Careers by Major - Geography

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Careers for graduates

Below is a sample of types of positions that Geography graduates have gone on to. Please note: this is not an exhaustive list, there are many careers available.

Human (social, economic, historical and cultural studies)

Cultural and human geography : aspects of geography that relate to different cultures (ie: cultural origins and movement). Historical geography: recreating the geography of past times and protecting historical landscapes and structures. Economic geography: location and distribution of economic activity.

  • Location analyst
  • Market researcher
  • Medical geographer
  • Map librarian
  • Historic preservationist
  • Political analyst
  • Urban planner
  • Real estate developer
  • Demographer
  • Travel/tourism planning
  • Community developer
  • Municipal advisor

Physical

Examine distribution of the Earth’s surface features and analyze the processes that create and shape landforms. May include working with environmental concerns and/or studying the impact of natural hazards such as hurricanes, tornadoes, volcanic eruptions and earthquakes

  • Hydrologist
  • Resource management specialist
  • Outdoor guide
  • Soil conservationist
  • Pollution control consultant
  • Ecologist
  • Geologist
  • Climatologist
  • Habitat researcher
  • Atmospheric data technician

Computational and analytical methods

Use computers to generate maps and store map-related information. May be applied to problem solving in industry, agriculture, weather, military, government, land use and other related areas.

  • Cartographer
  • Remote-sensing analyst
  • Map curator
  • GIS/GPS analyst
  • Field surveyor
  • Computer mapping and software developer
  • Map interpreter
  • Aerial photo analyst
  • Spatial data analyst

Environmental

Concerned with how human beings use the earth. Focus on human impact on the environment (population growth, food supply, water quality)

  • Conservationist
  • Outdoor recreation management
  • Waste management
  • Forestry technician
  • Hazardous waste planner
  • Ecotourism planner
  • Wetlands conservation supervisor
  • Conservation education coordinator
  • Environmental impact assessment
  • Recycling coordinator

Who employs geography graduates?

  • Forestry, mining, environmental issues, waste management, architecture or surveying companies
  • Insurance, communications, international trade, transportation
  • Private industry including utilities, construction, energy, environmental planning
  • Government agencies, NGOs (non-governmental organizations)
  • Consulting firms
  • Real estate developers
  • Scientific or research groups
  • Museums
  • Market research organizations
  • Boards of education/universities/colleges
  • Outdoor recreation companies
  • Magazines/newspapers
  • NGO’s

Skills developed by geography students

  • Using specialized field equipment, satellite imagery and state of the art software
  • Project design/planning
  • Interview skills
  • Gathering and organizing data
  • Analyzing data
  • Summarizing results
  • Surveying and sampling
  • Computer modeling
  • Using statistical applications
  • Reading/constructing graphs/maps
  • Communicating across cultures
  • Conducting field studies
  • Maintaining records

Don't forget about U of T Mississauga alumni!

Check out our Alumni Profiles page, to read profiles of UTM alumni who have studied in this area, find out about their career path and how their experiences have affected their career direction.

Sample of companies who have recruited U of T geography grads in the past

  • Credit Valley Conservation
  • Hemson Consulting Ltd
  • Riversides Stewardship Alliance
  • Toronto Conservation Authority
  • Clayton Research
  • Yum! Restaurants International
  • Transearch Group Inc.
  • World Wildlife Fund
  • Energy Probe Research Foundation
  • City of Toronto
  • Corporation of the Town of Whitby
  • Parks Canada
  • Colliers International
  • The Nature Conservancy of Canada
  • BMO Financial Group
  • Canadian Urban Institute
  • Sobeys Ontario
  • Generation 5
  • Reamined Systems Inc.
  • Food & Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
  • and many others

Sample job listings for graduating students/recent graduates

  • GIS Technician, MAPMedia Corp.
  • Planning Analyst, E.R.A. Architects Inc.
  • Intermediate Water Resources Specialist, Clarifica Consulting
  • Project Engineer/Scientist, S2S Environmental Inc.
  • Terrestrial Monitoring Specialist, Credit Valley Conservation Authority
  • Project Analyst, Gaia Power
  • Location Research Analyst, Pizza Pizza Limited
  • Nature Interpreter, High Park Nature Centre
  • Architectural Digitizing Technician, Vermuelens Cost Consultants
  • Market Planner, YUM! Restaurants International
  • EcoKids Program Manager, Earth Day Canada
  • Quantitative Research Scientist, Environics Analytics Group
  • Rouge Park Media & Communications Assistant, Toronto Conservation Authority
  • Urban Design Coordinator, Bloor-Yorkville Business Improvement Area
  • Marketing Research Analyst, Intercom Real Estate Services
  • Hydrogeologist, Marshall Macklin Monaghan Limited

How to get experience

Start early by seeking relevant summer, part-time and volunteer opportunities that will help you gain experience and develop the skills that employers want. Below is a sample of the types of temporary positions that have recently been posted with the Career Centre. To access the summer, part-time, temporary and volunteer postings, register with the Career Centre Online.

