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’re bugged 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 look at the main reasons why:
1. You can choose from various Geography specialisations
Broadly speaking, the discipline of Geography is split into two main paths/approaches:
- Physical Geography: deals with the natural elements and the earth
- Human Geography: deals with the human impact and interaction with the environment
But on a closer look, you’ll discover other subdisciplines that allow students to focus even more on their interests. Here are a few of them:
2. You can study at the best Geography universities
According to the QS Ranking by TopUniversities, these are the best schools for Geography studies. And you, too, can be one of their prestigious graduates as long as you meet the admission requirements.
- University of Oxford, the UK
- The London School of Economics and Political Science, the UK
- University of Cambridge, the UK
- University of California, Berkeley (UCB), the 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:
- Geography ranking by Times Higher Education
- Geography ranking in the UK by the Complete University Guide
- Geography ranking in the US by Niche
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 varies based 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
- natural disasters
- socio-spatial inequality
And the list of examples could go on. The truth is, geographers 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 live on a beautiful blue planet, and it’s no wonder that some of us want to spend their life exploring it and learning as much as they can about the natural environment.
Just think about it for a second: from climates to different types of soil, from tall mountains to deep oceans, from boiling volcanoes to freezing poles — there’s so much to discover, learn, and understand.
Here are a few examples of Geography curiosities 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 the planet that spreads across 2 continents
- The moving rate of continents matches 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.
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 by studying Geography. In reality, these two areas complement each other very well. Geographers work with a wide range of geospatial technologies, including:
- 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?