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Related Skills

  • Strong writing and speaking skills
  • Ability to examine data and conduct field studies
  • Using technical tools to survey and sample
  • Ability to use statistical applications
  • Ability to communicate to different cultures
  • Good research skills and management skills
  • Maintain records and utilize them in projects
  • Develop project designs
  • Ability to work independently
  • Desire to help and influence mankind
  • Keen interest in the natural and social sciences
  • Computer knowledge is becoming extremely important in geography.  Obtain experience with geographic information systems.
  • Develop strong mathematical and statistical skills.
  • Develop skills and interest in mapping, graphics, and charts. An interest in photography may prove beneficial.
  • Develop good communication skills.

Being Successful in the Field

  • Bachelor's degree qualifies you for entry-level positions in government and industry.
  • Master's degree qualifies you for community college teaching and advancement in industry and government.
  • Ph.D. is required for research and teaching positions in colleges and universities and senior positions in government and industry.
  • Obtain volunteer, part-time, summer, internship, or co-op experience in your area of interest.
  • Join professional organizations such as the American Geography Society or the National Council for Geographic Education.
  • Become a member of groups directed toward improvement of natural resources or environment and pollution control.
  • Maintain knowledge of current environmental issues including policy, conservation, and industry trends.

Related Fields

Here are some employers of recent geography graduates from Illinois State:


  • Esri
  • State Farm Insurance
  • Dow AgroSciences
  • Archer Daniels Midland (ADM)
  • Integrys Energy Services
  • Roadview Inc.
  • GIS Solutions
  • Earlybird Feed and Fertilizer
  • PAQ Interactive
  • Cloudpoint Geographics

Federal, state, and local governments

  • Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
  • National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA)
  • Illinois Department of Transportation
  • City of Moline
  • Forest Preserve District of DuPage County
  • McLean County Regional Planning Commission
  • North Central Illinois Council of Governments
  • Village of South Elgin
  • Village of Shorewood
  • City of Chesterfield, Missouri
  • Illinois Department of Revenue
  • DuPage County GIS
  • Illinois State Treasurer

Nonprofits and organizations

  • Illinois State Geological Survey
  • Illinois Water Survey
  • McLean County Museum of History


  • Boylan Catholic High School
  • Elgin School District U46
  • Naperville Park District
  • Olympia Community Unit School District 16
  • Peotone Community School District 207-U
  • Consolidated High School District 230
  • Lincoln-Way Community High School District 210
  • Ball-Chatham Community Schools

Career Industry Liaison

Name Office Email Phone
Debbie Ungson-Walbert  223 Bone Student Center  (309) 438-2200 

Internship Coordinator

Name Office Email Phone
RJ Rowley  200C Felmley  (309) 438-7832