CAREERS IN HUMAN GEOGRAPHY

Human Geographers are employed by all levels of government, by private consulting firms, by many industrial and retail businesses, and by the non-profit sector. There are many opportunities both domestically and internationally. Many graduates have careers that allow them to travel.

Identifying what job you can get with a human geography degree begins with a simple question: What am I interested in? For some people, this is an easy question, but for others this is a difficult choice. Information on the rest of this page may provide some assistance!

Links to Employment Opportunities

British Geography Grads Talk About Their Careers

 

Two Sample Career Paths

Sean, who was from a rural area of Alberta, was interested in environmental policy and particularly the protection of surface water in Alberta. He chose Human Geography as his major, and took courses such as environmental planning, geographic information sciences, and environment and health. He also took other EAS courses such as biogeography, and geology and mapping. He used the flexibility that is inherent in the Human Geography degree to take a minor in Biology, and a few courses in each of Rural Economy, Political Science, and Native Studies. When he graduated, he was prepared for a diversity of employment opportunities. He could work for the Alberta government developing and delivering environmental policy in Departments such as Alberta Environment, Alberta Energy, or Alberta Agriculture and Food. Or he could work with private consulting firms that deal with environmental policy. He could also find himself working with a non-profit groups such as the Sierra Club of Canada, Ducks Unlimited, or the Pembina Institute. In the end, Sean got an opportunity to work on the Alberta Environmental Farm Plan and has been integral in helping that program address the impact of Alberta’s farmers on rural surface water across the Province.

Rihanna was not sure what she wanted to do when she started her degree. She really enjoyed her introductory Human Geography and Political Science courses. She enjoyed Geology, but found that she was not passionate about it as a career. In second year, she became really interested in urban geography. In her third year courses, she focused a great deal upon how the built environment impacts on health. She was able to get a summer position with the City of Edmonton Planning department working with their recreation planners. After she graduated she worked as a planner's assistant on the recreation, health, and urban walkability program for two years. She then decided to pursue a Masters in Planning from the University of British Columbia. When this program was complete, she returned to Edmonton and ended up heading up a new  group in the City Planning Department that focuses upon developing bike paths in Edmonton.

Geography graduates across Canada have similar stories and are often passionate about human geography and where it has taken them. Many of them suggest that, looking back, they found the breadth of geography to be invaluable. It provides the freedom find your passion in a way few other subjects do.