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What can I do with this major?




Environmental Geography

  • Environmental Management
  • Conservation
  • Waste Management
  • Environmental Regulation
  • Emergency Management
  • Outdoor Recreation Management

Federal and state government: Environmental Protection Agency, Departments of Agriculture, National Forest Service

Real estate developers

Scientific and research groups

Firms specializing in forestry, mining, engineering, environmental issues, waste management, architecture, or surveying.

Law firms

Learn federal government job application process. Become skilled in related computer technology. Courses in biology and chemistry are a must. Take elective courses in botany, plant science, and wildlife. For a career in law, you must earn a graduate degree in law.

Cultural and Human Geography

  • Cultural Resources
  • Historic Preservation
  • Historical Consultation
  • Education
  • Research

State, regional, and local government

Federal government including: Central Intelligence Agency, Defense Mapping Agency, Bureau of Census, Department of State, National Park Service

Peace Corps

Real estate developers

Companies dealing with insurance, transportation, communications, and international trade

Scientific and research groups


Cultural and human geographers study the aspects of geography that relate to different cultures. They especially focus on cultural origins and movement and the cultural characteristics of regions. 

Learn federal, state, and local government job application process. Become skilled in related computer technology. Develop excellent communication and teamwork skills in order to work with historians and archivists in recreating the geography of the past. Learn how to conduct library research, make field observations, and interpret artifacts. A good foreign language background is necessary for field observations in other countries. Develop an open mind towards the language, history, customs, and culture of other countries.

Economic Geography

  • Location Scouting
  • Real Estate Analysis
  • Transportation
  • Agricultural Planning
  • Travel/Tourism Planning

Federal, state, and local government

Manufacturing, wholesale, and retail firms

Public utilities

Consulting firms

Real estate developers


Economic geographers study the distribution of resources and economic activities within a certain region. They may use this information to advise organizations on where to build new facilities.Obtain business knowledge though coursework or related work experience.

Learn to see all sides of a problem, including economic, social, political, and environmental.


  • Cartography
  • Geographic Information Systems
  • Remote Sensing

Federal government agencies: Departments of Defense, Interior, Commerce, Agriculture, and State, Defense Mapping, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Central Intelligence Agency

State and regional government agencies: Departments of Transportation or Agriculture

Private industry including utilities, construction, engineering, energy, environmental planning, and consulting firms

Map publishers

Colleges and universities

Become skilled in related computer technology. Learn photography skills.

Take courses in surveying and measurements, photogrammetry, technical mathematics, drafting, statistics, optics, remote sensing, art, and graphics.

Seek work-related experience such as internships, and summer or part-time jobs.

Learn federal, state and local government job application process since most of these positions are in government agencies. Develop excellent communication skills.

Social and Urban

  • City/Regional Planning
  • Housing Development
  • Convention/Tourism
  • Community Development
  • Demography
  • Transportation

City, county, and regional planning agencies

State government

Federal government agencies including: Agency for International Development, World Bank, Department of Housing and Urban Development

Research organizations

Private business


Industrial firms

Public utilities

Real estate developers

Planners ensure that communities develop in an orderly way and that they have the services necessary to support them.

Develop team work skills. Learn federal, state, and local government job application process. Local government is a large employer in this area. Maintain excellent academic undergraduate record. Obtain master's degree in planning.

Take courses in public administration or public finance.

Geographic Education

  • Teaching
  • Research

Elementary/secondary schools, public and private 

Colleges and universities

Obtain certification/licensure for public school teaching. Join National Council for Geographic Education and/or the Association of American Geographers. Complete a master's degree for community college teaching or a Ph.D. for college/university teaching and research. Specialize in an area such as quantitative research techniques, computer mapping, or natural resource management.

Physical Geography

  • Biogeography
  • Natural Hazards
  • Hydrology
  • Weather and Climate
  • Geomorphology

State and local government

Federal government agencies including: US Geological Survey, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, The National Resources Conservation Service

TV/Radio stations

Agribusiness corporations

Outdoor recreation companies

Resource management agencies

Research institutes

Insurance companies

Physical geographers study earth processes such as climate and weather. They also look at the impact of natural hazards such as hurricanes, tornadoes, and earthquakes.

Take courses in physiSScs and chemistry. Develop excellent communication skills.

Be willing to relocate to regions that have job availability.

Strategies for placement in Geography

  • Bachelor's degree qualifies you for entry-level positions in government and industry.
  • Master's degree qualifies you for community college teaching and advancement in industry and government.
  • Ph.D. is required for research and teaching positions in colleges and universities and senior positions in government and industry.
  • Geography provides a broad foundation for future career endeavors.
  • Obtain volunteer, part-time, summer, internship, or co-op experience in your area of interest.
  • Join professional organizations such as the American Geography Society or the National Council for Geographic Education.
  • Become a member of groups directed toward improvement of natural resources or environment and pollution control.
  • Computer knowledge is becoming extremely important in geography. Obtain experience with geographic information systems and computer-aided drafting (CAD).
  • Develop strong mathematical and statistical skills.
  • Develop skills and interest in mapping, graphics, and charts. An interest in photography may prove beneficial.
  • Develop good communication skills. 

Prepared by the Career Planning staff of Career Services at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. (2005) UTK is an EEO/AA/Title VI/Title IX/Section
504/ADA /ADEA Employer.


About Geography 
Geography is a Good Career Choice
US Geological Survey 
Bureau of Land Management
Environmental Protection Agency
The Association of American Geographers 
American Meteorological Society