What Can I Do with My Geography Degree?

Oxbow lake meandering river geography comic hipster funny career blog physical Some things don’t have a linear path. A career can be one of those things.

Finding your personal path takes work and reflection. This is especially true for disciplines that cover a wide scope of topics and perspectives, like geography. Luckily, a recent project by the Canadian Association of Geographers aims to do just that — help geography students and recent graduates shape their own path.

Often, just knowing the options of what’s possible is a great help! I certainly feel that way whenever I meet people who live in ways that differ from I thought was possible.

Over the past five months, I have been interviewing geographers from all over Canada, gathering their advice for students and new graduates on how to build a fulfilling career in geography. Their stories are summarized here.

careers streams in geography human physical technology infograph chart blog

In total, eighteen people shared their career paths with me. Some had decades of work experience, and others had recently graduated. After their undergraduate studies, some continued their education, some found work in geography, while others worked in fields that were seemingly unrelated to what they studied.

The diversity of career paths was astounding. Of those interviewed, there is a bakery owner, a poet, two photographers, a military administrator, a banker, and several government workers, entrepreneurs, and educators. There are some who took years off to travel, some who moved to a different country, and some who moved to the Arctic (I heard it’s otherworldly there!).

“Many great people want to help, but they will not know that you need help unless you ask.” – Mark Squires,¬†GIS Research Analyst II at
The Newfoundland & Labrador Centre for Health Information

Geography focuses on giving students multiple lenses in which to view the world. Because the discipline is so broad, it can be daunting to know where to start.

“Find an area of study that both intrigues and challenges you. You would not want to succeed at something that you might end up hating.” – Katie Bullick, Owner at Pintail Environmental Consulting Inc.

Listening to their various experiences helped me to feel less anxious about the future, as most recent graduates feel once in a while. It helped me to see the value of my own interdisciplinary education and how I can express it in a way that employers understand. It reaffirmed that there are many definitions of happiness and success, and many ways to get there.

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What can you do with a geography degree? The short answer is: anything! Finding that “anything” is the fun part.

If you’re curious, take a look at the profiles!


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