If you’ve studied geography, other university students might have laughed about your “useless”’ degree – but, in fact, your degree can provide you with great research and analytical skills that are highly respected by many employers.
If you wish to make a difference in the world, studying geography is a good place to start. Geography professions provide opportunities to build solutions to some of the most urgent problems facing contemporary society, including climate change, natural disasters, overpopulation, urban growth, and multicultural integration.
The career path you choose can depend on whether you’ve studied physical geography or human geography. The former is a natural science, concentrating on Earth’s physical materials and systems, while the latter is a social science, focusing on topics relevant to human societies and cultures.
Whatever career path you take, it is recommended to try and gain work experience in your chosen field, to gain knowledge from the positions available and to form contacts. Fieldwork is a valuable way to improve your practical skills and gain practical experience. Your university can also provide you with the opportunity to complete job placements.
What does a Geography Degree cover?
Depending on the country of study, an undergraduate-level (Bachelor’s) geography degree will normally last three to four years, while Master’s degrees take one or two years. Teaching approaches will involve workshops, conferences and field work, often requiring extended travels to various places. Since geography is such a large subject, students have the ability to select from a wide range of optional modules. This does not generally entail merely deciding between physical geography or human geography; it is also possible to incorporate the elements of both. The assessment is based on tests, coursework and field work assignments.
Environmental consultants offer specialist analysis and consulting services to their clients on environmental issues. In doing so, these guys play an integral role in reducing the negative effects of manufacturing, commercial and government policies on the environment.
If you become an environmental consultant, you can analyze existing environmental practices, management systems and procedures, and assess environmental pollution inside and outside the client organization’s facilities.
Environmental consultants appear to be hired by environmental consulting companies with a client base that includes the public sector and commercial organizations. Some environmental consultants may even be engaged in their own consultancy business.
A large number of consultants are commissioned by major industrial corporations in the manufacturing industry, where environmental protection is a crucial feature of their day-to-day operations.
Cartographers prepare maps, charts and sketches of aerial photographs and survey results. They also carry out map studies, create new mapping techniques, and discuss topics such as how people use maps. They collect, analyze and interpret the geographical information given by geodetic surveys, aerial photographs and satellite data. They research, analyze and prepare maps and other spatial data in digital or graphic form for legal, social, political, educational and design purposes.
Photogrammetrists are professional map makers who use aerial photos, satellite images, and LIDAR (Light-Imaging Detection and Range) technology to develop models of the Earth’s surface and its features in order to produce maps.
Town planners are part of a smaller group of urban and regional planners who focus on making the individual community economically effective and environmentally sustainable. They collaborate with elected authorities, evaluate and study ways to change things and add new additions to a specific area.
Town planners use the collected data to make recommendations to city authorities to promote the sustainable growth of their neighborhoods. A minimum of a bachelor’s degree is required for a job, although most town planners hold master’s degrees in a planning-related program, increasing their opportunity to move up in the profession.
The key duty of town planners is to ease or prevent social, economic and environmental issues within their city of employment. This is accomplished by making recommendations to local elected officials that represent the needs of the city.
Their suggestions for community or city-wide sectors may be aimed at alleviating existing issues or may make plans for new laws or buildings. The root of the problem, as well as any associated problems, must be established before approaching a current problem planner. When planning a new facility or policy, it is important that planners make decisions only after careful study and data collection in order to make proposals that are in the best interest of the community and to minimize the risk that will occur in the future.
When making recommendations to local government leaders, including zoning, plans for new public buildings, parks or infrastructure, city planners should bear in mind the long-term and short-term development priorities of the city. Another main role of the town planner is to establish these priorities, most likely through study and consultations with elected officials. In keeping these goals in mind, planners work to ensure that the environment, economy and society are flourishing as the town grows.
Geographical Information Systems Officer (GIS Officer)
As a GIS officer, you will be involved in the collection, storage, interpretation and presentation of geographic and spatial information.
You will be using a variety of GPS software in the field to capture the position of ‘assets’ such as bridges, street lights, road barriers and flood defenses. You will also need to perform desk-based data capture (digitizing) to convert paper maps to GIS datasets to, for example, record the location of telecommunications cables or water pipes from the original maps. Other responsibilities may be: designing and maintaining the structures required for GIS data storage, developing tools for loading/transferring GIS data between different systems, managing, analyzing and presenting geographic information through the development of programs to convert GIS information from one format to another, developing Internet applications to display GIS data and tools on corporate websites.
