To many school students all over the country, Geography is simply a lesson to be got through. That’s a great pity, because in reality it’s so much more. If you study Geography to university level, you’ll understand far more than most about the world — not just physically, but also about many of the major events going on around us, from international politics to climate change. And not only understand. A Geography degree can give you excellent career prospects.
What Does Geography Cover?
According to the old saying, Geography is “about maps”. Yes, studying and creating maps of many types is an important part of Geography, but there’s far more to it than that. In fact, the various aspects of Geography cover the entire gamut of academic study, from humanities and social sciences right through to the physical sciences.
So what are you likely to study as a Geographer? Here are just a few:
· Industries and their effects on the local and global economy.
· Patterns of agriculture, along with their challenges and changing demands.
· Populations and their distribution, including migration patterns, with all the political implications of this.
· Climate patterns, crucially including understanding climate change.
· Urban development and ways to make urban environments more sustainable.
· Environmental issues and their relationship with land use and population.
This is merely scratching the surface. In addition, Geography is a perfect subject to combine with others, such as economics, politics or earth sciences. Even if your main interest lies in the other subject, you’ll have a much fuller understanding of it from studying Geography.
What Are Your Career Prospects from Studying Geography?
A recent study by the Institute for Fiscal Studies found that starting salaries for Geography graduates were higher than the average for graduates in all subjects. This is particularly true for female graduates, whose starting salary was on average 10% higher. There’s a wide range of potential career paths for a Geography graduate. Directly relevant careers include cartographer, town planner or environmental manager, among many others, but a Geography degree would be an advantage for a great many careers, including meteorology, property or international aid.
Perhaps most importantly, your Geography degree could provide the perfect opportunity to combine with scientists working on climate change and sustainability. Besides these being fast-growing sectors, you’ll also have the opportunity to make a difference to the future of the planet.
What Skills Will a Geography Student Learn?
Quite apart from the specific job opportunities that studying Geography offers, it also provides the chance to develop skills that will be a benefit in many areas of your life. For example, you’ll learn to think spatially, which will give you an advantage in both employment and leisure activities, as well as being able to develop reasoned arguments and critical thought. You’ll increase your ability to consider moral and ethical issues and to think empathically. In addition, since studying Geography will involve fieldwork in a wide range of locations, you’ll gain a wider appreciation of the variety of landscapes, peoples and cultures that make up our world.
If this sounds great to you, you’ll need to make sure you get good results in GCSE and A-level Geography. Your school might not be able to give you the individual attention necessary for this, but a private tutor will. Register with TutorExtra to find out more about Geography tutors.