Geography and Cartography

Overview of Geography and Cartography Postsecondary Programs

Geography and cartography can generally be found under Health and Science departments at accredited colleges and universities.  Areas you will learn about in the programs include anthropology, wildlife, underwater nature, aerial photography, land surveying and mapping processes and techniques.

Geography and Cartography Postsecondary Degrees, Certificates and Diplomas

If you want to advance your education to earn promotions at work or to get new higher paying jobs, you can enroll in certificate and/or diploma programs at accredited colleges and universities.  These programs focus on core geography and cartography courses, helping you to complete the programs in less than half the time it takes to complete two and four-year degrees.  The Certificate in Geography and Cartography and the Diploma in Geography and Cartography are types of geography and cartography certificate and diploma programs.They are offered at undergraduate and graduate levels at many accredited colleges and universities.  Should you want a more balanced postsecondary education, you can enroll in degree programs like the Associate's degree of Applied Science in Geography, Bachelor's degree of Arts in Geography, Bachelor of Science in Cartography and the Bachelor of Arts in Social Science, Geography.

Curriculum for Geography and Cartography

Whether you take a college's online or offline certificate, diploma or degree college or university geography and cartography programs, you must complete core courses.  Although the particular curriculum you are required to complete to graduate is set by the school you attend, core geography and cartography courses you will likely take are:

  • Cultural geography
  • Computer applications
  • Physical geography
  • Global geography
  • Interpretation of geographic imagery
  • Economic geography
  • Preserving natural heritage
  • Map design
  • Introduction to cartography
  • History of cartography
  • Spatial analysis
  • Metric systems
  • Crustal deformation
  • Earth interior

Skills and Benefits of Geography and Cartography

Earning a regular paycheck doing a job you love is not the only benefit and reward you gain when you complete geography and cartography college and university programs.  You also gain:

  • Understanding of global environments
  • Working knowledge of how environment impacts human behavior
  • Skills to help restore and care for the earth
  • Critical thinking skills
  • Research and analysis skills
  • Understanding of cultural and human geography
  • Ability to design, read and understand complex maps
Working in Geography and Cartography

You can use your postsecondary education to gain jobs with public and private organizations and companies and work as a land surveyor, engineer, real estate inspector, air quality analyst, cartographer, geographer, meteorologist, park ranger, zoning inspector or as a teacher.  As of May 2008, the United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that geographers were expected to see their job opportunities grow by 22 percent from 2008 through 2018. The average annual salary that geographers earned was $72,800 as of May 2009, with the top 10 percent of the professionals earning $102,440 a year.

The Association of American Geographers, the Cartography Society, the National Geographic Society and the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing are organizations that assist you with your continuing education, networking and job assignment efforts.  You can join some of the associations before you graduate from an accredited college or university with your geography and cartography degree.

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