A degree in Geography might not be the first path that comes to mind when you think about government or research jobs. But currently those who have studied Geography at a college level are growing more and more valued by local and national governments as well as global organizations. The push by many nations and corporations toward a greener, more environmentally friendly future has opened a multitude of positions for those with qualifications in Geography.
Finding Your Way with Geography
What, exactly, does a Geography degree entail? It’s definitely a lot more interesting than simply pointing out countries on a map. Geography students will study first and foremost physical geography, including geology, oceanography, and biology. These elementary subjects are building blocks for the core aim of the Geography degree: attaining a detailed and critical understanding of human-environment relationships around the globe. Often, advanced students will narrow their focus to a specific concentration – urban or regional geography, for example. A degree in Geography can pave the way for advanced study in Geology, Environmental Science, or Sustainable Energy.
Distance Learning Degrees in Geography
Distance Learning programs in Geography often offer either a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree, with the B.S. placing more weight on mathematics and science. Some on-campus Geography programs require or urge some type of fieldwork but with a computer and some specialized software Geography students are able to perform large amounts of data analysis without ever leaving a desk. This is one reason a Geography degree works so well under the umbrella of Distance Learning.
After graduating with a B.A. or B.S. in Geography there are many possible paths to take. One option, perhaps good for first-time job seekers, is to join the national association of geographers in one’s country. These organizations allow geographers of all disciplines and backgrounds to interact, network, and share experiences. A prime example is the Association of American Geographers. The AAG, as it is known, boasts members from all around the world in fields as diverse as research, education, government, entrepreneurship, and infrastructure. The AAG holds a large annual meeting as well as smaller regional gatherings to allow all members to actively participate. Through such an organization, an aspiring Geography degree holder can certainly find many opportunities for employment and advancement.
Geography Degree Career Paths
For those who would prefer to immediately enter the workforce, prospects are bright. Climate events and unprecedented global awareness of the environment have placed Geography degree holders at a great advantage. Employers value the well-roundedness of a Geography education – a degree holder will have advanced analytical, research, and personal skills due to the broad subject nature of the discipline. Governments especially value this type of candidate.
Depending on the focus of the degree holder, some jobs will entice more than others. For example, a degree holder who focused on urban geography, as mentioned above, would find a natural home as an urban planner or regional transportation coordinator. Urban planners must consider current situations in residential, commercial, and manufacturing areas while also planning many years in advance for potential technological innovations, environmental changes, and population fluctuation. This type of job is demanding in a way that only a Geography degree holder can appreciate – it combines an understanding of the Earth with an understanding of human beings and their tendencies.
A degree in Geography can equip an individual with just the tools needed to tackle this task, not to mention many others. Cartography, climate study, and research are among the many options for those who hold degrees in Geography. As so-called ‘green jobs’ advance to the forefront of global awareness, more and more people will find that a Geography degree is exactly what they need to experience cutting-edge research, education, and employment.