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  • Are you interested in making maps, addressing environmental issues, weighing in on political and economic problems in modern society, or using computer programs and high-tech equipment? The study of geography brings together inquiry in the natural sciences and the social sciences, as well as practical skills in the use of computer systems to analyze spatial data.

    In many of the diverse career paths available with a degree in this field, geography majors enjoy high earning potential.

    What Careers Can I Follow With Geography

    Studying geography can lead to careers in areas such as:

    • Environment and ecology

    Owain, hydrologist, Environment Agency WATCH NOWOwain did a geography degree and now monitors water quality. He started work with the Environment Agency as a temp and from there was able to apply for internal jobs.

    Nicole, planning enforcement officer, Westminster City Council WATCH NOWI liked all three subjects Geography, economics, and design & technology is a mix of what makes town planning, so I thought, Ill do town planning. After her GCSEs Nicole wanted to become a dancer but was put off by the fees of performing arts school. Before going to university, she looked after people with learning disabilities and worked as a waitress.

    Joanne, education ranger, Forestry Commission WATCH NOWMost of my work is with school groups so you do need to be able to communicate with children and enjoy being with them. Joanne took geography at A-level and went on to study ecology and economics at university. She now works with school groups and runs woodland events for members of the public.

    Kati, head of digital media, V& A Museum WATCH NOWKati took a geography degree and later studied history of design. She has found a career which combines her different interests.

    Explore more icould videos on geography careers. Hear what its like to work for employers including The Eden Project, The Met Office, and The National Trust, as well as energy providers and local authorities.

    What Does Gis Do

    • Identifying clusters
    • Analyzing geographic relationships

    GIS software developers like ESRI have in the last 50 years created a set of tools to support geographic reasoning and in so doing GIS now embodies geographic reasoning to the extent that GIS is a great way to view things geographic! The role of geography according to Jack Dangermond is as a platform for understanding the world. GIS is making geography come alive as it allows for the condensation of data, information and science into a language that can be easily understood the language of maps.

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    What Jobs Can You Do

    Geography graduates are equipped to move in several career directions, often combining their knowledge of human and environmental activity to work in areas such as town planning, travel and tourism or aspects of environmental protection, says Margaret Holbrough, careers adviser with Graduate Prospects.

    “Surveying, either in urban general practice or in planning/development are possibilities, as are jobs within the property industry,” she says, but points out that postgraduate qualifications and/or prior experience are essential for many of these careers.

    “Logistics and distribution, international aid and development would be relevant career options, as well as working within local government departments or agencies responsible for transport and tourism, housing, environmental services and recycling, sustainability, regeneration and economic development,” Holbrough says.

    “Jobs that utilise the analytical and research skills of human geography graduates include market research, law, finance and accounting.”

    Ready To Start Your Journey

    How to Become a Geographer

    Geography majors learn about the physical features of the earth including climate, soil, and topography and how people relate to the land. Learners study both physical and social science.

    Geography careers include geoscientist, geographer, and cartographer. Below, readers will find more information about pursuing a career in this field, including salary potential and links to helpful resources.

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    Associate Degree In Geography

    During an associate program in geography, students gain foundational skills in human and physical geography. Students complete courses in GIS technology, mapping sciences, geographic distribution. The program also includes broad education in other topics, including English and mathematics. Graduates can pursue careers as surveying and mapping technicians, drafters, and geological technicians.

    These fields require training in geographic techniques, including the software programs used for surveying and mapping. Graduates can also transfer into a four-year program to complete a bachelor’s degree in geography or a related field.

    What Can You Do With an Associate in Geography?

    Surveying and mapping technicians collect data to make maps of the Earth’s surface. They take measurements on site, create maps using geographic data, and use computer programs to turn surveying data into maps. Familiarity with GIS through a geography associate program can help surveying and mapping technicians.

    How To Switch Your Career To Geography

    Geography professionals seeking a career change to a different job within the same field do not typically need to earn another degree unless their new job requires more advanced education. In most cases, professionals changing careers within geography only need specialized training or certification for their new job.

    Professionals coming from other fields may need to earn another degree. These individuals should especially consider going back to school if their new job requires a graduate degree. Professionals coming from other fields should also strongly consider earning certification from a geography-related professional organization.

    Training and courses in practical skills, such as GIS, can also be helpful.

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    Where Geography Graduates Work

    Geography graduates work across the private sector, including data mapping companies, power companies, global logistics and transport companies, public sector organisations, city and regional councils and science-based crown entities. Recent Geography graduates have worked in organisations such as:

    Why Pursue A Career In Geography

    Do I Need a Degree in Geographic Information Systems

    Careers with a geography degree offer the opportunity to work indoors or outdoors. Geographers and survey and mapping technicians spend time out in the field collecting data and studying the land. Careers like postsecondary teacher include more desk work and less time spent outdoors.

