What Does the Geography Department Offer Students?—According to Professors

Grad student Sydney Bailey in Colorado doing field work. 

Instructors expand on what geography brings to students in the future. 

1. Abundant job opportunities after graduation.  Rapid growth in GIS, remote sensing, and cartography has increased the demand for geographers. For example, the St. Louis metropolitan area currently has 27,000 jobs in geospatial technologies with future growth predicted. —Doug Hurt

2. Geography is a gateway to lifelong discovery and learning. What other major encourages you to travel, understand people and places near your home or on the other side of the world, and explore spatial connections in an increasingly interconnected world?— Doug Hurt 

3. Geography teaches you how to read, or interpret, the human and natural landscape. It’s a skill that not many people have, but one that is extremely valuable in careers such as planning, conservation, surveying, and the military. Learning how to read the landscape also gives you the lifelong enjoyment of exploring new places— and can help you find your way back home if you ever get lost! —Soren Larsen 

4. Have you ever wanted to live or work in a foreign country? Geography can get you there! Our courses provide systematic coverage of the regions and nations of the world, while our study abroad and research opportunities give you the on-the-ground experience you need to chart a career overseas. —Soren Larsen

5. You may discover that your brain processes information from a spatial perspective (geographic/location-based) —Clayton F. Blodgett

6. Are you interested in education in a STEM-based field (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math)? Geography has that. —Clayton F.  Blodgett

7. By exploring how human and physical systems interact across space, as well as how those systems are impacted by individuals, communities, nations, and multi-national organizations, a geography major will be better equipped to make the choices life presents —such as where to live, what jobs to take, what purchases to make, how to vote on important issues, and how to function as an environmentally conscious person in an increasingly complex and globally connected world.—Matt Foulkes 

8. As geographers, we should never forget we are explorers. One of our main tasks is to explore the world around us and our place in it. Though it sounds simple, this is complicated by the fact that many of the world’s most-pressing problems stem from social differences, political conflict, environmental degradation, or some combination of all three. Geography is unlike any other discipline as it combines the analytical strength of the physical sciences, the narrative power of humanities, and the human focus of social sciences. These skills are directly transferable to the workplace.—Mike Urban