Summer Positions 

  • GIS Co-Op Student, Ontario Realty Corporation
  • Student Travel Consultant, Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corp.
  • Fisheries Habitat Technician, Credit Valley Conservation Authority
  • Student Planner, Toronto Transit Commission
  • Park Interpreter, Ontario Parks

Part-Time Positions

  • Meteorologist, The Weather Network
  • Communications and Membership Coordinator, Ontario Clean Air Alliance
  • Forestry Co-op Student, Regional Municipality of York
  • Traffic Data Analyst, Transearch Group Inc.
  • Animal Control Officer, City of Toronto

Volunteer Positions

  • Common Grounds Research Assistant, Evergreen
  • Public Outreach Volunteer, Riversides Stewardship Alliance
  • Transport & Research Assistants, Transport Scarborough

Work-Study Program: the Work-Study program provides eligible U of T students with an opportunity to work on campus during the academic year and gain academic/career related experience. Previous postings have included:

  • Cultural Research Database Developer, OISE/UT
  • Document Assistant, UT Centre for Urban & Community Studies
  • Waste Management Research/Policy Analyst, UT Department of Geography
  • Research Assistant – Water Pollution, UT Department of Economics
  • ENSU Project Management Assistant, UT Innis College Environmental Studies Program

Join an Association or Club

Toronto Undergraduate Geography Society (TUGS)

Research Opportunity Program (ROP)

Also consider the Research Opportunity Program at U of T Mississauga. Students earn course credit by participating in a faculty member’s research. Geography project titles from 2008- 2009 include: Stimulating Adaptation in a Changing Environment; and Building a Healthy City Through Research: Exploring the Role of Knowledge Translation.

Internship Opportunities

4th year students enrolled in the Environment or G.I.S. program are eligible for an intern placement. Application, program and employer information can be found here. Deadlines for the following academic year usually falls in May.

Learn from those in the field

Alumni Binder

Learn from U of T graduates and how they transferred their degree to the world of work. We have dozens of alumni profiles in the Career Centre from graduates who want to share their experiences and advice. Also, check out Career Connections.

Information Interviewing Contacts Binder

Speak with professionals, many of whom are U of T graduates, willing to talk about their careers and eager to share their experiences and advice.

Extern Job Shadowing Program

Extern is a career exploration program that offers you the opportunity to meet with people working in your preferred career area for placements of 1-5 days. Placements take place in Reading Week or in May. Samples of previous Extern placements include: GIS Project Manager; Market Researcher; Urban Planner; and many other career areas.

Resources

Career Centre Library Resources: 

  • Canadian Graduate Programs in Environmental Studies Directory 2005-2006
  • The Eco Guide to Careers That Make a Difference
  • Careers with a Conscience: Making a Difference While Making a Living (panel package 2006)
  • Careers in Environment (panel package 2004)
  • Canadian Environmental Directory 2003
  • Great Jobs for Liberal Arts Majors
  • Careers for Non-Conformists
  • What You Can Do With a Science Degree
  • Put Your Science to Work
  • Alternative Careers in Science
  • Ontario Recreation Facilities Association: Membership & Products/Services Directory
  • Government of Ontario Telephone Directory (General)
  • Federal Guidebook: A Guide to Canadian Federal Government and its Decision-Makers
  • Making It Into a Top Graduate School

Web Links:

The Career Centre Resource Library is located in DV 3094. For more information please visit us, call 905-828-5451 or e-mail: careers.utm@utoronto.ca

What's your next step? Take a look at our Sample Career Plan to see suggested steps that you can take towards developing your career-work search plan. Check our Events Calendar regularly for upcoming career related events (we offer several networking events and panels throughout the year). Watch for our Get Experience Fair (held annually in September), the Graduate and Professional School Fair (held annually in late September or early October), and the Summer Job Fair (held annually in January).