University of Vermont

The College of Arts and Sciences

Department of Geography

Careers in Geography

" a young man, my fondest dream was to become a geographer. However, while working at the customs office, I thought deeply about the matter and concluded it was far too difficult a subject. I then turned to Physics as a substitute." — Albert Einstein

Jobs are out there

More geographers than ever before are employed in exciting jobs, using skills in cultural, regional and physical geography as well as modern technologies that have revolutionized the workplace. Geographers use satellite images, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Global Positioning Systems (GPS), and remotely sensed data, both in the field and in their offices and laboratories.

Private sector firms

The private sector needs geographers who can develop and apply geographic ideas and technologies to complex real world systems. Geographers also conduct marketing studies, plan transportation routes, understand international markets, and determine environmental risks associated with site locations. From transportation agencies to electric companies, and from forestry to telecommunications, real-time mobile interactive geographic technologies and databases are emerging as the backbone of large-scale operations management systems for industries with distributed assets and mobile workforces.

All levels of government

The government hires geographers. They may work for local and state economic development or planning offices, conduct research in recreation and park use, or map land use from satellite images. Many geographers at the federal level work for the National Imagery and Mapping Agency, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Central Intelligence Agency, the U.S. Geological Survey, and the Department of State.


Schools needs K-12 teachers with solid geography backgrounds, since all states have recently introduced higher standards for geography instruction. At the college level, exciting new courses attract large numbers of students, and the demand for faculty with regional specialties or theoretical and research capabilities is strong.

Continuing your studies

A high proportion of our students go on to graduate work, in geography or cognate fields, and we have placed students at some of the best graduate programs in the country. Your geogrphy professors can tell you more about their advanced degrees and their programs of study — they hail from some of the best advanced geography programs in the country.

Last modified August 19 2009 06:38 PM