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Background Info

Geographers study the Earth and its physical features, inhabitants, and cultural phenomenon.  They examine the physical and human characteristics of a region, ranging in scale from local to global, to explain an event or solve a problem. While many geographers have at least a bachelor’s degree in geography, many professionals, such as teachers, traffic consultants, and doctors, must also use geography in their jobs when examining specific challenges and solutions to issues. 

 

This geo-story introduces you to some of these folks who use geography.  Each story point includes images, a short bio, and an interactive mapping tool that allows you to see the regions where these people work.  From Africa to Eastern Europe to Asia to the Caribbean, geography is an integral component to how these professionals approach their work.

Fast Facts

  • Employment of geographers is expected to grow 35 percent from 2010 to 2020, much faster than the average for all occupations.
  • The median annual wage of geographers in the United States was $72,800 in May 2010.
  • According to a 2006 Roper Report, 74% of young Americans believe English is the most commonly spoken language around the world. English is actually the third most commonly spoken language in the world, after Mandarin Chinese and Spanish.
  • Colleges and universities in the United States play host to roughly 60 geography PhD programs, 90 masters programs, and over 200 undergraduate programs. However, these figures are increasing rapidly as student numbers have increased, geography programs have expanded, and new programs are launched.

For Further Exploration

Credits

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Writer

Ivey Wohlfeld

Editors

Alice Manning, National Geographic Society
Amy Grossman, National Geographic Society

Expert Reviewers

Mark H. Bockenhauer, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Geography, St. Norbert College
Ian Muehlenhaus, University of Minnesota

Producers

Tara Messing
Sean P. O'Connor, National Geographic Society

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