Geography & Cartography
Types of Degrees Geography & Cartography Majors Are Getting
The following table lists how many geography and cartography graduations there were in 2018-2019 for each degree level.
|Education Level||Number of Grads|
What Geography & Cartography Majors Need to Know
In an O*NET survey, geography majors were asked to rate what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important in their occupations. These answers were weighted on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the most important.
Knowledge Areas for Geography Majors
According to O*NET survey takers, a major in geography should prepare you for careers in which you will need to be knowledgeable in the following areas:
- 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
A major in geography prepares you for careers in which the following skill-sets are crucial:
- 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:
- 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?
People with a geography degree often go into the following careers:
|Job Title||Job Growth Rate||Median Salary|
|Cartographers and Photogrammetrists||19.0%||$64,430|
|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?
At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of geography majors is as follows:
|Race/Ethnicity||Number of Grads|
|Black or African American||155|
|Hispanic or Latino||563|
Americans aren’t the only ones with an interest in Geography. About 4.1% of those with this major are international students. The most popular countries for students from outside the country are:
- South Korea
- Saudi Arabia
- Hong Kong
How Much Do Geography & Cartography Majors Make?
Bachelor’s Degree Starting Salary
According to 2017-2018 data from the U.S. Department of Education, students who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in geography have a median salary of $32,500 during the early years of their career. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $28,850 (25th percentile) and $35,600 (75th percentile).
Note that some of these people may have jobs that are not directly related to a geography degree.
Salaries According to BLS
Average salaries range from $68,340 to $88,950 (25th to 75th percentile) for careers related to geography. 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.
Amount of Education Required for Careers Related to Geography & Cartography
Some degrees associated with geography may require an advanced degree, while others may not even require a bachelor’s in the field. 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.
Find out what the typical degree level is for geography careers below.
|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%|
|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%|
|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%|
Online Geography & Cartography Programs
In 2018-2019, 507 schools offered a geography program of some type. 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)||167||18|
|Certificate (1-2 years)||62||6|
|Certificate (2-4 Years)||5||1|
|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!
Majors Related to Geography & Cartography
You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to geography.
|Major||Number of Grads|
|Political Science & Government||47,035|
|General Social Sciences||19,694|
|International Relations & National Security||15,207|
|Other Social Sciences||2,729|
|Sociology & Anthropology||543|
|Demography & Population Studies||77|
- College Factual
- College Scorecard
- National Center for Education Statistics
- O*NET Online
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
- Usual Weekly Earnings of Wage and Salary Workers First Quarter 2020
- Image Credit: By Couleur under License
More about our data sources and methodologies.
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