Why Study Geography in 2021?

Do you wish to study Geography? If you fell in love with the world the moment you saw the first atlas or map of the world, it’s not surprising you’re interested in a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in Geography. You might also be the kind of person who knows most (if not all) of the capitals and country flags around the world.

But now you are bothered by this question: should you study Geography? Is it still worth applying for a Geography degree in 2021? The answer is yes, and let’s take a look at the main reasons why you should study Geography:

1. You can choose from various Geography specialisations

Broadly speaking, the discipline of Geography is split into two main paths/approaches:

  • Physical Geography: has to do with the natural elements and the earth
  • Human Geography: has to do with the human impact and interaction with the environment

But on a closer look, you’ll discover other sub-disciplines that allow students to focus even more on their interests. Here are a few of them:

  • Environmental Geography
  • Economic Geography
  • Cultural Geography
  • Geographical Information Systems

2. You can study Geography at the best Geography universities

In line with the QS Ranking by TopUniversities, listed below are the best schools to study Geography. And you too can be one of their prestigious graduates given that you satisfy the admission requirements.

  • University of Oxford, the UK
  • The London School of Economics and Political Science, UK
  • University of Cambridge, the UK
  • University of California, Berkeley (UCB), US
  • National University of Singapore (NUS), Singapore
  • University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), the US
  • The Australian National University, Australia
  • University of British Columbia, Canada
  • University College London (UCL), the UK
  • University of Toronto, Canada

Not happy with any of the options above? No worries. Other Geography rankings use different criteria, and their list might just include the right university for you to study Geography:

3. Geography jobs are well-paid and interesting

Geographers are in demand in a world that faces natural disasters, overpopulation, climate change and other challenges — and the importance of their work is also reflected in the income.

We’ve listed several of the most popular Geography jobs below, together with salary data from PayScale. You might also want to know that you’ll rarely have a boring day, as your work will be a combination of time spent in the office and time spent in the field (this fluctuates dependent on the job type).

  • Cartographer – 57,200 USD/year
  • Climate Change Policy Specialist – 49,900 USD/year
  • Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Specialist – 54,000 USD/year
  • Environmental Consultant – 57,900 USD/year
  • Hydrologist – 59,300 USD/year

4. Geography graduates help solve global challenges

Geographers can play an important role in helping humanity dealing with various challenges, including:

  • overall climate change
  • desertification
  • deforestation
  • natural disasters
  • socio-spatial inequality

And the list of examples could go on. The truth is, those who study Geography have a much broader perspective than environmental scientists, for example, and this perspective allows them to come up with ideas and solutions that are better aligned with the way nature works.

5. Satisfy your curiosity about the natural world

We reside on a beautiful blue planet, and it is no wonder that some of us wish to spend their life discovering it and learning as much as they can about the natural surroundings.

Just ponder on it for a second: from climates to various types of soil, from high mountains to deep oceans, from sweltering volcanoes to freezing poles — there’s so much to explore, learn, and understand.

Here are some examples of Geography oddities you will stumble upon:

  • Russia covers such a large territory that it is home to 11 different time zones
  • Istanbul is the only city on earth that extends across 2 continents
  • The moving rate of continents corresponds with the growth rate of human fingernails
  • The Australian continent is wider than the moon

6. You’ll become a better global citizen

Geography (especially Political Geography) offers people a broader perspective about their place in the world and the global interconnections between countries, regions, continents, and natural elements.

If you study Geography, you’ll understand how economies affect each other and why sustainable development is essential for the future of the environment and the future of human societies.

7. Work with geospatial technologies

You don’t need to give up your passion for technology if you study Geography. In reality, these two fields supplement each other very well. Geographers work with a broad range of geospatial technologies, comprising:

  • Geographical Information Systems (GIS)
  • Computer mapping
  • Satellite imagery
  • The Global Positioning System (GPS)
  • Navigation systems

And new implementations are developed constantly. The work of people at What3words is especially interesting, allowing people to share their exact location and find each other everywhere, including in areas without street names or other signs.

Are you ready to make your contribution?

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