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WHAT CAN I DO WITH
A MAJOR IN...
GEOGRAPHY
www.sc.edu/career
ge·og·ra·phy
The science dealing with the areal differentiation
of the earth's surface, as shown in the
character, arrangement, and interrelations over
the world of such elements as climate,
elevation, soil, vegetation, population, land
use, industries, or states, and of the unit areas
formed by the complex of these individual
elements.*
*"Geography." Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1). Random House, Inc. 27
Jul. 2009. <Dictionary.com
http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/Geography>.
Geography Majors
Study...
• social patterns, problems, and forces
• information management
• statistical analysis (i.e. input-output
modeling, location and market studies,
resource management, migration
patterns, and geographic information
systems)
• graphic and statistical software
• research techniques and skills
...and more
Specializations
•
•
•
•
•
Human / Economic Geography
Physical / Environmental Geography
Urban Geography
Ecological Geography
Political Geography
Human/Economic
Geography
• Human geography is concerned with the spatial
aspects of human existence:
• how people and their activity are distributed in
space
• how people use and perceive
• how people create and sustain the spaces that
make up the earth’s surface
• Human geographers work in the fields of urban
and regional planning, transportation, marketing,
real estate, tourism, and international business.
Physical/Environmental
Geography
• Physical geographers study climate,
land form, vegetation, soil, and water
patterns.
• Physical geographers forecast the
weather, manage land and water
resources, and analyze and plan for
forests, range and wetlands.
Geography At The
University Of South Carolina
Undergraduate Degrees
Degrees:Bachelor of Arts (BA)
Bachelor of Science (BS)
Majors: physical/environmental geography,
human/economic geography,
geographic
information science, general
geography
Minors: general geography, environmental
geography, geographic information
science, meteorology & climatology,
physical geography, regional geography
Geography At The
University Of South Carolina
Graduate Degrees
• Master of Arts (MA)
• Master of Science (MS)
• Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT)
• In Social Studies with Geography option.
• Prepares and certifies students for teaching
in public high schools.
• Interdisciplinary Master of Arts (IMA)
• In Social Studies with Geography option.
• For students who already have a teaching
certificate.
• Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Geography At The
University Of South Carolina
• Areas of interest reflect faculty interest and competency and
include: cartography, cultural-historical, economic,
environmental, physical, political, recreational and urban
geography; geographic education; geographic information
systems; and remote sensing.
• The department administers the Remote Sensing
Laboratory, the hazards Research Laboratory, the Center for
Excellence in Geographic Education, and the SC
Geographic Alliance. In addition, the Dept. has strong
alliances with the Southeast Regional Climate center and
the Geographic Information Systems function of the College
of Liberal Arts Computing Laboratory.
Geography Majors Develop
Skills In
• verbal and written
communication
• surveying and
measuring
• team work
• evaluation and
presentation
• computer technology
• organization and detail
• numerical
computations
• research
• statistical analysis
• natural resource
development and
management
• information
management
• photography
Employment Settings
• Business:
An area where the research,
organization, writing, statistic
analysis, and planning skills
developed in the pursuit of a
geography degree can be used by
organizations dealing with resource
development and management, or
any variety of interactions between
people and the environment.
Sample Occupational Titles
associated with Business
• Distribution Planner
• Geographic Information
Systems Analyst
• Geophysics Assistant
• Health Services Planner
• Industrial Developer
• International Investment
Analyst
• Land Economist
• Market Research
Analyst
• Map Publisher
• Property Manager
• Real Estate Agent
• Site Researcher
• Statistician
• Weather Forecaster
Employment Settings
• Education:
The communication, organization,
evaluation, presentation, research, and
critical thinking skills developed during
the pursuit of a geography degree
naturally lend themselves to the
education sector. To work at a college or
university will require an advanced
degree but obtaining a position in
primary or secondary education only
requires the correct certification.
