Geography majors include cartography, climatologist, ecologist, and geographer. There are also other interesting and unique degrees that can be obtained through a program of study. Geography majors are interested in the natural sciences, like earth science, astronomy, biology, ecology, earth and space science, and physics. These are just a few of the various specializations available to geologists and other geography professionals. Below, readers can learn more about pursuing a successful career in this exciting field, with links to useful resources for students who are thinking about a future as a geography teacher.
One of the options for geography majors includes what is called the Natural Sciences major. This is a general category that usually spans several disciplines. These include anthropology, biology, chemistry, earth science, physics, and statistics. Students who major in these subjects can expect to take classes on subjects such as genetics, climate change, paleontology, and sustainability. Geography majors can also choose to major in what is known as the Environmental Sciences, which explores the relationship between the environment and society. Other topics include energy, water, and global warming.
The first step for all students is to get a bachelor’s degree in geography. Some students opt for a master’s degree or a PhD in order to achieve their professional goals. Many professionals start out with a bachelor’s degree. Those with the necessary resources can complete an undergraduate bachelor’s degree in less than two years. Those with majors in related disciplines may be able to go on to get a bachelor’s as well as a master’s degree within three years.
Professionals can pursue careers in a variety of fields using what they already know. One option for those who want to work in the scientific community is to pursue careers as digital cartographers. Cartographers collect and map information using data gathered from a variety of sources. They use specialized software to create digital maps and produce GIS maps. These specialists can work for governmental agencies, private companies, academic institutions, museums, and the United States Department of Defense.
Another option is to explore what could be called “geo-graphic” jobs. These types of jobs involve studying how natural landscapes are created. This information can then be turned into software that can help businesses plan their landscape design projects. Some examples of Geo-graphic jobs include those in the National Parks, Wildlife Services, Fish Management, Aerial Landscaping, Archaeology and Geography. Many of these positions require additional education beyond the basic Geography degree, but many geography students decide to pursue these types of jobs as they are interesting and their aptitude is often recognized.
Students can also choose to focus on one particular type of Geography. Many graduate and undergraduate programs have strong concentrations in a specific field. For example, many graduate students choose to specialize in Natural Resources Management, or become environmental scientists researching issues regarding global warming, water management, or the impact of invasive species. A few undergraduate programs offer degrees in Geography, while others offer minors in Natural Resources or Geography. With a bachelor’s degree in Natural Resources Management, you can be an urban planner focused on increasing the city’s sustainability or a rural environmental specialist helping to conserve wildlife and protect our environment.
While most geography degrees require the same general skills and knowledge sets, it’s important to keep in mind what sort of job opportunities are available once you’ve completed your studies. Graduates can choose to work within the scientific, business, or nonprofit communities, or they can perform consulting jobs with governmental agencies and private businesses. Entry-level positions may include data collectors, route planners, research scientists, or even surveyors. The options are limitless, so be sure to consider that sort of geographic information job will best suit your educational needs and interests.