Careers

One Major, Endless Possibilities

If you want to address key problems like poverty and homelessness, First Nations land rights and environmental change, Geography may be just the right field for you. Not only does Geography provide a unique understanding of spatial relationships, but Geographers have the opportunity to make a very real difference in how people relate to and experience the world. 

Employment rates amongst SFU Geography graduates are high (typically >95%), with average starting salaries in the $45-50k range (according to the BC Student Outcomes Survey).  Our graduates work across a wide range of career fields, and are employed by organizations and institutions all over the world. To view alumni profiles and find out more about what our graduates are up to, please visit our Alumni page.

 

Want to start building work experience before you graduate?  Join our Co-op Education program.

To find out more about the careers available to Geography program graduates, check out the information below and on the SFU Career Services website.  You can also connect with an SFU Career Advisor to explore this further.

Career Pathways & Profiles

Human Geography

Human Geographers are interested in the interactions between humans and their environments and seek to better understand how space and place intersect.  Common occupations for human geographers include positions in urban, regional and environmental management, planning and policy making, strategic communications and education, among others. 

 

Physical Geography

Physical geographers are concerned with processes that impact the natural environment and work in areas such as terrain analysis and geotechnical consulting, environmental impact assessment, wildlife habitat protection, forest conservation, natural resource development and atmospheric and soil sciences, among others.  Graduates of our Physical Geography programs have the opportunity to gain accredition as a Professional Geoscientist or Professional Agrologist.

 

Global Environmental Systems

With a comprehensive understanding of the interactions between socio-economic and biophysical systems, graduates of the GES major are well-placed to support environmental decision-making across a range of sectors and industries. Typical occupations include positions in environmental planning and resource use, system and transportation planning, resource management, knowledge translation and policy development among others.

Geographic Information Science

Geographers with GIS skills are in great demand as more and more industries expand their use of spatial data. All of our degree programs include courses within the field of GIScience and students can gain additional expertise through completion of the GIS Certificate program. 

 

Skills Development

Skills You Will Develop As A Geographer

Critical Thinking, Research and Analysis

  • Read critically and write persuasively with a comprehensive knowledge of grammar and vocabulary
  • Use critical thinking skills to evaluate and solve problems
  • Conduct research to access, analyze, and apply knowledge
  • Use qualitative and quantitative research methods
  • Initiate and test hypotheses about earth systems

 

Spatial and Environmental Literacy
  • Reading, interpreting & creating spatial data products like maps and graphs
  • Understand the ways in which humans interact with the physical and built environment
  • Develop a multidisciplinary perspective on environmental, social and economic problems 
  • Understand spatial relations

 

Project Design and Planning

  • Conceptualize, plan and carry out projects
  • Work effectively and independently to meet deadlines
  • Anticipate and manage risk
  • Adapt to changing priorities
  • Develop creative solutions to problems

Communication and Teamwork

  • Communicate ideas clearly and efficiently in a variety of mediums through listening, clarifying, and responding comprehensively
  • Share information and ideas using a range of information and communications technologies
  • Lead, support, and work effectively within in a group
  • Think from a global perspective and communicate effectively across cultures

 

Data Aquisition, Methods and Modelling

  • Develop discipline-specific technical expertise (i.e. use of specialized field equipment, satellite imagery and state of the art software)
  • Deisgn and develop computer models
  • Use statistical applications to generate and interpret spatial data
  • Organize information and maintain records with accuracy
  • Gather, organize, analyze and summarize data
  • Conduct field studies
  • Understand surveying and sampling techniques
  • Use computer programs to initiate and expand research

 

Looking for additional career information?

Visit the following pages for additional resources, profiles and opportunities: