Master of Arts Concentrations
The Department of Geography at Western Michigan University offers the following concentrations:
- Community development and planning - This area of concentration prepares students for careers as urban and regional planners, land use planners, transportation planners, county planners, zoning administrators and other planning related careers in local and regional governments. This concentration also prepares students for careers in the private sector where planning consultant firms carry out substantial work on contract for public agencies. In these latter agencies, students may bring specialized skills to planning activities because of the specialization of the firm.
- Environmental and resource analysis - This concentration prepares students for careers as environmental or groundwater analysts with
- Local health departments, state agencies like the Michigan Department of Natural Resources or Michigan Department of Environmental Quality
- Federal agencies like the Bureau of Land Management, Environmental Protection Agency, National Park Service, Forest Service, Army Corps of Engineers, Geological Survey, or Soil Conservation Service.
Many environmental and resource analysis careers are located in the private sector too, in consulting firms or resource development/analysis corporations.
- Geographic techniques - This concentration prepares students for careers either wholly or partly involved in developing, training, or applying geographic information science methodologies.
Career opportunities have been growing explosively in both government (local, regional, state and federal) and the private sector. As a result of the current fiscal problems in local, regional and state government, we can expect employment opportunities to slow there. However, there are still many opportunities in the private sector within many kinds of agencies. The long-term outlook for careers related to geographic information science is extremely promising.
To enhance your future career, you should spend as much time in the geographic information science labs as possible experimenting with our state-of-the-art software. This is because each Geographic Techniques course gives you about 30 hours of lecture and 30 hours of lab exposure. This is barely more than a single in-service training course offered by companies, and the software has so many useful options one cannot explore them all in such a short time.
See additional information on the Master of Arts in Geography.