Top 15 Careers in Geography

If you love geography, there are many interesting career options available.

Geography is a discipline bridging the social and natural sciences and includes the study of different spatial and social phenomena on the earth’s surface. Geography as a subject is devoted to the study of the earth, the distribution and location of its physical and cultural features, inter-relationship of these features and human life as well as the various phenomenon of Earth. This discipline seeks to examine the relationship and influences between people and the environment. There are very interesting careers in geography if you are in love with the subject.

There are two main branches of Geography- Physical Geography and Human Geography. Physical Geography deals with the study of spatial characteristics of the various natural phenomena relating to the earth. On the other hand, Human Geography is the study of human behaviour and processes and how they relate to the physical space they live in. Physical Geography falls within natural sciences while Human Geography is included in Social Sciences.

Graduates in Geography are highly valued in the government sector. One can appear for UPSC examination after completing graduation for a career in government sector. A lot of jobs are available for post graduates as well. For Lectureship in Geography, National Educational Test (NET) or Ph.D. is mandatory.

Scope of Geography career in India:

One of the most diverse nations in the world, India’s geography has everything mother nature could provide. From the Himalayas to the coastal areas to deserts, the geography is simply amazing and breath-taking. The scope of taking up a career in geography only builds from here on. Students who do their undergrad or postgrad, can take up jobs in travel and tourism, cartography, become an analyst. In the ever dynamic world that we live in, India’s diversity is unmatched. The scope of building a career in geography in India is booming, especially the travel and tourism industry as there is so much to explore in India.

Following career options are available for those who want to pursue a career with geography.

  1. Cartographer:

They work within a variety of areas including publishing, the military, the government, surveying and conservation. A cartographer is involved with the scientific, technological and artistic aspects of developing and producing maps. They present complex information as diagrams, charts and spreadsheets, as well as in the form of conventional maps. Geographical information systems (GIS) and digital-mapping techniques now dominate the role.

2. Surveyor:

In India farmers don’t have clear records of their lands. India is getting into digitization of land ownership, particularly with farmers in a big way.  Surveyors measure and collect data on specific areas of land, including information about boundaries, buildings and features, both natural and man-made. They can join the Survey of India or State Survey Departments or Private organizations.

3. Urban Planners:

They plan cities, villages, smart cities. They make plan to use different landscapes available to develop communities. They take care of facilities as well as environment.

4. Environment Consultants:

Environmental consultants provide analysis and insight on environmental concerns for public and private industries; property acquisition, development and construction; public works and infrastructure; health compliance and safety regulations; sustainability and energy efficiency

5. GIS Specialist:

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Specialists design, develop, and implement systems and databases to access and store geospatial data. They analyse this data utilizing mapping software. GIS Specialists design digital maps using geospatial data and analyse spatial and non-spatial information. GIS is a strong career, and it will be in demand for a long time. But like all careers, GIS is changing fast with new techniques every day.

6. Demographers:

Demographers use census data, surveys, and statistical models to analyse the size, movement, and structure of populations. Demographers collect statistical data, analyse the data to identify any trends, and then predict future trends. These predictions can help governments, social service agencies, and private companies to plan ahead. Demographers are sometimes called population sociologists.

7. Hydrologist:

A professional who deals or studies the science of movement of water through the atmosphere (land surface and underground) is called as Hydrologist. … They play a vital role in solving the water-related problems such as water management, environmental preservation etc.

8. Water Conservationist:

A water conservationist is responsible for protecting current and future water supply and quality. … Create, implement and coordinate work plans and strategies to restore and protect groundwater and surface water resources.

9. Pollution Analyst:

Pollution analysts work in natural and urban environments to ensure pollution levels are within standards set by governmebt legislation. … Analysing measurements of pollution to make recommendations on how best to reduce the pollution levels.

10. Meteorologist :

Meteorology is a sub-discipline of Atmospheric Science that majorly focuses on weather processes and forecasting. … The major responsibility of the meteorologist is to monitor and analyse its changes to make predictions and interpretations about weather conditions for the benefit of the man.

11. Conservation Officer:

If you are passionate about the environment and want to encourage others to appreciate and safeguard the natural world, you might like to become a conservation officer. In this career you will work to protect a natural environment and raise awareness of the ways in which the local community can enjoy its settings without having a negative impact. Similarly, a sustainable development officer would promote their particular employer’s sustainability practices in the local area. To increase your chances of pursuing this career, it is essential to gain some relevant work experience, through paid or voluntary work.

12. Soil Conservationist:

soil conservationist, a type of conservation scientist, creates guidelines to prevent erosion and develops practices for sustainable land use. As a professional he/she monitors land and conserves the health and vitality of soil, whether in agriculture, construction, or another field. Soil conservationists are employed by the government, agriculture corporations, and mining companies. Employers often require a bachelor’s degree in agricultural sciences or a related field with at least 5 years of relevant work experience.

13. Geospatial Analyst

Geospatial analysts examine a range of data from the geographical record including aerial photographs, GIS data, the cartographic record (which includes old maps, new maps, specialist maps such as soil and geology maps), satellite data, soil analysis and other environmental samples, and any academic literature 

14. Travel & Tourism Planner

Tourism geography is the study of travel as an industry and as a cultural and a social activity. Tourism geography covers a wide range of interests including the environmental effect of tourism, the geographies of tourism and leisure economies, answering tourism industry and management concerns and the sociology of tourism and locations of tourism. These Planners tours to geographically important places.

15. Climate change analysts (climatologists):

These professionals evaluate scientific data and research about the climate. The climate data often includes, but is not limited to, information about atmospheric temperature, ocean conditions, ice masses, and greenhouse gases.

There is a range of geography degrees including BA, BSc at the undergraduate level and MA, MSc at the graduate level.

Careers after bachelor degree in Geography

The careers for bachelor’s degree holders in Geography can include Geography teacher, Research assistant/associate in projects related to environment, sustainability and social development, jobs related to Corporate Social Responsibility etc.

Careers after master’s degree in Geography

Master’s degree holders in Geography can look forward for careers as Academicians, Cartographers, Urban Planners to name a few. They can also find policy related jobs, developmental jobs as a programme officer or research associate/fellow, corporate jobs in CSR and many more.


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