What Jobs can you get with a Geography Degree?
It is natural to want to know what jobs you can get with a geography degree before enrolling into a course to major in it.
This post provides detailed information on what you can do with a geography degree, including Associate’s, Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctorate degrees, so that you will be able to make informed decision about whether to start a career in the field of geography or not.
Since time immemorial, man has been fascinated by his surroundings and environment and this interest has led to inquisitions such as: how are rocks formed? What is the shape of the earth? And why does the climate differ from place to place?
Geography has attempted to provide answers to most of these questions and closely related ones.
Geography assertions are basically the source from which our knowledge of day/night, time, weather, and topography is derived.
Geography has played an important role in studying the relationship between man and his environment, how the physical, social, economic, and political environment affect man and vice versa.
A geography degree provides an in-depth understanding of the world, its features, the people, and the area they occupy; their lifestyle and how they impact and are impacted on by nature.
Little wonder why Jack Dangermond in plaudit to geography quoted, ‘Knowing where things are and why is essential to rational decision making’.
Majoring in geography has positive job prospects because as a geography graduate, you can secure jobs in a wide range of industries, such as the business, environment, education, tourism, and transportation to mention but a few.
The U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics according to their 2015 report estimates the median annual salary for geographers to be $74,260 with a 2% decline in the job growth rate, implying a tough competition in the job market.
That notwithstanding, a geography degree remains among the most popular college degrees, ranking 102 out of 200 other courses studied in the U.S.
What can you do with a Geography Associate’s Degree?
As a step towards pursuing a career in the geography field, students can opt for an Associate’s degree in geography, which opens the door to various job opportunities, among which include positions as:
- Environmental Technician: Their duties entail identifying the cause of an environmental pollution and providing a means for controlling pollutants. They achieve this by collecting environmental data and samples and using them and information to conduct tests in a laboratory. The results obtained from the test are used to determine the causative agent of pollution. They also specialize in the maintenance of a safe and clean environment.
- GIS Technician: The duty of a Geographic Information Systems Technician involves the research, collection, and assessment of geographic data in order to create new maps, charts, and graph. They read and interpret geographic information as well as management of data in the GIS database. They utilize special programs and tools in the design and interpretation of geographical data.
- Cartographic Technician: They assist cartographers with the analysis of geographic information, such as aerial photographs, satellite images, and ground surveys. They also collect information about the geographical features of the earth using aerial photography and remote sensing techniques.
- Geographer: They specialize in the analysis of the geophysical and cultural features of a location; they create and adjust maps as well as other geographical diagrams and graphs. They also carry out research and surveys, go for field observations and assist people with reading and interpreting geographical data.
As most job positions in the geography field require a Bachelor’s degree, students usually opt for a Bachelor’s degree to be in the right standing for employment upon graduation.
What can you do with a geography Bachelor’s degree?
A Bachelor’s degree in geography plays a very essential role in imparting geography students with indispensable skills such as the ability to analyze socioeconomic issues, good knowledge of the earth’s physical environment, strong visualization skill, and the ability to use computer programs/statistical tools in analyzing geographical data.
With a Bachelor’s degree in geography, graduates can do the following jobs:
- Remote Sensing Analyst: Their duties involve using airborne aircrafts or satellite to figure out what is happening in specific locations or countries. They interpret aerial photographs taken by aircrafts in the air, they also interpret satellite images to produce results that are usually helpful to the military and intelligence agencies.
- Environmental Manager: The duty of an environmental manager involves the management and conservation of natural resources. They ensure the cleanliness of water, pollutant-free air, and proper disposal of solid and toxic waste. They usually find employment in government agencies responsible for enforcing adherence to environmental laws and policies.
- Location Expert: They assist clients in determining the best location for their business. They achieve this using the demographic characteristics of certain locations such as the population, labor availability, transportation and income level to determine if such location will be suitable for a particular kind of business.
- GIS Specialist: They operate the Geographic Information System used in the storage, display, and analysis of geographical data. Various clients such as real estate brokers, urban planners, and geographers all use the information contained in the GIS to make proper geographical decision.
- Urban and Community Planner: Their duties involve management of city areas, ensuring they are attractive as well as efficient. They are responsible for organizing the flow of traffic to reduce congestion; they ensure efficiency within the city by monitoring the management of building density, waste, and traffic.
Higher degrees in geography, such as Master’s/Doctorate degrees is necessary to overcome the stiff competition in the geography field, as well as to achieve higher earning potential and expert status in the field.
What can you do with a geography Master’s or Doctorate Degree?
With advanced degree in geography, you can secure job positions as:
- Surveyor: They are responsible for taking earth measurements, determining land boundaries, as well as taking measurement of land properties.
- Transportation Analyst: They specialize in the design and management of transport systems. They manage supply lines for movement of people and goods, ensuring efficiency of transportation.
- Environmental Consultant: They provide professional advice to clients/companies regarding the management of environmental issues, such as land/air/water contamination, waste management.
- Geography Instructor: With a Master’s or Doctorate degree, you can occupy an academic position as a Professor or Associate Professor in a college teaching undergraduates the concepts of geography.
A geography degree consequently offers career opportunities and jobs you can do in a wide range of sectors with attractive remunerations.
You can decide to start your geography career with an Associate’s degree, get one of the jobs it qualifies you for, and then continue your studies with a higher degree program to advance your career.
What do you think about the jobs you can get with a geography degree? Which one of them would you like to do? Please share your thought in a comment below.