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Geography/Cartography Online Degrees

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Hi everyone,

I've been scouring the internet all day trying to find an accredited university that offers some sort of geography undergrad degree program online and haven't had any luck. Does anyone know of any schools off hand?

I've decided that I'm tired of going to a job that I hate and that I owe it to myself to do something I love. As luck would have it Garmin is not more than 10 minutes down the street from me so I've decided I'm going to go back to school and get my degree. It's been 13 years since I've sat in a classroom and after taking some online courses through my current company (totally unrelated - time management courses, delegating to others, things of that nature) it turns out I'm definitely an internet course kind of student.

All of that said, I'm also open to any advice anyone has on going back to school when you're 31.




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Welcome to cartotalk and geography! :)
I don't know about undergrad degrees, but Penn State offers a masters degree program online.
Good luck in your quest!

Dave Barnes
Map Geek

Eric Wolf

Eric Wolf


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Here's what I did:

2002: Returned school at age 32. Had two years in already - about twelve years before.
2004: Finished BS in Applied Math (the shortest course of study to a BS) from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
2006: Finished MS in GIS online from Northwest Missouri State (nwmissouri.edu) while working as the GIS Support Geek at UTC.
Currently: Phd Student at University of Colorado at Boulder under Barbara Buttenfield.

Your mileage may vary, but I highly recommend a similar path. Nowadays a 4-year degree is not worth much. You need at least a Masters. Go to the closest, cheapest school you can to crank through the Bachelor's. Then you have a choice: CU-Denver (in Civil Engineering), NWMSU, and PennState all offer an online Master's in GIS. I think there may be one more - maybe at U of Redlands or San Diego State.

Important distinctions:

CU-Denver is an Master of Engineering and has some steep prerequisites. The program is designed for engineers.
PennState is a project-based course that might not be viewed favorably if you want to go beyond the Master's. But it does offer a great curriculum and stellar faculty.
NWMSU is cheap - even for out-of-staters and it's a thesis-based MS that qualifies for all PhD programs and to teach at the community-college level.

As an adult student, you'll have a much more pragmatic approach to school that the kids around you. That'll keep coming back at you. But you'll find that most online-only programs are mostly non-traditional students like you.




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Have you talked to anyone at Garmin yet? You might call and ask for an informational interview. Find out what kind of positions are available and what training programs they recommend. You'll likely make some good contacts and they will remember you when you're ready to apply for a position. You might even be able to start working there part-time based on your other business experience, you never know unless you ask.

Good luck!


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