A Humber College building with cars parked outside of it.

A core piece of Humber College’s polytechnic identity is hands-on learning, and the College offers students the chance to enhance their education through work-integrated learning and paid research positions that provide important experience that prepares them for their future careers.

Humber’s programs offer unique work-integrated learning (WIL) opportunities that prepare students to be the problem solvers of tomorrow and allow them to apply what they have learned in class in real-world environments. These include field placements, practicums, clinical placements, co-operative work terms, internships, applied research projects and service learning.

Further, Humber students can engage in research projects where they work with a team of their peers while building their resumes and networking with industry professionals.  

Humber’s Office of Research & Innovation leads the College's research activities by bringing together industry and community organizations, researchers, and students to collaborate on projects that use new or existing knowledge to solve challenges with immediate practical applications.  

“Humber works to provide students with opportunities to collaborate on research projects alongside faculty and industry partners so they can gain experience solving real-world problems and apply classroom learnings,” said Ginger Grant, dean of Research and Innovation at Humber. “Our goal is to empower students with the hands-on knowledge to be career-ready after they graduate.”
Students can also pursue paid research positions.  

Each year, Research Infosource Inc. ranks Canada’s 50 research colleges and the 2022 list was recently released, showing Humber ranked third among large institutions for paid student researchers and fifth among large institutions for research partnerships.  
Michallia Marks and Caelan Prescott-Brown are both graduates of Humber’s Bachelor of Commerce - Digital Business Management Honours program. The two worked as research assistants on the Digital Transformation of Operational Processes project that was led by Humber professor and principal investigator Mark Stoiko.

Research assistants have many responsibilities and roles including collecting, interpreting and analyzing data, conducting literature reviews, supervising other students working on the project and preparing progress reports.

Both Marks and Prescott-Brown benefitted from their roles.

Marks noted that “Research affords you the chance to get better at what you know, and you get paid to learn” while Prescott-Brown said the project allowed him to lead a team while developing his skills and building his network through interactions with industry partners.

“Research provides excellent experience, it looks great on your resume, and you develop transferrable skills along the way,” said Prescott-Brown.  

James Henebry is a graduate of Humber’s Research Analyst program who started as a paid research assistant on the Indsights: A Window into the Indigenous Economy project and is now a research project manager with Indsights.

Henebry sought to gain experience by putting what he learned in class into practice while conducting research and decided to apply to be a research assistant. The fact the position was paid was a bonus and helped financially.

“Taking part in a project like this can open a lot of doors,” said Henebry. “You learn new skills and develop skills learned in the classroom. There’s also the chance to network and connect with people you might work with in the future.”

Humber’s social innovation research, with a focus on community development, is one of the College's prominent and growing research areas. This research builds partnerships with community organizations to develop new and innovative solutions to systemic social problems.  

The goal is to have an impact on building healthier and more resilient communities and social systems to improve lives and help Canada recover following the pandemic.

Experiences like those of Prescott-Brown, Marks and Henebry will be featured in Humber’s recently launched BRING IT recruitment campaign that encourages prospective students to bring their talent, passion, drive and all that makes them unique to the College.