Geography Paths to Success

The following are examples of course sequences that prepares students for specific jobs or careers

The following are common career paths that geography students pursue. Check out recommended courses, research opportunities, and internships that would help prepare for that job. Be sure to also seek the advice of Keri Canada, your Academic Success Coordinator, and professors to get help planning your future career success.

GIS Analyst

Besides taking the required courses for a Geography Major, the following are courses that particularly should be taken to prepare for GIS Analyst positions:

  • GR100 Introduction to Geography
  • GR220 Mapping, Cartography and Spatial Thinking
  • GR315 Quantitative Geographical Methods
  • GR323 Remote Sensing and Image Interpretation
  • GR420 Spatial Analysis with GIS
  • GR430 Land Change Science and Remote Sensing
  • GR431 Land Change Science Lab

A GIS analyst uses knowledge about geography, spatial analysis, and geographic information systems to answer spatial questions related to a variety of subject areas. Jobs in this category are found in urban and regional planning, park planning and park management, marketing, health services, engineering, local and state government (city, county, and state government, public safety, etc.), national government (State Department, US Agency for International Development, Department of Defense, USGS, US National Park Service), non-governmental organizations (CARE International, Center for International Forestry, and others), and international organizations (World Health Organization, World Bank, International Food Policy Research Institute, and others). Examples of groups who have hired students from CSU to work as GIS Analysts include Digital Globe (Westminster), CACI (Fort Collins), the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, and more.

Internships

Foreign Service Officer

Besides taking the required courses for a Geography Major, the following are courses that particularly should be taken to prepare for international related positions:

  • GR100 Introduction to Geography
  • GR102 Geography of Europe and the Americas
  • GR213 Climate Migrants
  • GR305 Geography of Global Health
  • GR320 Cultural Geography
  • GR330 Urban Geography
  • GR415 The Geography of Commodities
  • GR420 Spatial Analysis with GIS
  • GR440 Political Geography

A Foreign Service officer uses knowledge about human and physical geography to respond to spatial questions related to a variety of subject areas in the international arena. Jobs in this category are found in the State Department and US Agency for International Development.

Park Ranger

Besides taking the required courses for a Geography Major, the following are courses that particularly should be taken to prepare for Park Service or Conservation Science positions:

  • GR100 Introduction to Geography
  • GR220 Mapping, Cartography and Spatial Thinking
  • GR315 Quantitative Geographical Methods
  • GR323 Remote Sensing and Image Interpretation
  • GR342 Geography of Water Resources
  • GR345 Geography of Hazards
  • GR348 Biogeography
  • GR420 Spatial Analysis with GIS
  • GR430 Land Change Science and Remote Sensing
  • GR431 Land Change Science Lab
  • GR448 Forest Biogeography and Climate Change
  • GR410 Climate Change

A Park Ranger uses knowledge about human and physical geography to respond to spatial questions related to a variety of subject areas in park management and potentially other natural resource conservation work. Jobs in this category are found in the US National Park Service, State and City Park units.

Field Schools

Internships

High School Geography Teacher

Besides taking the required courses for a Geography Major, the following are courses that particularly should be taken to prepare for teaching positions:

  • GR100 Introduction to Geography
  • GR102 Geography of Europe and the Americas
  • GR213 Climate Migrants
  • GR220 Mapping, Cartography and Spatial Thinking
  • GR305 Geography of Global Health
  • GR320 Cultural Geography
  • GR330 Urban Geography
  • GR415 The Geography of Commodities
  • GR440 Political Geography

A high school geography teacher uses knowledge about human and physical geography to educate high school students, foster more knowledgeable citizens, and inspire interest in the field.  Jobs in this category are found in public and private school districts throughout the country. Examples of school districts that have hired students from CSU to work as teachers include Poudre School District and Thompson School District.

A teacher licensure will be required for undergraduate students interested in becoming a high school geography teacher. In addition to taking the required courses for a geography major, the following are courses that particularly should be taken to prepare for teaching positions: