Alumni & Friends - Ways to get involved and give back

Exploring Careers in Healthcare

Find a profession or program of interest

There are many alternative paths that lead to a profession or research career in healthcare. These paths can be university level (degrees), college level (degrees/diplomas), or professional level (certificates). Useful resources that can be used to search for healthcare related programs include:

  1. Career Cruising database (log into CLNx, look under Resources):
  2. Canadian universities and graduate programs (database):
  3. Find diploma programs in Ontario colleges:
  4. Flexible online training programs for healthcare in Canada:

University degree programs: Bachelors (2+ years), Masters (~1-2 years) or PhDs (~4-6 years)

In general, diagnostic roles require specific kinds of education, including degree-completion programs (e.g. Nursing BScN in 2.5 years) or graduate studies. Examples of degree-level healthcare program topics to explore include:

  • Carefully look at the school’s admission requirements. On average, graduate programs require a minimum B+ (ranges from B to A+) CGPA in the last two years of full-time prerequisite undergraduate courses or during the completion of their Masters (if going into a PhD-level program).
  • Standardized tests for mathematical and language fluency (e.g. GRE, TOEFL) may be required.
  • Work and volunteer experiences are desirable to showcase your leadership skills and ability to be a part of teams or organizations, project and time management, and being a part of your community.
  • Research experience is highly desirable and can be achieved by completing an undergraduate thesis.
  • Securing grants or research scholarships are highly desirable and may be required for some graduate programs. Securing a potential supervisor to accept you into their research team is often a requirement for successful admission.

See the AA&CC’s graduate and professional career tip sheets:

College diploma programs (~2 years)

College diplomas offer in-depth hands-on training for trades and a range of professions. College programs are beneficial to those wishing to pursue a new career direction, or earn industry credentials. For college: 

  • As with all schools and programs, check the specific diploma program prerequisites. Diploma programs generally require completion of a high school diploma.
  • May also require completion of English competency tests (e.g. TOEFL or IELTS).

Professional/graduate certificates (~1 year)

Professional or graduate certificates offer a more specialized training for particular industry professions. Certificate programs can also provide hands-on training in industry positions, which can lead to quick employment after completing the certificate. Some examples of healthcare certificates are:

  • Certificate programs often require the applicant have some professional experience in healthcare or health sciences and completion of their current degree (high school or equivalent, or baccalaureate). Certificate programs may also require proof of English competency (e.g. TOEFL or IELTS).


Many roles are learned ‘on the job’, and many organizations will advance their existing staff by providing training and paying for additional education, rather than hiring from outside.