GPS and internet search engines have not eliminated the need for us to understand geography. In fact, technologies like this have created more demand for people with certain types of expertise related to geography. Here are five reasons you should consider studying geography. Don’t worry – we’ll give you real-world reasons to study geography and how you can apply this skillset to succeed in the world.
The Value of Geographic Information Systems
Geographic information systems or GIS are used to map where everything in an area is. This isn’t just the streets and buildings you see but the gas lines, water lines, sewer lines and buried telephone lines. Geographic information systems have to be maintained as infrastructure is replaced or built up. Geography majors are routinely taught about geographic information systems, preparing them to work for local planning commissions, utilities, and civil engineering firms. You can prepare for these jobs by earning an online geographic information science and technology degree. If you already work in civic planning due to your online GIST program, you can move over to teaching when you’re ready for a career change.
Understanding and Documenting the World
Geography grads, especially those with an understanding of GIS, could work as cartographers mapping changes in the world after natural disasters or surveyors mapping the world down to the centimeter so that construction can be planned as accurately and efficiently as possible. The coursework completed while earning a geography degree is a natural segue into learning about the environment as a whole. Some geography majors work with environmental groups identifying the boundaries and transitions between different habitats and grading said habitat.
Fueling the World
Surveyors, GIS majors, and those familiar with both geography and geology training are in demand with utility and energy producers. Whether determining where the best place to drill for oil or water will be or mapping where well sites and their supportive infrastructure is located, geography majors are qualified to help companies that are fueling the world.
Geography majors are sometimes able to find employment supporting logistics firms. When there’s a disaster, what other routes can you use to move products and people through? What idle or underutilized routes can we move our particular transports through? Just knowing about farm to market roads that could be used to carry oversized loads is essential to companies that have to send a massive load cross-country that won’t fit under underpasses on the interstate.
The Classic Answer – Working in Cartography
Cartography has long been a source of employment for geography majors. No, you’re not obsolete in a world of Google Maps. Cartography has actually become much more detailed and high-tech since we’re still improving the technologies used to map the bottom of the ocean and look under the ice to map the shape of the land beneath.
Geography is a vibrant field that is somewhat underserved, which presents great opportunities for those entering the profession. If you feel geography is for you, I suggest you talk with your counselor and explore the option in more details.