You will use software to merge different GIS datasets to generate new information or investigate patterns: for example, estimating the number of people potentially impacted by flooding, using population growth statistics and planning information to estimate increasing/decreasing demand for school capacity, or measuring the number of potential buyers for a new store, and forecasting sales.
Many of the tasks are project-based and include collaborating with clients to find out the scope and intent of the knowledge they need.
A conservation officer is a law enforcement officer whose activities revolve on protecting wildlife and the environment. A conservation officer can also be named as an environmental technician or technologist, guard, forest ranger, investigator, wilderness officer, wildlife officer.
The primary task of conservation officers is to uphold the law on the hunting, fishing, boating and recreation of outdoor areas. Hunters and fishermen shall be registered, and can only capture and protect certain animals of certain sizes, and only in specified locations, at certain times of year. If hunters or anglers are caught poaching, conservation officers can fine or arrest them. Conservation officers also police the waterways, ensuring that boaters carry life jackets and do not work under influence, and that camping takes place only in designated areas.
Conservation officers are often called in to act as liaisons between the state conservation and wildlife management agencies and the general public. For instance, conservation officers are visiting landowners in dispute with local wildlife, such as ranchers and wolves, to find remedies. Conservation officers also consult with landowners to obtain access to their property to hunters and fishermen. Additionally, environmental officers visit schools to educate the public about the value of wildlife protection and conservation initiatives.
Landscape architects plan the spatial aspects of outdoor space. This design process includes input from customers and individuals connected with the selected platform for unique tasks. Designs may be made by hand or using a machine.
Landscape architects require good listening skills to communicate to customers and other employees. The purpose of this design method is typically to produce something practical that appeals to the eye, requiring a good understanding of color, texture and material power.
Do you like the lush greens of nature and the accents of form and colour? Would you love turning unkempt environmental resources into usable areas? You would have the ability to develop ideas that use the natural world as a living canvas. This is a wonderful job for someone who respects the world and wishes to protect and develop it.
Other jobs responsibilities may include keeping up to date with best practices and developments in landscaping by investing in ongoing research and education and setting up planting plans for clients to use after the job has been completed to preserve the look, appearance and wellbeing of the finished product. Moreover, you will collaborate with state regulatory committees and legal groups to understand recycling, water use and public safety regulations.
The role of a climatologist is often mistaken for the role of a meteorologist. However, although both professions concentrate on weather, meteorologists focus on forecasting day-to-day weather conditions, where climatologists focus on identifying weather patterns over a given geographic area over time. Weather tells us that tomorrow is going to be raining. Climate informs us that rainfall is normal in a certain geographic area during the spring months.
Climate scientists describe the temperatures of geographical regions by observing weather conditions over a span of 30 years. They look at the average high and low temperatures for each month of those 30 years and collect precipitation and other info. These data can then be averaged to assess that it is impossible to rain in California between summer and fall, or that fall is the season in which hurricanes are most likely to form in the Atlantic Ocean. They should use this understanding to provide advice on the construction of healthy building structures: places expected to encounter hurricanes should be designed to withstand heavy winds.
By identifying typical regional temperatures, climatologists are able to define climate change. For instance, contemporary climatologists agree that global warming is happening as a result of observable climate change over time in various regional areas. They will also conduct studies to identify the causes of climate change and report on their results to fix climate change. For example, they may collaborate with manufacturers to teach them how to dispose of waste and build systems that do not affect the ozone layer, or they may persuade political officials to engage in renewable energy sources.
Hydrographers are responsible for surveying and tracing marine and inland waters. They track, calculate, interpret and explain facets of the water cycle, ocean floor, tides, tide calculation and wave knowledge.
They also research the natural resources present in the oceans, as well as the human use of water resources. The information they obtain has many uses, including the safe, organized and effective conduct of marine vessels.
If you like Geography, there are so many opportunities for you to study and get a high-paying job in the field! Do not let anybody tell you different! Would you pursue a degree in this area of study?