Geographer: Educational Requirements to Start a Career in Geography
Geographers examine and document the physical and social properties of a location. Many conduct studies that examine how people use land for purposes such as urban development. Other geographers analyze how certain social factors relate to different physical locations. Some workers only focus on physical geography fields, such as ecology or climatology. Read on to learn the educational requirements to start a career in geography.
Geographer Educational Requirements
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) classifies geographers as a type of social scientist because geographic studies often focus on societal populations within physical locations (www.bls.gov). BLS records indicate that most social scientist careers required a graduate degree, although some lower-level positions, such as assistant researchers or analysts, may only require a bachelor's degree. Since the two main fields of geography include cultural and physical geography, students may want to choose graduate programs that focus on one of these areas.
Workers in the field of cultural geography examine cultural factors within specific geographic locations, such as economic growth, transportation, political affiliations and urban development. Coursework related to the cultural side of geography includes social systems, cultural ecology, global studies and population statistics. Geography graduate students often choose a specific focus area within their programs. For example, a student who wants to specialize in cultural geography related to healthcare may choose classes like medical geography, ethnic populations or community development.
Individuals in the physical geography field often focus on topics related to environmental issues, land formations, water resources and animal habitats. Graduate degree programs cover courses, such as regional changes, land development, sustainability and cartography. Some institutions provide students with concentration options that focus on physical geography subfields, including climatology, natural resource studies and geomorphology.
Although students can specialize in areas of physical and cultural geography, certain core classes are required by most geography graduate programs. Technology courses, for instance, have become more important for geography graduate students since most data is gathered remotely through global positioning systems and geographic information systems. Other core geography classes include qualitative research techniques, geographical statistics and geography analysis. Graduate-level programs in geography often require students to complete a thesis, project or dissertation, and some programs may require students to complete internships with experienced geography researchers.
Related to Geographer: Educational Requirements to Start a Career in Geography
- Recently Updated
The Department of Education recently tested fourth, eighth and twelfth graders' knowledge of grade-appropriate...
Geography and cartography professionals are involved in conducting research and tracking trends of physical regions...
Interested students can find some courses available online that may count toward a Ph.D. in Geography; however, no...
Online distance learning graduate degree programs in geography might be difficult to find. However, two master's...
- Travel the World in the Blogosphere: 10 Top Geography Blogs
- Geography Teacher: Job Description, Salary Info and Requirements
- Best Geography Programs: List of Top Schools
- Top Ranked Business Degree Program - Miami, FL
- Top Ranked School for a Master's in Accounting Degree - Jacksonville, FL
- Top Ranked University with an Operations Management Degree Program - San Francisco, CA
- Top Ranked International Business Program - Arlington, VA
- Associate Degree in History: Program Overview and Information
- Geographic Information Science Degree and Training Program Info
- Top University with a Bachelor of Psychology Degree - Colorado Springs, CO
- Top Accounting and Finance MBA Programs - Columbus, OH
- Top Ranked Public Administration Degree Program - Bakersfield, CA