Students who have a desire to study Geography like to know the career opportunities open to them. Graduates of Geography in some climes face the challenge of getting a job in their field; either due to the economic situation in their countries or the rate of underdevelopment. Whether you study physical or human geography, ensure that you gain the required field/work experience. This will give you hands-on experience as well as an edge in the labour market. Want to know the career opportunities in Geography for international students? Join the train and you’ll find out.
A degree in geography gives you the opportunity to launch into careers in commerce and industry, transport, public sector, tourism, and education sectors. You will also have core geographic skills such as planning and problem-solving skills; Self-motivation and self-reliance. Others are written and oral communications skills, including report writing and data presentation; the ability to work independently and in a team. Time management and the ability to meet deadlines; Mathematical and computational skills; Skills in research and data collection, analysis and evaluation. You’ll also develop IT skills (computer cartography and the use of databases and spreadsheets).
Geographers profer solutions to issues such as urban expansion, climate change, overpopulation, multicultural integration, and natural disasters. In order to achieve this, they often seek to specialize in certain areas through a post-graduate programme. These areas include oceanography, environmental conservation, geographical information systems, meteorology or water resources, environmental management, remote sensing, coastal and marine management. Here are some Career Opportunities in Geography.
1. Conservation Officer
Appreciating and protecting the environment is the fundamental objective of a Conservation Officer. You have to be passion driven to be able to make a considerable impact in this sector. Protecting the environment means raising the level of awareness of inhabitants within local communities through advocacy and media campaigns. It is essential to gain some relevant work experience, through paid or voluntary work. A master’s degree in sustainable development could be to your advantage.
2. Town Planner
You will have a duty to develop rural and urban areas. The focus will be on improving the current infrastructure. It will also include ensuring the creation and management of more infrastructure through critical analysis and evaluation. These infrastructures must be in accordance with current policies and regulations. The aim is to ensure that the policies are sustainable as well as ensuring the preservation of natural environments. Becoming a Chartered Town Planner will be an added advantage.
3. Recycling Officer
Recycling officers play a major role in preserving and sustaining the environment. They aim to reduce waste by promoting and advocating for recycling to be done in waste ravaged regions. They also play a role in formulating policies and schemes to drive home their sustainable agenda. Strong communication and planning skills coupled with a vast understanding of current recycling practices, future trends, and emerging technologies are important.
4. Geographical Information Systems (GIS) Officer
As a GIS Officer, you will have to be conversant with data, analytics and computer systems. GIS are computerized systems used for the collection, storage, analysis, management and presentation of complicated geographical information. Geographical information systems officers carry out the gathering and examination of geographical data generated by GIS. The data can be applied in a variety of areas, such as defence, meteorology, oil, gas, telecommunications, and transportation. This is all in furtherance of a sustainable environment. A relevant postgraduate degree and/or work experience plus a previous study of the GIS module during your degree is important.
This career involves developing, producing and restoring different types of maps (old and new). It also involves documents, charts, related diagrams, travel guides, and spreadsheets. This field makes use of technologies such as GIS and digital-mapping techniques. You are expected to have a specialized degree in remote sensing. A work or field experience will be an added advantage.
6. Landscape Architect
This career favours creative minds and hands. Landscape architects create, design and manage open spaces to ensure aesthetics, safety, and sustainability. Completing an accredited postgraduate degree will be of great importance when becoming a landscape architect.
This involves the transfer of skills and knowledge to the next generation. This could be executed in a school, college/university. It can also be done in relevant events/programmes such as conferences, workshops, and seminars. Such skills and knowledge are expected to raise awareness and preserve the environment. For great impact, you are expected to arrange field trips as a practical learning method. For this, you will be required to have a specialized teaching qualification at Masters or PhD level. You will also need to be up to date with developments in geography.
8. Environmental Consultant
As an Environmental Consultant, you are to address a host of environmental issues. You are to ensure effective compliance by government or commercial clients. This is done through Environmental Impact Assessment where you identify whether an area of land, air or water is polluted, and its possible impact. Work experience will give you an advantage.
A degree in Geography will forever remain relevant as long as the environment and life remain in existence. The advent of technology and the Sustainable Development Goals are aimed at preserving the environment. Thus, there will always be opportunities. Like boy scouts, always ensure that you’re prepared with the right skills and qualifications.