Geography & Environmental Studies - A Career Overview

It is important to understand that employers hire people, not degrees. The skills and knowledge you develop as a result of your education, as well as in your work and community activities, have the greatest impact on hiring decisions. Listed below are some specific knowledge and transferable skills you will acquire as a result of your university education and your focus on Geography & Environmental Studies.

Specific Knowledge Skills

  • Understanding the impact of geography on economic/political/cultural/historical development
  • Awareness of issues such as climate change, population trends, globalization and resource management
  • Ability to gather, assess and interpret economic/environmental impact of environmental changes
  • Knowledge of how to interpret and apply scientific principles, relevant legislation, policies and guidelines to environmental/corporate/industrial resource management practices
  • Skills to carefully observe/measure use of earth resources through time to understand changing environments
  • Familiarity with principles of resource management and the impact of development/tourism on environment
  • Understanding of techniques related to conservation and effective land management planning and use
  • Knowledge of how to plan optimal use of space, land and environment for urban/resource planning
  • Skills and knowledge to assist people/governments to understand and adapt to their environment
  • The ability to use and interpret relevant scientific information/data to assist in planning and development
  • Thorough understanding of geographical principles and statistical techniques
  • Technical skills, field and laboratory techniques, cartography skills and GIS skills

Valuable Transferable Skills

Information-gathering and Communication Skills

  • The skills required to identify and access a wide range of relevant information and resources
  • The ability to compile and organize facts and information and to comprehend and apply new and/or unfamiliar information to different situations and settings
  • Skills in preparing interesting, creative and informative presentations which target diverse audiences
  • The ability to develop attractive/effective reports, presentations and materials using current technology

Thinking, Planning and Organizational Skills

  • The ability to learn, understand and interpret information and apply knowledge to new situations
  • The ability to set priorities, meet deadlines and effectively plan/manage time, data and resources
  • Problem-solving skills and the ability to make well-reasoned decisions, think creatively and search for, identify and consider all sides of an issue
  • Skills to effectively analyze and interpret a wide range of information and data to discuss, support and/or reject ideas, opinions, reports, theories and proposals

Teamwork and Management Skills

  • Skills enabling you to work effectively as part of a team by identifying your role and contributing, through leading, teaching, motivating and/or encouraging others, to the success of the team
  • An understanding of how to successfully identify, plan and contribute to the goals of a project
  • The ability to oversee, supervise and/or contribute to a project from beginning to end including determining outcomes, planning details, making decisions, assigning roles and completing task

Career Options (Samples Only. Additional education, training or experience may be required.)

Aerial Survey Technician
Agricultural Consultant
Census Geographer/
Community Developer
Computer Mapping Specialist
Consumer Safety Advisor
Economic Development Planner
Environmental Evaluator/Analyst
Environmental Impact Analyst
Environmental Officer
Environmental Planner
Facilities Planner/Manager
Field Technician
Forestry/Park Ranger
Geological Lab Assistant
GIS Specialist
Industrial Consultant
Industrial Meteorologist
Land Use Planner/Surveyor
Landscape Consultant
Location Expert/Site Researcher
Map Analyst
Market Research Analyst
Natural Resource Officer
Natural Resources Policy
Outdoor Education Teacher
Photogrammetric Technologist
Public Policy Analyst
Real Estate Developer
Recreational Program Co-
Recycling Co-ordinator
Remote Sensing Technologist
Resource Conservation
Resources Conservationist
Science Laboratory Technician
Science Writer
Soil Scientist
Surveyor/Mapping Scientist
Tour/Park Guide
Tourism Consultant
Transportation/Traffic Planner
TV/News Science Reporter
Urban Planner
Water Resource Planner
Water Resource Specialist
Water/Soil/Air Inspector
Zoning Inspector/Administrator

Potential Employers

Agricultural Companies
Civil Engineering Firms
Educational Institutions
Environmental Consultants
Environmental Protection Firms
Geographic Consulting Firms
Geological Surveyors
Heritage/Historic Sites
International Development
Mining/Resource Companies
Oil Companies
Parks/Recreation Departments
Pollution Control Companies
Resource Management
Science Magazines/TV Shows
Transportation Companies
Travel/Tourism Industry
Urban/Regional Planning Firms
Waste Disposal Companies


EarthWorks Jobs -
Environmental Jobs and Careers - or
Canadian Environmental -
The Royal Canadian Geographical Society -
Canadian Association of Geographers -
Environmental Careers Organization -
Canadian Tourism Human Resource Council -
Geological Association of Canada -
Canadian Institute of Planners -
Nature Canada -
The Canadian Environmental Certification Approvals Board -
Environment Canada -

Are you interested in learning first hand about the careers our alumni have successfully pursued? Connect with Laurier alumni through the Alumni Sharing Knowledge (ASK) program. Participating alumni represent a variety of disciplines, careers and industries.

In addition, the Career Centre has compiled Career Profiles from Laurier alumni. Read about their career paths and how their experiences have led them to their current roles.


This resource is available at the Career Resource Centre.

© 2019 Wilfrid Laurier University - Orbis Career / Co-op Portal Professional v3