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What Can You Do With an Online Degree in Geography?

written by: Akili Amina•edited by: Sylvia Cochran•updated: 6/27/2009

If you are looking for an accredited school to help you obtain your bachelors degree in geography, why not look into distance learning? Read on and find out what you can do with a degree in geography obtained online.

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    What Can You Do With a Degree in Geography?


    If you are someone who is fascinated at the sight of a globe or map, then you may be someone who is a natural talent to the field of Geography. You may be someone who desires world travel to explore foreign lands or has an interested in teaching others about the subject. The fact that there will always be a demand for professors and instructors, who have a passion for our globe or planet's many terrains, makes a degree in geography a good choice.

    But you might not realize that there are even better reasons for entering the field, such as they are described by the University of Minnesota Duluth, which states:

    "The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expects employment of geographers to grow about as fast as the average for all occupations. Some career fields, such as computer assisted cartography, will grow faster than others. Some bachelor's degree holders may teach at the high school level with proper certification in the social sciences." [1]

    The university goes on to say that those who have studied geography will be needed in governmental research. This includes all levels of the government, from the federal to the local levels. In addition to the foregoing, do not forget that there are also the graduates needed by the private sector, or businesses, which serve the world's communities in the field of geography as planners or researchers, as well. You will be able to help businesses that are focused on the environment, health, and natural resource planning.

    Moreover, as someone who has a bachelor degree in geography, there are wide arrays of positions that are accessible to you, such as: urban planner or community developer, cartographer, GIS specialist, climatologist, transportation management worker, environmental management specialist, writer or researcher, high school geography teacher, emergency management planner, demographer, marketing professional, librarian, national park service ranger, real estate appraiser, or even information scientist.

    Some positions listed require graduates with a geography degree to get extra training – such as to work as a GIS specialist for example. You may need to take computer programming and engineering classes, to ensure that you have all the training you need in order to effectively work a GIS specialist. You may need to develop your skills as a writer to become a researcher or writer. Don't worry, this extra training is usually offered along with your college coursework and you should consult with college advisors from your online school to ensure that you are provided those training opportunities, as you obtain your bachelors in geography.

    If this is the career field that you are thinking of exploring, you should expect steady waters when it comes to job outlook and pay scale. For example, to become a cartographer, you may make from the upper thirties to close to $70,000 a year, especially if you work for the government. Cartographers, who are sometimes called mapping scientists, sketch portraits of the earth's surface. They must possess the skills to operate and understand the GIS or geographic information systems. A cartographer working for a government organization may also need a security clearance, so keep this in mind if you have your sights set on employment on the federal level.

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    Where Can I Go To School Online for a Degree in Geography?

    There are a number of schools that offer this degree online. These schools are accredited and will provide you the flexibility sought out by distance learners. This new wave of learning can be great for someone who has to work while attending school. Of course, the main factor that most students love about online (or distance) learning is the fact that school is open around the clock.

    For instance, there is Hunter College in New York; this school offers its students a chance to get either a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science in geography. The degree requirements include coursework titles such as: map interpretation, regional geography, cartography and map design.

    Another school, the University of Maryland in Baltimore, is also a great choice in distance learning. This school states that in order to obtain a B.S. in geography, students must pass their core courses, which are a staple for anyone who seeks to work in this field. They are: human geography, physical geography, geo-spatial perspective, and the introduction to geographic information systems.

    You can rest assured that your future will be one that has opportunities spanning the globe, when you achieve your college career goal of earning a degree in geography.

    Cited Sources:

    [1] "A Career Outlook For Geography". University of Minnesota Duluth. June 19, 2009 <>.