Career Planning

Centre for Student Involvement & Careers

Departmental advisors are available to provide you with general information on careers in Geography. However, we encourage you to take advantage of the variety of career counselling programs and career & placement services offered through the UBC Career Services in Brock Hall.

BSc (Geographical Sciences)

Many of our graduates with a B.Sc. degree work in the private sector or for government as environmental geoscientists. The practice of most aspects of environmental science in BC is regulated by EGBC. If you are interested in pursuing a career in environmental consulting you will most likely require some sort of professional certification, and you should plan your degree accordingly. For more information on preparing for a career as a Professional Geoscientist, please visit the geoscience page of this website. Many others continue on to graduate school so that they can pursue careers in research and/or teaching.

BA (Human Geography or Environment and Sustainability)

Although it’s rare to see ‘Geographer Wanted’ in the job ads, when you read between the lines it is clear that an understanding of geography is crucial in the urgent issues of the day – from Canada’s place in the world, to the human and physical processes of climate and global change, to the evolving mosaic of social and cultural relations in particular nations, regions, and cities. Geographers study how places are different from one another, how social and physical processes vary with context, and how actions that seem logical and reasonable in one place can be irrational or dangerous in other places. Students in geography can choose from a wide range of particular topics to study, using methods ranging from historical, archival, and literary research to quantitative methods and mapping techniques. But common to nearly all geographers is a distinctive way of looking at the world, and asking questions about human-environment relations, context and scale. How do physical processes influence societies, and how do societies reshape the physical environment? How do theories of politics, social relations, and economics change when we account for the fundamental importance of context and local contingency? How are local events bound up with processes at national and global scales?

Most geographers dislike borders and boundaries, and often cross them whenever it seems appropriate. As a result, geographers often find themselves in interdisciplinary settings, working closely with others in the physical sciences or humanities and social sciences. Many undergraduate geography majors pursue graduate work in preparation for academic research and teaching, but many others work in the public or nonprofit sectors as policy analysts, cartographers and geographic information science specialists, and community organizers. Many geographers also work in the private sector, focusing on geographical marketing strategies, international trade relations, and urban and regional development planning.