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factors affecting the future demand for geography teachers. In one district in Minnesota, three-quarters of the secondary social studies teachers are in their 50s and are looking forward to early retirement. In other areas, the demographics do not allow for rapid turnover of the work force. A related concern among many coordinators is that institutional inertia will not permit rapid growth. Their perception is that social studies education traditionally has been dominated by historians who would not readily cede control of personnel and curriculum to geographers.
On the basis of this survey, we do not expect that the demand for geography degree holders will increase significantly in the short and midterm, as a result of geographic education initiatives. Geographic Alliance activities, along with national-level geographic education initiatives, will almost certainly result in a higher visibility for geography within the curriculum and in more geography courses being offered, but most of this material and most of the courses will be taught, at least in the short run, by transfers from other fields. The full and widespread implementation of the National Geography Standards, if it occurs, would have a deeper and more long-lasting effect on the long-term labor market for geography teachers.
Bureau of Labor Statistics Projections
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) forecasts employment change to the year 2005 by occupational and industrial classifications. Unfortunately, geographers do not fit easily into the established classification systems. BLS separates teachers into elementary, secondary, and college and university faculty but does not distinguish among academic disciplines or even between sciences and social sciences. The category of urban and regional planners captures geographers who are urban and regional planners and transportation planners, but environmental planners are grouped, for statistical purposes, with architects. GIS/remote sensing specialists are put into a large group of systems analysts and computer scientists. Cartographers are classified with surveyors but comprise a small proportion of the total category. Environmental managers/technicians are poorly defined by the very heterogeneous categories of "other physical scientists" (for managers) and "other engineering technicians" (for technicians).
Nevertheless, we looked at the BLS data to gain a broad understanding of future employment trends in those job classifications in which geographers are clustered (Table 5). BLS forecasts total employment growth between 1992 and 2005 using low, moderate, and high employment growth scenarios. For the national economy as a whole, moderate projections call for all occupations to grow by 22%. Professional and technical jobs involving high levels of skill and education are expected to grow faster than average. There is an enormous range in projected growth in the job classes frequented by geographers. That the class of systems analysts and computer scientists will experience the fastest growth fits with all the other evidence that we have collected pointing to GIS as a high-growth specialty within geography. In contrast, the class of surveyors, which contains cartographers, is expected to grow slowly, although it is questionable whether geographer/cartographers, who are much more closely related to GIS graduates than to surveyors, are truly represented in this category.
Projected employment growth is higher than average in the "other physical science" category in which our environmental managers are classified. Environmental legislation such as the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Superfund Act, Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, and National Environmental Policy Act spawned new environmental regulations. These regulations, in turn, promulgated a new industry of environmental regulators working at various levels of government and environmental consultants helping the private sector to meet the regulations. At the same time, the number of urban and regional planners and architects is expected to grow at about the national average.
Higher than average growth is predicted for secondary teachers as a whole, and geography's favorable position relative to national education trends implies that this may be another growth area for new geographers. We need, however, to temper any optimism in this regard with all the caveats raised by Geographic Alliance Coordinators in assessing the future