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Geography as Career Preparation

Geography graduates offer a genuine understanding of the complex interplay of economic, political, social and environmental forces. They are trained to analyze multi-faceted problems with a range of analytical tools and skills, including statistical analysis, survey design, GIS, working with census data, and working with spreadsheets and relational databases. They are skilled in information retrieval, data management, and synthesizing academic research, and are used to working both in teams and on their own initiative. Such graduates are highly employable in a variety of professions.

Geographers describe and analyze the forces shaping how goods, people and services are spatially distributed. We examine people and their interconnections in an ever-more globalized world. This emphasis translates into many types of career opportunities: location and distribution analysis, mapmaking (GIS) and critical analysis, understanding health and well-being as socially created phenomena, environmental politics and sustainability studies, and an understanding of the roots of (in)equality and power imbalances, to name a few departmental skill sets with which our students graduate.

Geographers often work in the following fields:

¢ Social Services
¢ Planning (urban, social, economic, environmental, transportation)
¢ Regional & economic development
¢ Real estate location analysis
¢ Geodemographics
¢ Import/export
¢ Demography
¢ Public health
¢ Environmental justice
¢ Sustainability
¢ Non-governmental organizations or social mobilization & community-building
¢ Resource specialists
¢ Education
¢ Geographic Information Systems
¢ Global justice initiatives

Geographers are most marketable as liberal arts majors able to critically examine social phenomena and their surrounding world. The ability to think, evaluate, and interrogate ideas is consistently referenced by our students as their most meaningful resource gained in the Geography major. These skills include the abilities to:

¢ communicate effectively
¢ think analytically, using complex problem-solving
¢ appreciate context and contin gency
¢ synthesize & interpret information
¢ display and present arguments and information
¢ write and speak clearly and directly
¢ conduct academic research
¢ summarize information
¢ apply knowledge of social structures and change processes
¢ sample, gather, analyze and organize data
¢ create and use spreadsheets and spatial databases
¢ create and use maps, graphs, charts and tables
¢ access and work with US Census data and other large data sets
¢ plan and complete multifaceted projects

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