1. Description

Humanities and Social Sciences

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The next time you take a trip, volunteer as navigator and try using a map to figure out the best way to get there from here. The next time you walk by a construction site, ask yourself questions like these: Why is this spot right for this building? Are there physical factors, such as the presence of a hill? How about economic and political reasons, such as a lack of low-income housing in the area?

If you're interested in such questions and activities, you might enjoy working as a geographer. Geographers tackle a wide variety of tasks, from research to mapmaking to advising cities on how best to use land. As a geographer, your work will reach beyond the land to include the people who use it.

Geographers analyze the use of space on the earth's surface and the effects of that use. They specialize in many areas, including economic geography, cultural geography, and physical geography.

Did You Know?

Thanks to a group of twenty-four satellites called the Global Positioning System (GPS), maps today are much more accurate than they once were.

Are You Ready To...?

  • Organize and study large amounts of data
  • Spend a lot of time in front of a computer
  • Work outdoors in bad weather
  • Do physically demanding work
  • Travel to remote places
  • Perhaps live in a different culture

It Helps To Be...

Observant, precise, organized, and patient. As a geographer, you’ll use details to address big questions.

Make High School Count

  • Do your best in history and other social sciences, as well as in science. Whether you focus on physical or cultural geography, you’ll use what you’ve learned in both areas of study.
  • Build solid computer skills. Computer software, such as Geographical Information Systems (GIS), has become increasingly important in the field.
  • Get hands-on experience through a summer job or internship. You’ll learn a lot in a government survey office, museum, historical society, or even real estate brokerage.

Did You Know?

Medical geographers study the spread of disease, the effects of pollution, and other health-related topics.