If you enjoy discovering and studying the natural world, you might want to consider a job in geography. Public and private industries have career opportunities for women geographers, and the Society of Women Geographers, whose membership has included Amelia Earhart and Jane Goodall, supports the growth of women in geography careers. Since jobs typically require a college degree, SWG offers fellowships to help women fund their education. You should learn about the job possibilities before you begin pursuing a career in geography.
Postsecondary education provides job opportunities for geographers. Many community colleges and universities hire professors to teach courses in geography, urban and regional planning, geographic information systems, climatology, earth science and conservation. Your education and work experience may give you a shot at a professorship, and your gender may give you a boost too. According to The New York Times, schools such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have focused on hiring women professors in an effort to increase workplace gender equality. Most colleges require professors to have at least a master's degree in their teaching field or in a closely related field. High schools also hire geography teachers.
Geographers apply their knowledge in government jobs at the federal, state and local level. They work as regional planners, who develop strategic growth plans by factoring in the environment. These planners establish where residential and commercial growth should occur based on the location of infrastructure, including roads, waterways, major employers, recreational areas and schools. Government geographers deal with disaster mitigation and response. They develop approaches to fighting forest fires and predict where natural disasters may occur. For example, the Federal Emergency Management Administration hires geographers to identify and map flood zones, which helps with management and gives developers valuable information about where to build.
Private Industry Jobs
Geographers have the ability to use maps and demographic information for market analysis. They use this information to help businesses grow and prosper. A coffee shop chain might hire a geographer to show where the most coffee drinkers live, based on demographic information such as income level and age. Geographers also can find jobs with TV news stations, which hire climatologists to report the weather.
Mapmakers and Scientists
Some geographers work as scientists. Geoscientists study the physical planet's composition, structure and processes to learn about the earth's past, present and future. Geographers also work as mapmakers, who design, create and modify maps, graphs and diagrams to provide visual tools for use in applications such as forestry, nautical navigation and recreational travel. Technology gives mapmakers the ability to utilize global positioning systems and the Internet to make it easier for everyone to travel from one place to another.
- The Society of Women Geographers: Fellowships
- The New York Times: Gains, and Drawbacks, for Female Professors
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Geography Jobs
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Geographers: What Geographers Do
- Portland State: What Can I Do With a Degree in Geography?
- Association of American Geographers: Where Geographers Work
- Association of American Geographers: Profiles of Geographers
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