    Geography students need excellent analytical thinking skills and attention to detail. Some geography professionals work alone, while others work as part of a team, meaning students should develop the ability to both work individually and compromise with others.

    Careers for a geography major also require a deep understanding of the earth and how humans interact with it.

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    Resources For Geography Majors

    Geography students and professionals should make use of professional organizations and open courseware. These resources help geography professionals stay current on new theories and technology in the industry.

    Below, readers can find more information about professional organizations, publications, and free courses in geography.

    American Association of Geographers: This nonprofit organization includes members in more than 100 countries. Founded in 1908, the AAG focuses on networking and facilitating discussion between geography professionals. The association’s website offers publications and an annual conference for members.

    American Geographical Society: AGS promotes advancement in geographic knowledge across business, government, and academia. The organization focuses on education and research, especially research that creates sound public policy and national security. Members gain access to several online publications and a geography podcast.

    National Council for Geographic Education: This national organization focuses on geographic education at all levels. NCGE offers professional development opportunities and advocates for more geography education in schools. The council offers annual conferences, educational programs, publications, and webinars.

    What Skills Will I Get From Studying Geography

    Geography will help you develop your communication and teamwork skills, as youll often work on group projects. Youll also develop your research and analysis skills including in IT, lab and fieldwork, which means you will be able to collect and look for patterns in data.

    Employers love the mix of technical and social skills people get from studying geography, which they see as very transferable, i.e. useful for a whole range of jobs.

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    What Do Geology Graduates Do

    Geology graduates in employment in the UK are doing various jobs. Eight of the top ten include physical scientists, environment professionals, civil engineers, secondary education teaching professionals, engineering professionals, programmers and software development professionals, data analysts, management consultants and business analysts, and business associate professionals.


    How To Advance Your Career In Geography

    Geography GCSE for OCR B

    Most careers for a geography major require either a bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree for entry-level work. Advancement can bring better job titles, better pay, and more responsibility in the workplace.

    Below, readers can find more information about advancing their careers in geography. The following sections explain certification and licensure, continuing education opportunities, and benefits of joining a professional organization.

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    What Are The 10 Best

    Some examples of high-paying jobs for graduates of geography degree programs include the following occupations.

    A Note About Geography Career Salary Data

    Every effort has been made to present the salary data included in this article in comparable ways. However, due to the different ways data sources categorize job titles and calculate salary data, it isnt always possible to retrieve salary data from the same source. For each job, the source of the data and the type of data are noted.

    Generally, the salary data listed below is either the median or average salary, rather than the top salary, to better indicate the sort of earning potential that most workers in the field can expect.

    What Degrees And Other Qualifications Do I Need Geography For

    If you want to study Geography at university, youll almost certainly need to study it at A-level. Geography A-level is also required from some environmental science and planning courses.

    According to the Russell Group, Geography A-level is useful for courses in: Archaeology, Civil Engineering, Geology and Sociology.

    A GCSE or A-level in Geography could also be useful for apprenticeships in surveying, horticulture, agriculture, land based engineering or BTECs in environmental sustainability or environmental conservation, although it won’t always be required.

    Where can I find out more?

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    Best Careers For Geography Graduates

    “What are you going to do with a bachelor’s in geography?”

    Most geography majors will hear this question at least once during their studies: from their parents, friends, colleaguesmaybe even from themselves.

    But although geography sometimes gets a bad rap for being a “useless” degree, in truth, the opposite is true. In this wide-ranging, interdisciplinary major, students develop essential transferrable skills in research, math, statistics, IT, and data analysis. They learn to work with databases, spreadsheets, computer cartography software, and GIS technologies. Students leave the program with extensive experience managing their own time, working with teams, thinking creatively, and solving problemsall of which set them up for success in a wide range of careers.

    As with students in any field, what’s next for a geography major depends on their personal interests, academic strengths, previous work experience, and professional goals. But equally important is the kind of geography they prefer. Students of physical geography tend to favor jobs in the natural sciences, exploring all aspects of the earth’s physical properties and processes. Those in human geography, on the other hand, skew towards the social sciences. They often end up in jobs that focus on issues related to human cultures or communities.

    Whatever their specialization, the future is bright for geography studentsboth within the field of geography and beyond.

    This article will be covering the following careers:

    How To Become A Geographer

    Why you SHOULD study geography at university

    Entry-level and federal government jobs typically require only a bachelor’s degree in geography. You’ll generally need a master’s degree in geography or geographic information systems for more advanced positions and those in the private sector. Teaching positions at a college or university require a doctoral degree.

