Careers in Geography

There are numerous career possibilities with a degree in geography. The undergraduate majors offered by the Geography department at UCSB are designed to prepare students for careers in several different areas, as the flexibility and diversity of a geography degree makes graduates highly sought after in the workforce. Geographers may find career opportunities in a variety of work sectors. There are possibilities in state and local government offices, federal agencies, and international organizations. Many geographers find work in private businesses or as consultants to businesses. Also, geographers may pursue the possibility of teaching or researching at a university, or teaching at the primary or secondary level, each requiring additional years of study at the graduate level. Career opportunities for geographers also exist in specialized areas such as remote sensing and aerial photography, resource evaluation, urban and regional planning, industrial location, marketing resources, transportation and cartography.

 Geography Announcements

General information for Geography majors, as well as career and internship opportunities.

 Related Careers

The list of example careers below represents only a sample of the careers available to those with a degree in geography.

Area Specialist

Just like the title suggests, an area specialist has a lot of knowledge about a specific area. This information can be used in numerous ways for social services, companies, etc.


Also known as “map makers”, cartographers take perceptions of the world and “re-create” them as maps. Cartographers may have experience with methods such as surveying and remote sensing.

Emergency Management Planners

Emergency Management Planners utilize geographic tools such as GIS data and remotely sensed data in order to understand and plan for natural and human-induced hazards.

Environmental Planners

Utilizing tools such as GIS and remote sensing, environmental planners are utilized when planning parks, conservation areas, and are also employed by private sector firms.

GIS Analysts and Specialists

GIS is a booming area of job growth. GIS Analysts and Specialists use GIS software such as ArcMap to study different phenomena of the earth.

Location Analysts

Analyzing the profitability of one location versus another is an essential step for many businesses. Location analysts are also utilized by government and non-profit groups.

Remote Sensing Analysts and Specialists

Looking at and analyzing the world through satellite and aerial images, geographers who utilize remote sensing are a part of a growing field utilized by numerous sources such as NASA, NOAA, etc.


Every day something new is being discovered about the world we live in. Researchers with a background in geography may have access to and training with different methodologies which may give their research project the edge.


Geography is a fundamental component of a well-rounded K-12 education. Instructors with an established knowledge of geography are desirable to administrators because they provide the opportunity to strenghten a very important aspect of their program.

Transportation Planners and Managers

The science of the ebb and flow of traffic is just as complex as building the infrastructure itself. Transportation Planners and Managers utilize tools such as GIS and surveys in order to understand the transportation needs and desires of a particular area. This information can be used to plan for future development.

Urban and City Planners

Cities are complex systems with patterns and trends which may be overlooked by the untrained eye. Urban and City Planners study the complexities of an urban environment in order to build new or improve upon current city plans.