Careers in Geography and Planning

A degree in Geography or Planning can take you many places, as the Career sections below illustrate.  As a department, it is our goal to help prepare students for those careers, not only through a formal education program but also by providing career development opportunities.  We bring alumni to the department to talk about their careers and provide our undergraduate and graduate students with networking opportunities. There are several undergraduate courses in the department that provide experiential learning opportunities and connect students with potential future employers.  We offer a series of professional development sessions to our graduate students on how to prepare for academic and non-academic jobs.  Master’s students in the graduate Planning program must complete an internship that is often a stepping-stone to full-time employment.

Careers in Geography

A degree in Geography will provide you with the skills and knowledge that prepare you for many different kinds of careers.   Our graduates have found jobs in environmental management, remote sensing, urban and regional planning, GIS and mapping, public engagement, market research, teaching, climatology and environmental science, just to name a few.

Where do Geographers find work? In a survey of recent graduates, we found that about one-third of the graduates from our Master’s program are working in government, about 20% work in the private sector, 10% are working with NGOS, 10% are employed at research centres, and 5% have jobs as teachers.  Twenty percent of our Master’s graduates have continued on to PhD programs.

Almost all of our PhD graduates have found employment as academics.  About half of our recent PhD graduates are working as university professors, about one-third are employed as post-doctoral fellows, 10% have jobs in government and 5% are working with NGOs.

Careers in Planning

Master’s students in the Planning program have been successful in finding jobs across the entire spectrum of the planning profession.  These include jobs as social planners, environmental planners, transportation planners, economic development specialists, real estate developers, policy analysts, land use planners, natural heritage planners, energy systems planners, public engagement specialists, parks planners, housing analysts, GIS specialists, and urban designers.

Our Master’s graduates typically find employment in government and the private sector.   About one-third of our graduates are working in government, primarily at the local level, and about one-third find jobs in the private sector as planning consultants.  A smaller percentage work with NGOs, some further their education in doctoral studies or other professional programs such as law, and some find employment in non-traditional fields, such as the environmental insurance industry.

Our PhD program in Planning is still relatively young, established in 2008, but so far all of our graduates are pursuing careers in academia.

Links to Geography career sites

Association of American Geographers Geography

Links to Planning career sites

Canadian Institute of Planners

Ontario Professional Planners Institute

American Planning Association