Geographers need a master’s degree for most positions. Those with a bachelor’s degree may qualify for some entry-level jobs, but these often require previous geography experience or training in using geographic information system (GIS) technology.
Students usually choose to concentrate their courses in physical, human, or regional geography. Most programs include courses in both physical and human geography, statistics or mathematics, remote sensing, and GIS. In addition, courses in business, economics, or real estate are increasingly important as more geographers are employed in private industry.
Those with a bachelor’s degree may qualify for some jobs in government, businesses, or nonprofits; some mid-level positions allow candidates to substitute experience or GIS proficiency for an advanced degree. Top research positions usually require a Ph.D. or a master’s degree and several years of relevant work experience.
Positions for geography professors require a Ph.D. Most positions require geographers to be proficient in GIS technology.