These 10 best jobs for geography graduates prove that "geographer" isn’t the only possible career. People study geography for many reasons, including the desire to learn more about the world’s landscapes, environments, and societies. Geography students usually develop a range of skills that future employers value immensely. Technology, research, writing, and analytical skills are transferable to a variety of positions. Here are some of the best jobs around for people with a degree in geography.
- Physical Geographer. Okay, some geography graduates do actually work as geographers. Geographers study the earth’s many features. They usually work in one of two branches, physical or cultural. Physical geographers, or earth science geographers, study the physical aspects of the earth—land, climate, soil, vegetation, animals, and water.
- Cultural Geographer. Cultural geographers are actually social scientists. They study human activity and social issues in a specific geographic region. They usually specialize in specific areas—for example, economic geography, political geography, and medical geography.
- GIS Analyst/Programmer. Utility companies and municipal governments often hire GIS analysts or programmers to review data and create maps. GIS professionals use various digital technologies, including geographic information systems (GIS), to track information like client addresses, service territory, and archeological sensitivities.
- Geoscientist. Geoscientists study the earth’s physical aspects, such as composition and structure. They also study the earth’s geologic history by analyzing rock and water. Geoscientists specialize in specific areas—seismology, for instance. Some professionals work in the field, while others work in research positions in colleges and universities, or for the federal government.
- Hydrologist. Hydrologists specialize in underground or surface water. They study precipitation and water movement. Using sensing technology, they monitor regional and global water cycles. Hydrologists are employed in a variety of fields, including environmental science, and civil and environmental engineering.
- Surveyor/Surveying Technician. Surveyors map and measure the earth. Although they use special equipment, their data comes from ground measurements rather than satellite images. "Detective work" also plays a role in the profession, as surveyors spend a lot of time inside, gathering maps, deeds, and blueprints. They often supervise a team of surveying technicians to assist with measurements and data collection.?
- Cartographer/Photogrammetrist. Some geography graduates may enjoy employment as cartographers or photogrammetrists. Cartographers and photogrammetrists are mapping professionals who gather, analyze, interpret, and map geographic data from surveys and photographs. These professionals often work for government agencies, publishers, or news media.
- Urban and Regional Planners. Some geography graduates become urban and regional planners. Urban planners usually work for municipal governments, in wealthy, growing communities. Regional planners deal with a larger environment. Urban and regional planners combine land use and transportation planning to improve their communities.
- Geography Instructor. Geography graduates may choose to share their love of geography in a teaching role. Teaching can be a very rewarding career, whether in a high school setting or in a college or university. Geography professors research geographic issues as an ongoing part of their work.
- Researcher/Freelance Writer. A geography major with writing skills can work as a researcher and freelance writer. Many writers with geography backgrounds perform research and write articles for magazines and newspapers. A job as a science writer or travel writer may be just the ticket for a geography graduate.
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