Careers in Geography and Urban Studies
Geographical perspectives and techniques provide analytical skills necessary for a wide variety of occupations. The Bachelor of Arts degree in Geography provides marketable skills and the broad viewpoint on environment and society that enable graduates to move beyond entry-level positions. For similar reasons, geography provides a sound foundation for students who plan to enter graduate work in a variety of fields, from geography to business, land use planning, law, and medicine.
Students are urged to familiarize themselves with the career resources of the Center for Strategic Advising & Career Counseling and Liberal Arts Career Services as soon as possible, or by the end of the junior year at the latest. Students should take short courses at these Centers to learn how to write a resume, research jobs, and conduct a job interview. Students are encouraged to contact the undergraduate advisor about GRG 379L (Practicum:Internships in Applied Geography).
See the Association of American Geographers website for more resources about career development.
The potential for practicing geography in private enterprise and government has grown considerably in recent years, although few such positions are designated with the title of geographer.
Graduates with Bachelor's degrees have found jobs in city government (Parks and Recreation, Land Development, City Planning, Environmental Protection, Transportation, Resource Management, Tax Records), county government (Health, Parks), and state government (Agriculture Department, Air Control Board, Texas Education Agency, General Land Office, Governor's Office, Health Department, Highways and Public Transportation, Railroad Commission, Parks and Wildlife, Water Development Board, Bureau of Economic Geology).
At the federal level, geographers from UT Austin have found work with the Soil Conservation Service, Forest Service, Defense Mapping Agency, Education Department, General Services Administration, Health and Human Services, United States Geological Survey, Transportation Department, Weather Service, NASA, and Bureau of the Census.
In the private sector, geographers are employed in firms specializing in engineering, cartography (Rand McNally, etc.), GIS, travel, aerial surveying, land surveying, photogrammetry, environmental impact assessment, flood hazard mapping, architecture, banking, archaeology, retailing, mining, and resources.
Many geography majors have become high school teachers. Demand for teachers with geography skills remains high - either as Geography teachers or teachers in social studies. Students should take advantage of the College's UTeach program to get practical experience in teaching while still a student. Geographers also have an excellent track record in gaining employment in environmental organizations.
Geography majors include many who intend to pursue graduate degrees in law, medicine, business, librarianship, architecture, or urban planning, as well as those who plan to obtain the M.A. or Ph.D. degrees in Geography. Alumni with graduate degrees have obtained jobs with major national and foreign universities, the United Nations, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Agency for International Development, the Nature Conservancy, the Audubon Society, the National Wildlife Foundation, and as business executives.