Sample Occupational Titles
Associated With Education
• Cartographer
• Curriculum Developer
• College/University
Professor
• Earth Science Teacher
• Map Editor
• Map Librarian
• Education Administrator
• Elementary/Primary
Teacher
• Outdoor Guide
• Park Ranger
• Peace Corp Volunteer
• Recreational Resource
Director
• Secondary School
Geography Teacher
• Writer/Author
Employment Settings
• Government:
The Federal, state, or local levels of
government make use of planning,
research, communication, date
collection, and statistical analysis skills
possessed by geography majors in the
development and management of
government controlled resources and
property. Geography majors are also
used because of their understanding of
people and culture differences.
Employment Settings
• Planning:
Private builders, developers, and
consulting firms employ geography
majors because of their excellent
communication, teamwork, surveying,
research, and analysis skills related
to land and the environment. Work in
the planning sector deals with the
prediction and control of how lands
are impacted by human use.
Sample Occupational Titles
Associated With
Government & Planning
• Agriculture Extension
Agent
• Air/Water Quality
Control Manager
• Cartographer
• Climatologist
• Demographer
• Environmental Impact
Analyst
• Intelligence Agent
• Natural Resource
Specialist
• Park Ranger
• Public Utilities Manager
• Surveyor
• Traffic Manager
• Urban Planner
• Zoning Investigator
Distribution Of Employed Persons
With A Bachelor’s Degree In
Geography, By Sector
Government/
Military, 29%
Private-forprofit, 46%
Self-Employed,
8%
Non-Profit, 3%
Education, 14%
Source: Fogg, N.P, Harrington, P.E. & Harrington, T.F, (2004). College Majors
Handbook (2nd ed). Indianapolis, IN: Jist Publishing.
Top 10 Occupations That Employ
Persons With Only A Bachelors
Degree In Geography
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
Top and mid-level managers, executives
Other management related occupations
Surveying and mapping
Sales (including retail)
Other service occupations (except health)
Other administrative (i.e. record clerk)
Protective-service occupations
Construction trades, miners, well-drillers
Post-secondary professors
Civil engineers, including architectural and sanitary
Source: Fogg, N.P, Harrington, P.E. & Harrington, T.F, (2004). College
Majors Handbook (2nd ed). Indianapolis, IN: Jist Publishing.
Strategies For Developing
Skills To Get The Job You
Want
• Become skilled in
related computer
technology
• Gain experience by
obtaining a related
summer job, co-op, or
internship
• Research the federal,
state, and local
government job
application process
• Develop excellent
communication skills
• Learn another language
and the customs and
cultures of foreign lands
• Learn photography
skills
• Develop ability to work
with a team
Strategies For Developing Skills
To Get The Job You Want
• Take courses in
surveying and
measurement,
photogrammetry,
technical mathematics,
drafting, statistics,
optics, remote sensing,
and graphics
• Develop research,
evaluation, and
presentation skills
• Take elective courses in
botany, plant science,
and wildlife
• Obtain a business
minor
• Obtain teaching
certification
• Research obtaining a
master’s degree in
planning
Books And Web
Resources
Books
Outdoor Careers by Ellen
Shenk
Web Resources
Jobs in Geography
http://www.emich.edu/publi
c/geo/geography/jobs.htm
Careers for Geographershttp://depts.washington.ed
u/geogjobs/
The Association of
American Geographers
http://www.aag.org/
Resources For More
Information
USC’s Department of Geography
http://www.cas.sc.edu/geog/
Career Center library
http://www.sc.edu/career/Library/library.html
Geography Related Websites
http://www.sc.edu/career/la/geography.html
College of Arts and Sciences Career
Development Program
www.sc.edu/career/cascdp/index.html
Career Center Contact
Information
University of South Carolina Career Center
6th Floor, H. William Close Building (BA Building)
Columbia, SC 29208
Phone: 803-777-7280
On-call counseling without an appointment:
M - F, 1:00 am - 4:00 pm
(Summer and holiday hours may differ, please check the website at
www.sc/edu/career)

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