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What Are You Going to Do With a Degree in Geography?

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Geography Careers

There are many career opportunities for students who study geography in college. This page provides answers to the age-old question, "What are you going to do with a degree in geography?"

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While a common question of those who are studying geography is, "What are you going to do with a degree in geography?," there are actually many options and potential careers for geography majors. Geography is a major that teaches students a wide-range of useful skills for the marketplace. Employers value the wide-ranging computer, research, and analytical skills that geography students bring to work as employees. When job-hunting, it's important to stress these skills you've gained during college.

While there aren't many job titles that are "geographer," there are many types of positions that fit well with a degree in geography. Think about some of the options below as you begin your job search.

Be sure to intern in any area of interests to get your foot in the door and gain valuable on-the-job experience. Your resume will be much more impressive if you have real world experience in the areas you're applying for.

Urban Planner/Community Development

Geography is a natural tie-in with urban or city planning. City planners work on zoning, land use, and new developments, from a gas station renovation to the development of whole new sections of urban area. You'll work with individual property owners, developers, and other officials. If you're interested in this area, be sure to take urban geography and urban planning classes. An internship with a city planning agency is essential experience for this type of work.

Cartographer

For those with cartography course backgrounds may enjoy work as a cartographer. The news media, book publishers, atlas publishers, government agencies and others are looking for cartographers to help produce maps. This would likely require relocation.

GIS Specialist

City governments, county agencies, and other government agencies and private groups are often in need of experienced GIS professionals. Coursework and internships in GIS are especially important. Computer programming or engineering skills are very helpful in this arena - the more about computers and languages you know, the better off you are.

Climatologist

Agencies like the National Weather Service, news media, the Weather Channel, and other government entities occasionally need climatologist. Admittedly, these jobs usually go to those with meteorology degrees, a geographer with experience and vast coursework in meteorology and climatology would definitely be an asset.

Transportation management

Like urban and city planning, there are opportunities in local government but regional transit authorities or shipping, logistics, and transportation companies look kindly to someone with transportation geography in their background and good computer and analytical skills.

Environmental Management

A plethora of environmental assessment, cleanup, and management companies exist throughout the world today. A geographer brings excellent skills for project management and the development of reports like environmental impact reports. It's often a wide-open field with tremendous growth opportunities.

Writer/Researcher

Undoubtedly during your college years you've spent time developing your writing skills and certainly as a geography major you know how to research! How about a career as a writer - you could be a science writer or a travel writer for a magazine or newspaper. The About.com Freelance Writing site provides information to help you get started.

If you want to get your name out there, you could start by writing some great volunteer guest articles for me and be published on this site. Let me know if you're interested and tell me a bit about yourself.

See more jobs on Page Two

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