world, allowing them to make a real difference in their communities as part of their education.

 

A teacher writing on a chalkboard.

Waterloo's education-related programs can provide teaching experience before you even apply to a Bachelor of Education program.

Become a doctor

Whether you know exactly what area of medicine you want to pursue, or you’re interested in the healthcare field in general, Waterloo offers a number of programs to prepare you for medical school and other health professions.

Our Biomedical Sciences program builds from a foundation in general science to a focus on human biology, including courses you’ll need to meet the admissions requirements of most health-related professional schools. Our Honours Science program allows you to take a broad range of science courses, so you can explore your interests before homing in on the healthcare side later on.

In our Faculty of Health, you can pursue a Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Kinesiology or Health Sciences, a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Recreation and Leisure Studies, and a Bachelor of Public Health (BPH). Each program offers unique elements, but all look at aspects of healthy lifestyles and the prevention of illness.

Plus, check out the UW Pre-Medical Club for cool events, and don’t forget to study hard for the MCAT when the time comes around!

Become a teacher

While you can become a teacher with nearly any university degree, Waterloo offers three programs that specifically prepare you to be a teacher, each of combining teaching experience or a Bachelor of Education with your Waterloo degree.

These programs are the Fine Arts – Teaching Preparation Specialization, the French Teaching Specialization, and the Mathematics/Teaching program. However, if you’re interested in teaching another subject, almost any degree can prepare you for a Bachelor of Education (which you complete after your initial studies). Just study the subjects you eventually want to teach, and you’ll be right on track!

Waterloo also has a number of education-related opportunities such as Let’s Talk Science, where you can gain experience teaching before applying to a Bachelor of Education program.

Matthew, a second-year Honours Physics student, says his favourite part of Let’s Talk Science is "getting kids excited about topics that I’m really passionate about."

 

Become a pilot

Maybe your dream is to fly an airplane. Waterloo is home to the largest university-level aviation program in Canada. We have two programs: Science and Aviation, where you graduate with a Bachelor of Science (BSc) and your Commercial Pilot Licence; and Geography and Aviation, where you graduate with a Bachelor of Environmental Studies (BES) and, of course, your Commercial Pilot License.

Basically, in addition to getting your pilot licence you get a chance to study a subject you like, which will help enrich your flight training and broaden your options after university.

Be a brand influencer

Haven’t we all been tempted to drop everything and try to sell our lifestyle on Instagram?

Realistically, though, I know a lot of work goes into digital and social media marketing. Luckily, Waterloo is the perfect place to get hands-on experience with a wide variety of marketing strategies.

In many of Waterloo's business programs, you can combine a major with business to learn about marketing, accounting, entrepreneurship, and more. You can also take one of our digital media programs or even add a digital media specialization to any Arts degree to deepen your understanding of digital content creation.

 

Figuring out the job you want is exciting. The process of achieving it should be, too! At Waterloo, you’ll have access to the academic, extracurricular, and social support you need to make those career dreams come true.


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