A Career Guide for the Geography Major

A major in Geography prepares students for the analysis of location and the interactions of a location with other geographic regions. What is unique about different places on the surface of the earth? Human activities are related to earth's physical features and the relative location of cultural and economic activities. Geographic study focuses on spatial analysis of human and physical features of our planet. Regions are examined as complex systems of interrelated parts. The application of geographic information to problem solving is emphasized. Increasingly, geographers use statistical and graphical computer programs (GIS, satellite image interpretation, mathematical modeling) to assist in their analysis of practical problems. The choice of sites for human activities such as a business location, a new suburb or town, or industrial activity are typical geographic problems that can be examined with modern computer techniques. The geography major also provides a solid liberal arts background for general education, international studies, and a variety of professional careers including law, planning, and environmental consulting.

The following Interests and Aptitudes/Qualities are associated with or needed for success in the study of this major.

  • Visiting natural science museums
  • Environmental issues
  • Reading maps/topography
  • Outdoor activities, i.e., hiking, exploring, etc
  • Studying diverse cultures
  • People/their environment
  • Social/physical scientific research
  • Oral/written communication skills'
  • Integrating ideas from various disciplines
  • Organizational/planning skills
  • Strong spatial and form perception
  • Comparative analysis
  • Intellectual curiosity
  • Work independently/in groups
  • Good manual dexterity/physical stamina
  • Analyzing/synthesizing information'
  • Remote sensing
  • Computer literacy
  • Collecting data
  • Ability to conduct research


In addition to the requirements as stipulated by the university, students pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Geography must complete World Geography, Weather and Climate and Introduction to Physical Geography or Physical Geology/Education of the Earth, as well as 30 hours of designated coursework in one of the following tracks: Geographic Information Science or Human-Environmental Sytems.
The department also offers the BS in Geography, which requires a lower division science core, as well as an upper division core of geoscience classes. Students concentrate in one of two tracks: Environmental Systems or Geographic Information Science.


The following are examples of positions often held by Geography graduates:

Area Specialist
Coastal Zone Manager
Community Developer
Environmental Conservationist
Forestry Technician
GIS Specialist
Hazardous Waste Planner
Health Services Planner
International Business Consultant
Location Analyst
Market Researcher
Map Analyst
Map Editor/Librarian
Outdoor Guide
Park Ranger
Real Estate Specialist
Remote Sensing Analyst
Soils Conservationist
Traffic Manager
Transportation Planner
Travel Agent
Urban Planner
Water Resources Planner
Weather Forecaster

Note: Some of the above professions will require advanced study or training.


For information about choosing a career, graduate/professional school, internships or job descriptions,and for career library resources, contact:

Career Development Center
Boca Raton Campus - Student Services Building, Room 220 (SU 220)

Davie Campus - Modular G

Jupiter Campus - SR 110

For information about choosing a major and concentration and degree requirements, contact:

Charles E. Schmidt College of Science
S&E 234

Department of Geosciences
PS 336

The Career Guide series was developed by the Florida Atlantic University Career Development Center, Division of Student Affairs, the Freshman Academic Advising, and in cooperation with the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science, the Department of Geosciences.
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