What can I do with my degree?

John Evjen Honors Student German Courses University of Alberta

John Evjen - Honors (German) student in MLCS

Career Options

Arts Work Experience (AWE)
The Arts Work Experience (AWE) Program is a joint initiative between CAPS: Your U of A Career Centre and the Faculty of Arts. The AWE provides valuable, hands-on experience to Arts students looking to apply the skills gained in the classroom to a career-related, paid, workplace experience. Placements allow students to build and expand their professional network, learn about and explore career opportunities, identify and strengthen work-related skills, and develop career management strategies through career education sessions built into the program. While a wide variety of placements are available for all departments in the Faculty of Arts, each placement provides the same opportunity for mentorship, professional development, career exploration, and personal growth.
Finding Occupational Profiles on ALIS

Supported and maintained by the Government of Alberta, the Alberta Learning and Information Service (ALIS) hosts several relevant career planning databases, including WAGEInfo, EDInfo, and a collection of occupational profiles for Alberta called OCCInfo. Like NOC, each of the profiles describes generalized job duties, education requirements and related occupations. Unlike NOC, the OCCInfo profiles are written for the Alberta labour market and include resources that are specific to this province, such as professional associations and educational institutions that offer training for a specific occupation.


To find occupational profiles, go to the ALIS home page and select Occupational Profiles (OCCInfo) from the Quick Links menu. Within the occupational profiles, you can search alphabetically or by keyword in the Search by title field. In addition, you can search by subject, by using OCCInfo’s Search Results by Post-Secondary Field of Study, by interest, or by 4-digit NOC number, like the ones provided in the previous section.


For instance, if you search based on Humanities and Languages, you will see a list of occupational profiles based on your major, such as foreign service officer. Each occupational profile will provide information about required education, work environment, relevant professional associations  and employment outlook.

Career Options Books

CAPS uses LibraryThing to catalogue their resources and to make the catalogue available to the public online. CAPS has resources for Department of Modern Languages, as well as for the Faculty of Arts. You may also want to take a look at the resources available for writing careersTESL/TEFL and languages.


You can also search on the U of A Library catalogue with the subject heading Vocational guidance and the name of your department. The U of A library may have additional books and ebooks that you can use in your research.

Occupational Projections

The Canadian Occupational Projection System (COPS) provides information on trends regarding  the labour supply and labour demand of specific occupations. Information can be found using NOC Titles or NOC Codes. Projections are a best “educated guess” based on labour market trends, such as labour expansion and supply and demographic data. Other factors may change the projected labour market supply and demand. The projections in the COPS system are for the period between 2011 and 2020.


For example, if you perform a Quick search with the NOC number 5125, the assignment for Translators, terminologists and interpreters, the search will provide the results for occupations in the 512- class, or Writing, Translating And Public Relations Professionals. According to the results in this search, COPS estimates that there will be more job openings to job seekers for this field. The results state that there will be 58,262 job openings for 54,459 job seekers between the years of 2011 and 2020. The large majority of the job openings will be due to retirement and a approximately one third of job openings in this period will be a result of expansion. However, due to an increase in computer technology and efficiency of translators and writers, there will be less expansion compared to 2001 to 2010.


To improve your qualifications and increase your skills to move into the interpretation field, we recommend working at career-related summer jobs, job shadowing, looking for work in the non-profit sector, pursuing undergraduate research opportunities and industry internships  to increase your chance of finding employment after graduation.


There are additional labour market forecasts available from Alberta Enterprise and Advanced Education if you would like to conduct research specific to Alberta.


For more information about using labour market information to make career decisions, we recommend Making Sense of Labour Market Information, a free publication from ALIS.

List of NOC Occupational Choices

The following list of job titles is from the National Occupational Classification (NOC) which provides generalized summaries of occupations from across Canada. The list below is not exhaustive and there are more possibilities that you can pursue with your degree. We also recommend attending a career forum, speaking with organizations at a career fair or mixer, pursuing a job shadow or mentorship opportunity to get many more ideas.


 Job Title NOC# 
 Audiologists and speech-language pathologists*  3141
 Authors  5121
 Biographers  5121
 Cultural or international  adaptation specialists  5125
 Communications specialists *  1123
 Editors   5122
 Ethnic relations officers - Police  4311
 Foreign services officers  4168
 Heritage interpreters  5212
 Historians  4169
 Human resources professionals   1121
 Immigration settlement liaison officers  4164
 Import sales representatives  6411
 Intelligence officers  0643
 Intergovernmental affairs officers  4168
 International student advisors  4033
 Journalists*   5123
 Librarians*  5111
 Multiculturalism project officers  4164
 Museum curators*  5112
 Novelists  5121
 Poets  5121
 Researchers *   5123
 Social and community service workers  4212
 Social policy researchers, consultants and program officers  4164
 Translators, terminologists and interpreters  5125
 University professors*  4121
 Writers  5121

*may require additional education


NOC numbers are also searchable in a variety of career related databases such as the Job Bank, and the Alberta Learning and Information Service’s (ALIS), OCCinfo (occupational profiles for Alberta) and WAGEinfo (Alberta salary information).

