We’re all probably guilty about looking up the potential jobs and salaries we’d have if we decide to take up this program or that program.
And it’s a valid thing!
The costs of being a college student can make someone scratch their head; not to mention all the time and effort one needs to put in for more than 2 years, to say the least. It’s not the easiest task so you ought to choose the right one once you start sending out college applications.
However, life doesn’t always turn out the way you want to—for better or for worse. The jobs you might be looking at won’t necessarily be the right one for you, but there are millions of jobs out there that you can get it into.
Or maybe a few hundred, since you studied a specific branch of science.
In the case of geography, its broadness puts students at an advantage of working in different fields. If you’re curious about what these jobs and fields are, read on to know more.
Who knows, these might become reasons for you to study geography.
Undergraduate Experience and Internships for Geography Students
Before we get into the details of these jobs and careers, undergraduate students can already have first-hand experience in their fields of choice. Whether they get scouted or they apply for their dream company, nothing compares to gaining experience before wearing the toga.
These first-hand experiences come in the form of internships, volunteer opportunities, or even just short projects for different big companies. We’ll differentiate the two below.
Some universities require their students to become interns before they become eligible for graduation. Internships are a crucial experience for students to let them get a taste of the real world before they actually become a part of it.
Depending on study options, the school can either offer options at where students can become interns or students are given the freedom to choose and apply to their selected companies or organizations.
One well-known organization known for geography is National Geographic.
National Geographic Society offers an opportunity where students can spend their entire summer learning with them. On top of that, students get paid while they’re learning job-related skills and engaging in educational opportunities.
In Canada, several organizations like Canadian Geographic, Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, and the Government of Canada National Research Council also accept geography interns.
As a student, you can also do volunteer work related to geography. From the get-go, these volunteer works can be quite challenging but if you’re really passionate about your chosen organization, it won’t seem like such a chore.
Not only will you get valuable experiences and memories, you’ll also most likely create a network of professionals whom you can consider mentors in the future.
In Canada, volunteer work may come in the form of tutoring services or actual volunteer work in different institutions like the Government of Canada National Research Council. National Geographic also welcomes some volunteer work.
It’s highly possible that some of your undergraduate requirements will be conducting project studies on several issues or organizations.
These project studies allow you to apply the concepts you’ve learned during class and solve or recommend solutions to current problems. One challenging aspect of project studies is that you’ll most likely be on your own, with only some guidance from your professor.
But don’t worry! This is a great training for students for their future work and careers.
Career Options for Geography Grads
Time and time again, geography has proven to be one of the most important branches of sciences in the world. It helps man understand the changes constantly happening in the world and helps man adapt to these changes.
As you might already know, this branch of science is as broad as it can get with having two main branches: human and physical geography. These two also have their own subfields that also cover large scopes.
So, with that being said, there’s no doubt that geographers can find jobs even in places they don’t really expect. Geography’s applications and uses reach far and wide—making it hard for us to narrow down the list of career opportunities.
To the best of our abilities, here are some of the most common career paths that geographers can have.
If you’ve looked up a list before, this is quite a common job for geographers. This job is all about making maps.
Yes, maps are still quite necessary even for this digital age. It’s useful for industrial developments and government projects. Some people even need maps for their jobs, like delivery men.
Being a cartographer means that you’ll develop and produce maps with the use of science, technology and a few artistic touchers. You can either work for the military, the government, conservation institutions, or surveying.
Emergency Management Specialist
Since geographers study both changes in the earth and changes in human behavior, they have the knowledge to prepare mankind for the worst natural disasters brought about our own doing.
Emergency management specialists use GIS and remote sensing tools to prevent disasters; whether it’s preventing flood in former swamps now turned residential areas or mitigating industrialization and urbanization to decrease greenhouse gases.
For the most part, they’re disaster responses and manage crises in different aspects of daily life. This job involves lots of planning, assessing, and analyzing vulnerabilities.
As a geomorphologist, you get to study the different landforms and bodies of water on the surface of the earth. These professionals study rives, mountains, even ice, and how they were formed.
This job also includes studying how these change and what factors are affecting or catalyzing such changes. If you’re a fan of fieldwork and research, this is the job for you. It’s quite possible that you choose to focus on one thing, too.
From the word “hydro” which means water, hydrologists mainly study the bodies of water. They work to manage, monitor, and protect different water resources on the face of the earth.
As we all know, water is one of the basic needs in life and a lot of regions all over the world don’t have access to it—or at least a clean one. So, hydrologists do a lot of planning and research to develop sustainable and natural water resources for these regions.
Using computer tools and data resources, they collect and analyze data to properly manage our remaining resources for water.
This job may come off as quite unexpected. Town planners are mostly responsible for the management and development of towns and cities, regardless if they’re rural or urban. But a common challenge these planners face are the different demands of aspects involved in the development.
Housing, agriculture, transport, and even the natural environment are just some of the things that need to be considered before you can put up an entire city.
With the knowledge that geographers have, the considerations for both human and environmental factors are easily included in the planning and development of an area. These planners ensure that projects satisfy most—if not all—demands.
Lecturer or Tutor
For those who want to educate fellow young minds, you might want to consider becoming a lecturer or tutor—whether part-time or full-time. This job usually deals with passing on the knowledge that you have while learning more about the subject.
As lecturers, it’s your duty to make sure students understand what you’re teaching and that they’ll gain valuable knowledge that can be useful once they go on their separate professional paths.
For others, this can also be an additional job or a passion project. You can easily teach a few units or a few students in your free time.
You might want to check out Superprof! They accept tutors and allow you to become flexible with your work schedule.
More than just fueling our passion, it’s important that we have a clear view of what lies ahead after courses. We still have basic needs to fulfill and that would mean needing money to do so.
As geographers, you’re lucky to be in a field where there’s an abundance of job opportunities. It’s one of the programs that are highly important in today’s modern world so there isn’t any threat to not finding a job after you finish all your units.
Do great in your volunteer work or internship and focus your energy into attaining your dream job, whatever it is.