Starting a career as a geographer will make you a professional in studying the earth and its components. This field is divided into categories such as physical geography and human geography. As a geographer, you will understand the different aspects of the earth such as the physical and human environments. Additionally, you will study how these environments shape and influence each other. Starting a career as a geographer will allow you to use your skills in planning and developing the environment.


The field of geography is a broad one. A career as a geographer can allow you to work in many types of positions such as instructor, professor and researcher. Before you can become a geographer, there are crucial steps you must follow. You need to have the right education and skills to excel in this career path. Therefore, you must know the required education and skills for this career path.


In this piece, I will guide you through the steps as well as the skills that are needed to pursue a career as a geographer


Steps to Start a Career as a Geographer

  1. Complete your Secondary Education

    You must obtain an O’level certificate as this is a major requirement for pursuing your career. Additionally, you need to have a minimum of credits in science-related subjects.

  2. Obtain a Bachelor’s Degree

    You should apply to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Geography or a related field. This will give you the foundational knowledge you need in pursuing this career. Additionally, you gain the required skills and research experiences to further your career pursuit.

  3. Gain Practical Experience

    While you are obtaining your degree, you apply for entry-level positions or volunteer opportunities to get some hands-on experience. You can also apply for an internship or research assistant position. These experiences will give you the right exposure to real-world applications. Secondly, it will help you to build a network of professionals in this field.

  4. Develop Technical Skills

    You must work on enhancing your technical skills as you learn more about your field and get experience. As a geographer, there are certain software and tools that you must familiarise yourself with. It would be best if you familiarised yourself with GIS software such as ArcGIS, QGIS etc. Additionally, you should learn how to carry out mapping, visualisation and data analysis.

  5. Pursue a Master’s Degree

    After obtaining your bachelor’s degree, you should begin working towards a master’s degree. A master’s program can last for a year to three years depending on the degree you are pursuing.

  6. Obtain a Doctorate Degree

    If you want to work in more advanced roles such as lecturing, you should consider getting a doctorate after completing your master’s program. Doctoral programs normally last between four to five years.

  7. Pursue Certifications

    This is not a major requirement for geographers. However, obtaining professional certifications can help you stand out from other candidates. Therefore, you can obtain professional certifications such as the Geographic Information Systems Professional(GISP).

  8. Join Professional Organizations

    You can join professional organizations and geographer associations can offer networking opportunities, access to conferences and workshops, and the latest research in the field. Additionally, these organizations can also provide mentorship and guidance for your career.

  9. Build a Portfolio

    As you gain experience, you should start building a portfolio showcasing your projects, research, and GIS mapping skills. You include samples of things such as samples of maps, reports, and other relevant work. A strong portfolio can make you stand out when applying for jobs or further education.

Skills that a Geographer should have

  1. Analytical skills
  2. Communication skills
  3. Computer skills
  4. Critical-thinking skills
  5. Writing skills

Types of Geographers

  1. Human Geographers

    These geographers concentrate on the spatial connections and trends of human behaviour in communities and cultures. They research issues such as migration, urbanisation, population distribution, economic activity, social as well as cultural landscapes, and political systems.

  2. Cultural Geographers

    Cultural geographers study how people interact with their cultural environments. Additionally, they investigate issues related to place attachment, cultural diffusion, cultural identity, and the effects of globalization on cultural diversity.

  3. Physical Geographers

    They study the earth’s physical features and processes. These professionals focus on topics such as geomorphology, climatology, biogeography, and environmental change.

  4. Economics Geographers

    Economic geographers research the geographical distribution of economic activity, such as the locations of industries, trade routes, and gaps in economic development. Additionally, they examine variables like market accessibility, resource availability, globalisation, and transportation infrastructure that affect economic behaviour.

  5. Urban Geographers

    Urban geographers are concerned with the study of cities and urban areas. Additionally, they research urban development, land use, urban planning, transportation systems, social and economic issues in urban areas, and the effects of urbanisation on society and the environment.

Universities in Africa that Offer Geography

  1. University of Cape Town, South Africa
  2. Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Nigeria
  3. University of Cape Coast, Ghana
  4. Mansoura University, Egypt
  5. University of Ilorin, Nigeria
  6. Cadi Ayyad University, Morocco
  7. University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
  8. Ahmadu Bello University, Nigeria
  9. University of Ibadan, Nigeria
  10. Cairo University, Egypt
  11. Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria
  12. University of Nairobi, Kenya
  13. Kwame Nkrumah University of Science of Technology, Ghana
  14. University of Botswana, Botswana
  15. Nelson Mandela University, South Africa
  16. University of Nigeria, Nigeria
  17. Covenant University, Nigeria
  18. University of Lagos, Nigeria
  19. Rhodes University, South Africa
  20. University of Sousse, Tunisia
  21. Federal University of Technology, Akure, Nigeria
  22. Benha University, Egypt
  23. University of Sciences and Technology Houari Boumediene, Algeria
  24. Tunis University, Tunisia
  25. University of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe
  26. University of the Western Cape, South Africa
  27. Makerere University, Uganda
  28. University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
  29. Zagazig University, Egypt
  30. Assiut University, Egypt
  31. Sokoine University of Agriculture, Tanzania
  32. University of Lagos, Nigeria
  33. Menoufia University, Egypt
  34. Tshwane University of Technology, South Africa
  35. Covenant University, Nigeria
  36. Cheikh Anta Diop University, Senegal
  37. Bahir Dar University, Ethiopia
  38. University of Sousse, Tunisia
  39. University of Carthage, Tunisia
  40. Jimma University, Ethiopia


In Conclusion, pursuing a career as a geographer can be an exciting journey. This career will equip you with skills that will enable you to explore various career paths. With the right skills and education, you can explore career paths such as researching and working in academia. However, you need to build the skills and knowledge that will enable you to function effectively as a geographer.


Good luck!

Click to discover an extensive list of local and international schools offering courses and programs in various career path
Share This Post: If you think this post can be helpful to somebody else, please share it using the buttons below!