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What Geographers Do

What Is Geography?

Geography is the science of place and space. It's an incredible field of study that brings together people, the environment, and technology to solve problems.

You may think of maps when you think about geography, and that's certainly one major aspect (ever wonder who built the map you use on your phone every day? Plenty of geographers involved in that!). But that's not the only potential career pathway you might take as a geographer. Our alumni are working all over the world to shape policy, sustain our natural resources, help businesses analyze their markets, and plan the cities of the future.

What Job Can I Get With A Geography Degree?

What do Amnesty International, National Geographic, Boeing, the National Park Service, and Google Maps all have in common? Penn State geographers are there, hard at work every day.

Our students and alumni are behind the maps you use every day, as well as the policies that shape our cities, and the analysis that sustains our environment--and you can be, too! Geographers help shape the future design of cities and infrastructure. Geographers assess the impacts of rising sea levels, melting glaciers, and tropical storms, while others study impacts of wildfires or manage wetlands. Geographers analyze new markets and locations for businesses. Geographers use cutting edge satellite data to defend human rights by detecting large-scale abuses. Geographers also work directly with local people on social justice issues such as health and migration. If you want to change the world, there is no better discipline for people who thrive on complex challenges and want to make a real impact on lives and our environment.

Is Geography Right For Me?

Becoming a geographer is a great idea if:

  • You want to understand and influence the economic, political, and environmental forces that shape our world.
  • You like maps and want to make maps using cutting-edge technology to understand people and environments to make a difference.
  • You want to work at the intersection of science, technology, and policy in information technology; business; nonprofits; governments; or education.
  • You are passionate about issues of human and environmental justice, and sustainability.


Geographer Profile

Emily Dux (B.S. ’06) works as a partner manager with Cityworks.

Alex VR Arts Fest

Geography careers

Governments and businesses rely on geographers to research topics such as natural hazards, the use of resources, and climate change. For example, geographers’ analyses on population distribution and land use are important for infrastructure planning and development used by both governments and businesses.