The breadth of geography as a discipline together with the flexibility of the undergraduate program allows students to tailor their coursework to suit the needs of a wide range of employers in business, government and education.
Businesses such as banks, fast-food chains, supermarkets and package delivery firms rely on geographers with training in location analysis to help select appropriate sites for their operations and manage routing systems. Locational analysts have a broad base of expertise in economics, marketing, transportation, demography and spatial statistics. Geographers with skills in an area of climatology, landforms, and computer mapping are in demand by industrial and engineering firms, as well as by the media (TV and radio stations, and newspaper and magazine publishers). A wide range of consulting firms also routinely employ geographers.
Geographers are employed in federal, state, and local government in a range of capacities. Those with a training in physical geography are involved in natural resource assessment, environmental impact analysis, and forest and wildlife conversation, to name a few activities. The department participates in an interdisciplinary certificate program in Atmospheric Science that prepares students for careers in meteorology or climatology. Opportunities for human geographers include community, economic, and transportation development, policy research in areas such as population, housing, and healthcare, and statistical analysis and projections. Skills in geographic techniques are an important advantage in both physical and human career positions. One of the most active job markets in geography today involves opportunities in the field of Geographic Information Sciences, which uses computer technology to inventory, analyze, and display geographical data of interest in the social and physical sciences. To prepare undergraduates for this job market, the Department of Geography offers an interdisciplinary certificate in Geographic Information Science.
The recent initiative to improve the geographic literacy of American students has created a new demand for geographic educators at all levels. A rigorous training in geography ha become increasingly important as, over time, geography has become a separately defined subject at middle/junior high, and high schools. Further, geographic concepts and methods are now being considered an essential basis for interdisciplinary training in subjects such as cultural studies, global studies, or environmental studies.