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Geography as a subject is devoted to the study of the earth, the distribution and location of its physical and cultural features, inter-relationship of these features and human life as well as the various phenomenon of Earth. This discipline seeks to examine the relationship and influences between people and the environment. A degree in geography trains and educates an individual to gain success in careers ranging from cartography, business, administration to tourism and planning besides many others depending on the interests of the individual.

Career Opportunities in Geography

  • Cartographer
    A cartographer is involved with the scientific, technological and artistic aspects of developing and producing maps. They present complex information as diagrams, charts and spreadsheets, as well as in the form of conventional maps. Geographical information systems (GIS) and digital-mapping techniques now dominate the role. They work within a variety of areas including publishing, the military, the government, surveying and conservation.
  • Surveyor
    Surveyors measure and collect data on specific areas of land, including information about boundaries, buildings and features, both natural and man-made. They can join the Survey of India or State Survey Departments or Private organizations.
  • Drafter
    Drafters work with surveyors, engineers and architects to develop maps used by construction companies, government planning entities or environmental organizations.
  • Government Employee
    A few central government organizations that look for postgraduates in Geography are Oil & Natural Gas Corporation, National Council for Cement and Building Materials, Central Mine Planning & Design Institute Limited, Society of Integrated Coastal Management, etc. The post-graduate students in Geography can get placed in different departments under State Government through various exams organized by the Public Service Commission. One can also apply for the Probationary Officer post in various public-sector banks. For this, one needs to qualify the entrance test carried out by the banks. The Railway department also selects candidates to the various posts through the entrance test carried out by the Railway Recruitment Board or RRB. Postgraduates in geography can also apply for the posts in Indian Railway Traffic Service.
  • Urban and Regional Planner
    Urban and Regional planners make long and short-term plans/goals about the use of land in cities or villages. They keep in mind the future needs of the city's population and recommend placement of various infrastructures such as schools or roads.
  • GIS Specialist
    GIS technicians make maps and customized geographic information systems (GIS) applications and manipulate data to serve a variety of purposes. They read and interpret maps, manipulate and understand digital land data, and manage data entered into a GIS database. GIS technicians typically earn a Bachelor of Science degree in geography. A master's degree in geography can increase opportunities for career advancement and salary potential.
  • Climatologist
    Climatologists are atmospheric scientists who study the Earth's climate. They collect and analyze data from sources such as ice cores, soil, water, air, and even plant life to find patterns in weather and learn how those patterns affect the Earth and its inhabitants
  • Meteorologist
    Meteorologists study the relationships between atmospheric characteristics and the environment. They predict future weather conditions, study climate trends over time, track ozone levels, study rainfall and monitor global temperature. Meteorologists are needed in both urban and rural regions.
  • Transportation manager
    A transportation manager ensures that shipments into or out of an organization are handled quickly, safely, and within budget constraints. This might include oversight of transportation equipment and personnel operated by an organization.
  • Environmental Manager
    Environmental managers are responsible for making sure an organization is compliant with environmental regulations in areas such as air quality, waste, clean water, and pollution. Environmental managers play a scientific and administrative role in an organization.
  • Researcher
    Many Government and non-government institutes along with research centres offer several career options for people holding geography degrees.
  • Education
    One can also work in the educational sector as a teacher/ professor in the school level or the college level respectively.
  • Demographer
    A demographer conducts statistical examinations of the composition, distribution and transition of the human population.

How to Pursue a Career in Geography

Stream Graduation After Graduation After Post Graduation
path 1
Class XII with Humanities (Geography as one of the subject)Pursue B.A.(H) Geography for 3 yearsPursue Masters in Geography for 2 years in India or Abroad Pursue M.Phil in Geography for 2 Years and/or Ph.D in Geography for 3-4 years
path 2
Class XII with Science Pursue B.Sc Geography /B.Tech in any related field for 3 yearsPursue Post Graduation in Geography (M.Sc/ M.Tech) for 2 years-
path 3
Class XII with any Stream (Geography as one of the Subject)Pursue BA/B.Sc. in Geography for 3 yearsPursue Post Graduate Diploma in Geography or any other related field.-

Important Facts

  • Graduates in Geography are highly valued in the government sector. One can appear for UPSC examination after completing graduation for a career in government sector. A lot of jobs are available for post graduates as well.
  • For Lecturership in Geography, National Educational Test (NET) or Ph.D. is mandatory
  • Most Colleges/Institutes provide admission on the basis of Class 12th Percentage. Some institutes also conduct interviews.
  • Most colleges have eligibility criteria of minimum 60% aggregate marks in Class XII

Leading Institutes

Top Geography Institutes in India
College Location Website
Kirori Mal College New Delhi
Aligarh Muslim University Aligarh
Banaras Hindu University Varanasi
Presidency College Chennai
Christ University Banagalore
Birla Institute of Technology, Ranchi Ranchi
Centre for Environment Planning and Technology Ahmedabad
JamiaMillia Islamia University New Delhi
University of Calcutta Kolkata
Institute of Geo-informatics & Remote Sensing Kolkata
Jawahar Lal Nehru University New Delhi
Aditi Mahavidyalaya New Delhi
University of Calcutta Kolkata
University of Burdwan West Bengal
Assam University Assam
Ravenshaw University Odisha
Top Geography Institutes in the World
Institution Location Website
University of Cambridge United Kingdom
Durham University United Kingdom
University of Oxford United Kingdom
London School of Economics and Political Science United Kingdom
University of British Columbia Canada
University of California, Berkeley United States
University of California, Los Angeles United States
National University of Singapore Singapore
University of Toronto Canada
University of Hong Kong Hong Kong
The University of Manchester United Kingdom
The University of Edinburgh United Kingdom

Work Description

  • Gather geographic data through field observations, maps, photographs, satellite imagery, and census data
  • Create and modify maps, graphs, diagrams, or other visual representations of geographic data
  • Analyze geographic distributions of physical and cultural phenomena on local, regional, continental, or global scales
  • Use geographic information system (GIS) technology to collect, analyze, and display data
  • Combine geographic data with data on a particular specialty, such as economics, the environment, health, or politics
  • Provide consulting services in fields such as resource development and management, business location and market area analysis, environmental hazards, regional cultural history, and urban social planning
  • Study the economic, political, and cultural characteristics of a specific region population

Pros & Cons of a Career in Geography

  • Is a practical and application oriented subject
  • Flexible degree in terms of higher education
  • Competition for government jobs is less in this field.
  • Must have a Ph.D. or Master’s degree to pursue it further
  • Less number of jobs directly related to this field
  • Pay package is low initially
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