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Geography

What can I do with this major?

Area

Employer

Information/Strategies

Environmental Geography

  • Environmental Management
  • Conservation
  • Waste Management
  • Environmental Regulation
  • Emergency Management
  • Outdoor Recreation Management
  • Federal and state government:
    • Environmental Protection Agency
    • Departments of Agriculture
    • National Forest Service
    • National Park Service
  • Real estate developers
  • Scientific and research groups
  • Waste management companies
  • Chemical companies
  • Firms specializing in forestry, mining, environmental issues, or surveying
  • Law firms
  • Become skilled in related computer technology.
  • Take biology and chemistry courses for environmental management positions.
  • Take electives in plant science, forestry and wildlife management for careers in recreation and forestry management.
  • Join environmental organizations on campus and in your community.
  • Seek environmental-related experience through internships, summer or part-time jobs.
  • Learn federal government job application process.
  • Earn a law degree for work areas such as environmental law and policy.

Cultural and Human Geography

  • Cultural Resources
  • Historic Preservation
  • Historical Consultation
  • Community Development/Redevelopment
  • Education
  • Research
  • State, regional, and local government
  • Peace Corps
  • Real estate developers
  • Companies dealing with insurance, transportation, communications, and international trade
  • Scientific and research groups
  • Museums
  • Develop an open mind towards the language, history, customs, and culture of other countries.
  • Learn how to conduct library research, make field observations, and interpret artifacts.
  • Learn a foreign language for field observations in other countries.
  • Participate in cross-cultural groups and organizations.
  • Develop excellent communication and teamwork skills in order to work with historians and archivists in recreating the geography of the past.
  • Obtain related experience in your area of interest through volunteer or paid positions including internships.
  • Become skilled in related computer technology.
  • Learn federal, state, and local government job application process.

Geographic Technology

  • Cartography
  • Geographic Information Systems
  • Remote Sensing
  • Federal government agencies:
    • Department of Defense
    • Department of Interior
    • Department of Commerce
    • Department of Agriculture
    • Department of State
    • Defense Mapping
    • National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    • Central Intelligence Agency
  • State and regional government agencies:
    • Departments of Transportation or Agriculture
  • Private industry including telephone, utilities, construction, engineering, energy, environmental planning, and consulting firms
  • Map publishers
  • Mapping software companies
  • Colleges and universities
  • Take courses in surveying and measurements, photogrammetry, computer systems, database management, technical mathematics, drafting, statistics, optics, remote sensing, art, graphics.
  • Learn to be detail-oriented.
  • Gain experience reading maps and interpreting data sources including geological surveys and satellite images.
  • Seek related experience, such as a part-time job or internship, to develop technical skills.
  • Investigate federal, state, and local government job application process.

Planning

  • City/Regional Planning
  • Housing Development
  • Convention/Tourism
  • Community Development
  • Demography
  • Transportation
  • Waste Management
  • Conservation
  • City, county, and regional planning agencies
  • Local and state government
  • Federal government agencies including:
    • Agency for International Development
    • World Bank
    • Department of Housing and Urban Development
  • Research organizations
  • Private business
  • Banks
  • Industrial firms
  • Public utilities
  • Architecture firms
  • Real estate developers
  • Develop team work and communication skills.
  • Participate in student government.
  • Take courses in public administration or public finance.
  • Observe city/county advisory meetings.
  • Seek internship or work experience in a local government office, as they are a large employer in this area.
  • Learn federal, state, and local government job application process.
  • Obtain master's degree in planning.
  • Earn a dual degree in planning and law.
  • Research the certified planning credential obtained through the American Institute of Certified Planners.

Physical Geography

  • Biogeography
  • Geomorphology
  • Natural Hazards
  • Weather and Climate
  • Hydrology
  • Environmental Regulation
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • State and local government
  • Federal government agencies including:
    • US Department of Agriculture
    • US Geological Survey
    • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
    • Forest Service
    • Bureau of Land Management
    • The National Resources Conservation Service
  • TV/Radio stations
  • Agribusiness corporations
  • Outdoor recreation companies
  • Resource management agencies
  • Research institutes
  • Insurance companies
  • Develop strong analytical and communication skills.
  • Take courses in physics, chemistry, soil science, agriculture.
  • Take courses like weather systems, atmospheric dynamics, thermodynamics, physical meteorology for more job options in meteorology/atmospheric science.
  • Gain experience through part-time jobs, internships or volunteer opportunities related to climate, weather or natural hazards.
  • Be willing to relocate to regions that have job availability.

Economic Geography

  • Location Scouting
  • Real Estate Analysis
  • Transportation
  • Agricultural Planning
  • Travel/Tourism Planning
  • Federal, state, and local government
  • Market research firms
  • Manufacturing, wholesale, and retail firms
  • Public utilities
  • Consulting firms
  • Real estate appraisers and developers
  • Banks
  • Develop strong communication skills.
  • Take business courses such as economics, advertising, marketing, finance, statistics to increase marketability in the field.
  • Earn a business minor.
  • Learn to see all sides of a problem, including economic, social, political, and environmental.
  • Observe city/county advisory meetings.
  • Obtain business or planning-related work/volunteer experience to build contacts and increase marketability.
  • Consider earning a master's degree in planning.

Geographic Education

  • Teaching
  • Research
  • Elementary/secondary schools, public and private
  • Colleges and universities
  • Develop strong communication skills, both oral and written.
  • Seek volunteer or paid experiences, such as camp counselor or tutor, with target age group.
  • Research state standards for certification.
  • Obtain certification/licensure for public school teaching.
  • Obtain multiple certifications for increased employability.
  • Specialize in an area such as quantitative research techniques, computer mapping, or natural resource management.
  • Join National Council for Geographic Education.
  • Complete a master's degree for community college teaching or a Ph.D. for college/university teaching and research.
  • Maintain a high grade point average and build strong faculty recommendations to prepare for graduate school.

General Information and Strategies

  • Bachelor's degree qualifies you for entry-level positions in government and industry.
  • Master's degree qualifies you for community college teaching and advancement in industry and government.
  • Ph.D. is required for research and teaching positions in colleges and universities and senior positions in government and industry.
  • Geography provides a broad foundation for future career endeavors.
  • Obtain volunteer, part-time, summer, internship, or co-op experience in your area of interest.
  • Join professional organizations such as the American Geography Society or the National Council for Geographic Education.
  • Become a member of groups directed toward improvement of natural resources or environment and pollution control.
  • Maintain knowledge of current environmental issues including policy, conservation, and industry trends.
  • Computer knowledge is extremely important in geography. Obtain experience with geographic information systems.
  • Develop strong mathematical and statistical skills.
  • Develop skills and interest in mapping, graphics, and charts. An interest in photography may prove beneficial.
  • Develop good communication skills.

Last modified: Oct 20, 2011

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