Your degree in Geography

While studying Geography, you’ll learn about people and the world through humanities, social sciences, biological and physical science disciplines. You’ll develop important skills related to the changing regional patterns of human behaviour in order to understand how these systems shape the landscape and what we might do to reshape our world.  

These skills may include:

  • Conducting original research to answer your own pressing questions about such matters as climate change, society and environment, urban life, global health and social inequality.
  • Historical, archival, and literary research drawing upon quantitative and qualitative methods as well as mapping techniques
  • Ability to critically compare and contrast information and perspectives about what are the sources of environmental and social issues and to think critically about the possible solutions 
  • Geo-spatial data analysis
  • Design and creation of maps or graphs
  • Clear and concise written communication drawing upon the fundamental importance of context and local contingency 
  • Persuasive public speaking and reasoning abilities integrating perspectives from the humanities, social sciences, and geographical sciences

Explore career possibilities

Career opportunities vary widely across a range of fields including urban and regional development planning, cartography and geographical information science, geographical marketing, international trade relations, government, non-profit organizations, academic and community-based research, post-secondary teaching, and others.

There are many career paths that can combine your academics, skills, and experience with your different interests. See the job titles below for ideas, but note that some career options may require further education or training.

Visit the National Occupational Classification website to research basic requirements and responsibilities of jobs in your field.

Aerial photo technician 

Aerial survey technician

Agronomist

Agricultural advisor

Biogeographer

Cartographer

Climatologist

Community development consultant

Cultural geographer

Ecologist

Ecotourism officer

Environmental planner

Field technician

Forestry technician

Geographer

GIS technician

Geomorphologist

Environmental planner

Heritage planner

Hydrologist

Journalist

Land surveyor

Museum curator

Park planner

Photogrammetrist

Policy analyst

Real estate appraiser

Remote sensing technician

Researcher

Teacher/Professor

Transportation planner

Urban planner

Water inspector

Make the most of your program

Your experiences will open doors to new opportunities and help clarify understanding of your values and interests.

Geography Students’ Association
Meet other UBC students with similar interests through events and programs.

UBC Sustainability programs and clubs
Browse on-campus paid and volunteer opportunities related to sustainability.

Departmental research opportunities
Reach out directly to faculty members to ask about potential research positions.

Geography co-op success stories
Learn about the experiences of past and present co-op students from your program and others.

Arts Co-op Program
Gain paid work experience in your area of study as part of your degree program

Go Global
Learn more about international opportunities recommended by the Department of Geography.

Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre
Take selected field courses in coastal and marine sciences for university credit.

Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions internships
Apply your classroom knowledge to real-world settings through climate change mitigation or adaptation projects.

BCIT Advanced Diploma in GIS
Expand on your technical skills for a career in Geographic Information Systems through this diploma for university grads.

Cartographers’ Guild
Develop your cartography skills in fictional lands for novels and games.

Make connections

Employers often hire people they know, so help them get to know you! You can build your network through clubs, classes, informational interviews, and more. There are so many ways to make connections and find mentors. 

The professional associations below are also great resources for meeting people, learning about specific industries, and exploring job and volunteer opportunities. Most have reduced membership rates for students and new grads.

Association of American Geographers

Association of BC Land Surveyors

BC Institute of Agrologists

Canada Centre for Remote Sensing

Canadian Association of Geographers

Canadian Association of Geographers - Western Division

Canadian Cartographic Association

Canadian Council of Technicians and Technologists

Canadian Institute of Geomatics

Canadian Institute of Planners

Ecology Society of America

Engineers and Geoscientists of British Columbia

Environmental Careers Organization Canada

Geological Association of Canada

GoGeomatics Canada

Royal Canadian Geographical Society

Connect with alumni on LinkedIn

More information

From your Arts degree, you’ll develop skills and experiences that can translate into many career paths. Check out other things you can do with your Arts degree.

Geography is also a UBC Science specialization—see what you can do with a Science degree or explore other Science specializations.