    An internship can help you gain skills and become a better job candidate when you enter the field. Interdisciplinary coursework in economics, business, real estate, and other fields can also be beneficial.

    Because there are few jobs in this occupation, not everyone who graduates with a degree in geography can find work as a geographer. If you earn a geography degree, other professions will also make good use of your knowledge. A bachelor’s or master’s degree will also prepare you to become a surveyor,urban or regional planner, geoscientist, or cartographer.

    While a license isn’t required to be a geographer, certification in GIS can show your proficiency. The GIS Certification Institute and the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing both offer certification options.

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    How Do I Find An Internship

    If these opportunities are an academic requirement, you will likely have the opportunity arranged for you, or at least a variety of potential options presented to you. If it is not a requirement, speak with your professors, other geography department staff as well as your schools guidance and career counselors to help you find a suitable opportunity.

    What Subjects Go With Geography

    Geography will support the study of sciences, especially health and social sciences, like Biology, Sociology and Psychology.

    Geography A-level is also a facilitating subject, which means that it can be useful for a whole range of university courses and will help you keep your options open. Find out more about facilitating subjects here.

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    Jobs Careers And Professional Development In Geography

    Undergraduate and graduate students interested in exploring and preparing for a career in geography will benefit from this open-access course. Students will identify career interests, research and investigate their discoveries, and prepare job materials and professional documents based on their findings. The course is available at no cost to AAG members and their students.

    Videos on Careers in Geography

    What Can I Do With A Geography Degree

    Going Places with Geography

    With its opportunities for hands-on learning, as well as its interdisciplinary and holistic approach that spans the natural and social sciences, a degree in Geography will prepare you for many types of careers in private industry, government, non-profits, research, and higher education. For example, a geography degree will prepare you to become an environmental consultant, work in industry, join or start a non-profit, start a career in international development, or put your education to work in the US Geological Survey or US Forest Service, among many others. Because few geography jobs have the job title geographer, these resources describe some of the job titles and career paths for geographers.

    • Account Manager
    • Managing editor, series on geography and world cultures
    • Municipal government professional
    • Project Manager, commercial remote sensing
    • Project Scientist, National Geospatial Intelligence Agency
    • Real Estate Appraiser
    • Senior Manager in Information Technology
    • Social Work
    • Air/Water Quality Control Manager
    • International Development Project Officer, Facilitator
    • Journalist

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    What Skills Have You Gained

    You’ll have developed strong analytical skills, knowing how to interpret conceptual and data-based information. In a rapidly changing world your understanding of how human environments function globally and locally is highly marketable. A knowledge of how to read future socio-economic trends and use computer modelling tools will be of interest to many employers.

    To this end, your degree should have included a major piece of research, which will have allowed you to develop self-management skills, as well as important transferable attributes such as communication, presentation and team-working.

    What A Geography Degree Entails

    There are two main branches of geography:

    • Physical geography: studies the composition of the earth’s crust, its surface and the processes it undergoes.

    • Human geography: studies the distribution of people and their culture on planet earth’s surface.

    Geography empowers a person with knowledge of the physical and natural sciences and helps develop mathematical and critical-thinking skills. It also helps with understanding how to read and interpret maps and even create them. Graduates with a geography degree can have diverse career paths as they can work in areas like research, planning and consulting. They can also use their acquired knowledge of geography to obtain and effectively analyse data.

    Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at the time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate’s experience, academic background and location.

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    Geographical Information Systems Officer

    What is Human Geography? Crash Course Geography #28

    If, as well as the environment, youre interested in working with data, analytics and computer systems, then this role might suit you. Geographic information systems are computerized systems used for the collection, storage, analysis, management and presentation of complicated geographical information, for example radar.

    Geographical information systems officers carry out the gathering and examination of geographical data generated by GIS. The data can be applied in a variety of areas, such as defense, meteorology, oil, gas, telecommunications and transportation, to make decisions which benefit the environment.

    For entry into this role, you may find it useful to have previously studied GIS as a module during your degree, and many employers also highly value a relevant postgraduate degree and/or work experience.

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    What Does A Geography Degree Involve

    Geography is the scientific study of the Earth’s physical features and how humans affect and are affected by these features. A geography degree teaches you about the natural and physical sciences and provides you with analytical and mathematical skills. Geography courses also teach students how to study, interpret and create maps. Students who receive a degree in geography have the ability to work in many different fields of research, planning and consulting, using their knowledge of geography to collect and analyze data.

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