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Geography & Cartography Major

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Geography & Cartography

4,909 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
1,243 Master's Degrees Annually
#78 in Popularity
$80,530 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Geography & Cartography Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many geography and cartography graduations there were in 2017-2018 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Bachelor’s Degree 4,909
Master’s Degree 1,243
Basic Certificate 880
Graduate Certificate 833
Associate’s Degree 350
Doctor’s Degree 253
Undergraduate Certificate 249

What Geography & Cartography Majors Need to Know

People with careers related to geography were asked what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. They weighted these areas on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the highest.

Knowledge Areas for Geography Majors

This major prepares you for careers in which these knowledge areas are important:

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  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Geography - Knowledge of principles and methods for describing the features of land, sea, and air masses, including their physical characteristics, locations, interrelationships, and distribution of plant, animal, and human life.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.

Skills for Geography Majors

geography majors are found most commonly in careers in which the following skills are important:

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  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Abilities for Geography Majors

Geography majors often go into careers where the following abilities are vital:

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  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.

What Can You Do With a Geography & Cartography Major?

Below is a list of occupations associated with geography:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Cartographers and Photogrammetrists 19.0% $64,430
Compliance Managers 8.0% $107,480
Geographers 13.3% $80,300
Geography Professors 8.0% $80,350
Regulatory Affairs Managers 8.0% $107,480
Supply Chain Managers 8.0% $107,480
Wind Energy Project Managers 8.0% $107,480

Who Is Getting a Bachelor’s Degree in Geography & Cartography?

4,909 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
39% Percent Women
25% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities
This is a less frequently chosen undergraduate major. Only 4,909 students graduated with a bachelor’s degree in geography and cartography in 2018, making it rank #78 in popularity. This major attracts more men than women. About 61% of the graduates in this field are male.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of geography majors is as follows:

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of Geography Students with Bachelor's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 249
Black or African American 171
Hispanic or Latino 569
White 3,411
International Students 171
Other Races/Ethnicities 338

Geographic Diversity

Americans aren’t the only ones with an interest in Geography. About 3.5% of those with this major are international students. The most popular countries for students from outside the country are:

  • China
  • India
  • South Korea
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Hong Kong

How Much Do Geography & Cartography Majors Make?

Bachelor’s Degree Starting Salary

Data from the U.S. Department of Education shows that geography and cartography students who graduated in 2015-2017 with a bachelor’s degree made a median starting salary of $32,500 per year. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $28,850 (25th percentile) and $35,600 (75th percentile).

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One thing to note here is that not all of these people may be working in careers related to geography.

Salaries According to BLS

Geography majors often go into careers where salaries can range from $68,340 to $88,950 (25th to 75th percentile). This range includes all degree levels, so the salary for a person with just a bachelor’s degree may be a little less and the one for a person with an advanced degree may be a little more.

To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.

Median Salary for a Geography & Cartography Major  ( 68340 to 88950 )
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250K
Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
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250K
Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
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250K
Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
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250K

Some careers associated with geography require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. In general, the more advanced your degree the more career options will open up to you. However, there is significant time and money that needs to be invested into your education so weigh the pros and cons.

How much schooling do you really need to compete in today’s job market? People currently working in careers related to geography have obtained the following education levels.

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED) 1.3%
Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in agriculture or natural resources, computer services, personal or culinary services, engineering technologies, healthcare, construction trades, mechanic and repair technologies, or precision production) 5.5%
Some College Courses 1.5%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 5.1%
Bachelor’s Degree 46.4%
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Baccalaureate degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees carrying the title of Master. 1.6%
Master’s Degree 16.2%
Post-Master’s Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Master’s degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees at the doctoral level. 2.6%
First Professional Degree - awarded for completion of a program that: requires at least 2 years of college work before entrance into the program, includes a total of at least 6 academic years of work to complete, and provides all remaining academic requirements to begin practice in a profession. 0.6%
Doctoral Degree 19.4%
Post-Doctoral Training 0.1%

Online Geography & Cartography Programs

In the 2017-2018 academic year, 489 schools offered some type of geography and cartography program. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.

Degree Level Colleges Offering Programs Colleges Offering Online Classes
Certificate (Less Than 1 Year) 148 18
Certificate (1-2 years) 64 4
Certificate (2-4 Years) 3 0
Associate’s Degree 135 10
Bachelor’s Degree 99 19
Post-Baccalaureate 148 18
Master’s Degree 185 16
Post-Master’s 15 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 69 0
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 0 0

Is a Degree in Geography & Cartography Worth It?

The median salary for a geography grad is $80,530 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 102% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $812,600 after 20 years!

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You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to geography.

Major Number of Grads
Economics 47,528
Political Science & Government 44,651
Sociology 37,615
General Social Sciences 19,123
International Relations & National Security 14,908
Anthropology 12,008
Criminology 9,624
Other Social Sciences 2,935
Urban Studies 1,524
Sociology & Anthropology 499
Archeology 335
Demography & Population Studies 76
Rural Sociology 33

References

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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