JET Programme

JET Programme is aimed at promoting exchange opportunities between Japan and other countries. Students who have completed an undergraduate degree are eligible to apply to be an Assistant Language Teacher (ALT) or as a Coordinator for International Relations (CIR). This program is a government sponsored program, it has existed for almost thirty years with an excellent reputation. If you have not been abroad before but would like a long term work abroad experience, explore the opportunities with JET.

“JETs” may be placed in a variety of educational settings (elementary, junior, senior high) across Japan. These placements may be small rural towns to large cities. Successful candidates will work with Japanese English teachers and assist in lesson preparation and extracurricular activities. Initial placements are one year in duration but may be renewed on an individual basis. Application submission opens between mid October and early December depending on the country of origin.


The EPIK program was developed to improve the English language proficiency of Korean children and teachers and to provide cultural exchange for both parties. In order to be eligible, interested candidates must have completed an undergraduate degree from a country with English as its national language. The candidate must also be fluent in English. Students will work in numerous locations around South Korea in both primary and secondary schools. Candidates will sign a 1 year contract and work approximately 8 hours a day Monday to Friday. While on their contract, they will receive 5 weeks of vacation time. Candidates will work in collaboration with Korean teachers and conduct English conversation classes.


Directories are databases or collections of links of companies and professional organizations that operate in a specific industry or sector. Along with The Career Directory, these directories can help you identify organizations that operate in your area of study.

Work Search

The CAPS Job Postings

One of the Career Centre services (CAPS) offers is an Online Job Postings service. Their job postings are for permanent, temporary--including summer--full-time and part-time. 


Attend a Career Fair or Employer Information Session

There are additional events that you could attend to look for potential employers.Career fairs or mixers are a type of trade show that bring a wide variety of organizations on to campus. These events allow students to search a broad range of opportunities including full-time, summer, temporary and volunteer employment. An employer information session is a presentation provided by an employer about the opportunities offered by their organization.

For more information on preparing for career fairs, employer information sessions and career forums, you can attend one of the CAPS seminars.

The Career Directory: New Grads from Eluta

One of the most commonly asked questions we receive is what organizations hire people with my degree? While you can search by degree and keyword search by department with CAPS Online Job Postings, you can also use Eluta’s The Career Directory: New Grads database to find organizations that have hired people with your education, or with a similar degree, in the past.


Eluta will provide a list of organizations that have hired people with that education in the past; however, this is not every employer in Canada, just the employers that have a relationship with Mediacorp Canada, the parent company of the Eluta search engine. These search results can provide examples of employers that have hired people with a similar education.


Each of the entries also provides information about what the organization offers to their employees. Thinking about getting a graduate degree? Look for an employer that offers tuition remission. Other highlights for each employer entry can reveal if summer or co-op positions are available, if there is a mentorship program, what the starting salary is and additional benefits.


*Note: Eluta provides job information for postings all across Canada. To narrow the search to specific cities or provinces, click “Advanced Search” and enter the specifications.


It is possible to find volunteer opportunities that make use of your education, as well as help you develop new skills and make new contacts. The most rewarding volunteering for your career will usually require a regular and long term commitment, such as volunteering with Edmonton Immigrant Service Association, participating in a community group, service on a student group or with a non-profit.

Volunteering should be treated like a job: you apply, you supply references, you are screened, you receive a job offer, you work as many hours as you originally agreed to, and, if necessary, you quit by giving the organization appropriate notice and by writing a letter of resignation.

You can begin volunteering by looking for on campus opportunities. The Students’ Union offers a directory of recognized student groups on campus. You can also form your own if there is no group that represents your interests. Relevant groups for Modern Languages include the Write club TESL group.


For off campus choices you can use the following resources:

  • The Students’ Union Volunteer Registry. Opportunities on the registry are searchable by keyword, and can be browsed by organization and by faculty.
  • You can also search the opportunities posted on the Volunteer Edmonton and the Go Volunteer databases, as well as on the City of Edmonton website.
  • Attend a career or volunteer fair. Volunteer Edmonton hosts an annual volunteer fair, while non-profits that are looking for volunteers regularly attend the CAPS’ Careers Day and Education Career Fairs. Fairs work best for people who don’t know what type of volunteer position they are interested in, or who may be unaware of the non-profits that offer services in their area of interest.
  • Inform Alberta. It is a directory of public services and non-profit organizations searchable by area of study. We recommend trying searches with the subject headings Translation, Multicultural studies or Translation/Interpretation.To find volunteer opportunities, visit each organization in your search result to see if they are accepting volunteers.

Finally, if you are interested in international opportunities, we recommend visiting the International Centre, using some of the resources in our international section, as well as the website Idealist or UN Volunteers.

Professional Associations

Depending on the time and effort that the professional association has put into developing their career information, an association’s website can include the following information:

  • How to join the professional association, especially as a student member
  • Information about certification and licensing
  • Access to professional events
  • Contact information to find a mentor, a graduate advisor or to set up an information interview
  • Niche job boards that are relevant to the profession

The following list reflects some of the professional associations that a/an modern student may want to consult for career advice, work search assistance and labour market information.

For more information, please contact CAPS, your U of A Career Centre!