Highly Desirable Transferable Skills
Alongside the varied knowledge you will learn, you will also develop a range of transferable skills that are highly desirable by potential employers. Many degrees help you develop transferable skills, but geography gives you a broad range of skills that will help you in any career path you choose to follow. Some examples of the skills you will develop with a geography degree include:
- Report writing and data presentation
Get A Grasp On Globalization
Globalization has been one of the biggest forces in world history for decades. The saying its a small world reflects this change: the world is as big as it always was, but its just more interconnected than ever. Understanding the changes that have swept the world as a result of this interconnection is impossible without appreciating the geography on which it is taking place.
Connecting With Space And Place
Geography is the study of places and the relationships between people and their environments. Geographers explore both the physical properties of Earths surface and the human societies spread across it. They also examine how human culture interacts with the natural environment and the way that locations and places can have an impact on people. Geography seeks to understand where things are found, why they are there, and how they develop and change over time.
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Activity 1 Views Of Geography
- Ask young people and some adults what they think learning geography involves.
- Ask adults about their views of geography now, as well as when they were learning it at school. What has led to their views?
- What are the most common responses?
- Were you surprised by any of the responses? Why?
Within the geography community there has long been a lively debate about the nature of geographical knowledge with views including, for example, those of:
- social constructivists
- social realists .
Positivists argue for a traditional content-driven, socially conservative curriculum in which knowledge is fixed and the objective is to induct the learner into the dominant knowledge traditions . By contrast, what vexes constructivists and realists is how best to help learners to develop structures and processes so that they can effectively make sense of the massive amount of geographical information available to them, pose questions, investigate issues, generate their own data and formulate and articulate their own opinions. Your view of geography matters in terms of what and how you teach. Furthermore the opinions of students will affect what and how they learn.
Dont Sweat The Small Countries Too Much
When youre studying geographyespecially if youre a beginnerdont worry about national borders too much. There are around 196 countries in the world, and memorizing every single one is a BIG challenge. Instead, focus on the larger and more news-making countries to start, and spend your deliberate learning energies on the more important geography facts outlined above.
Only once youve mastered the landscape itself should you start worrying more about political boundaries. As a bonus, youre going to have an easier time with political boundaries once you know the landscape: many political boundaries fall along the lines of rivers, mountain ranges, or other natural features.
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How To Learn Geography
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Learning geography can be a daunting task. Geography is such a broad subject that involves many different areas, and memorizing names of places without much context can seem tedious and difficult. However, mastering geography can give you a rich sense of accomplishment and help you know much more about the world that you live in. You may even find that you have a passion for traveling and learning about new cultures as a result of your study of geography!
What Is Physical Geography
- M.A., Geography, California State University – Northridge
- B.A., Geography, University of California – Davis
The vast discipline of geography is divided into two major branches: 1) physical geography and 2) cultural or human geography. Physical geography encompasses the geographic tradition known as the Earth sciences tradition. Physical geographers look at the landscapes, surface processes, and climate of the earthall of the activity found in the four spheres of our planet.
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Course Structure And Assessment Methods
An undergraduate-level geography degree will usually last three or four years, depending on the country of study, while masters programs take one or two years. Teaching methods will include lectures, seminars and field work, often involving extended trips to different locations. As geography is such a broad subject, students have the opportunity to choose from a wide variety of optional modules. This doesnt necessarily mean simply choosing between physical geography or human geography often its possible to combine elements of both. Assessment is based on exams, course work, and field work projects. At the end of the course, students are usually expected to write a dissertation on a topic of their choice.
Broad Choice Of Future Careers
Thanks to the transferable skills and academic knowledge you gain from studying geography at university, you will have an abundance of career paths to choose from. If you want to pursue a career directly related to your degree you could go on to become a cartographer, environmental manager, town planner or a secondary school teacher to name a few. Other careers you could look at pursuing include astronomer, landscape architect, international aid worker or meteorologist. You could look at working in the private or public sector, or for a charity or non-governmental organisation and work in industries such as property, environmental, international development, military, business and engineering as a few examples.
Geography is a highly employable degree, with 89% of Durham University geography graduates securing employment or going on to further study within six months of graduating .
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Geography Is Experiencing Somewhat Of A Boom
For a while geography was seen as somewhat daggy, to be overtaken by studies of the environment and sustainability however, these studies are now regarded as somewhat narrow. For example, you cannot understand or ameliorate climate change unless you have a strong understanding of the human dimensions of where and how people live. It is not enough to, for example, put in a third pipe for recycled water or install solar panels if the residents of the same area proceed to use far more energy and water resources than elsewhere, leading to extra runoff and greater drain on the grid to make up the shortfall. It is not just a physical set of problems but social ones that need broadly conceived solutions. It is this broader perspective that a geographer offers to those who care about, for example, climate change and how to address its challenges. So, across Australia, geography departments are increasingly being renamed with the G word in the title again and both elements of the discipline are being taught.
‘Geography is more than a study of people in their environments, but engages with contemporary problems and issues using an array of skills and a unique spatial perspective.’
Professor Louise Johnson,School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Deakin University
Prepare For The Future
Geographic skills guide important decisions every day. From architecture to politics to business, the physical landscape frames the debates happening today that will be in the history books tomorrow.
Thats why you should study geography. And remember that for a quick primer, check out Brainscape’s adaptive web & mobile Geography flashcards . They’re a fun, easy-to-use web/iOS app built around expert-curated flashcards that quiz you on countries, states, capitals, and more. You can use it on a phone, tablet, or on the web, and you can track your learning over time and even study with friends.
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What Degrees And Other Qualifications Do I Need Geography For
If you want to study Geography at university, youll almost certainly need to study it at A-level. Geography A-level is also required from some environmental science and planning courses.
According to the Russell Group, Geography A-level is useful for courses in: Archaeology, Civil Engineering, Geology and Sociology.
A GCSE or A-level in Geography could also be useful for apprenticeships in surveying, horticulture, agriculture, land based engineering or BTECs in environmental sustainability or environmental conservation, although it won’t always be required.
Where can I find out more?
What Do You Learn In A Geography Degree
Modules may include topics on rivers, sustainability, environmental modelling, the physical environment, the politics of climate change, the making of the modern city, political geography and geopolitics, economic geography, coastal and estuarine environments, environmental hazards and energy resources.
Geography degrees often include field trips, with institutions offering fieldwork in a range of different countries to immerse students in local environments so they can apply knowledge learned in class. Trips may also enhance independent research and group skills. Many units are based on assessments carried out as part of a field trip, while lots of universities have links with overseas institutions in order to widen the range of potential fieldwork destinations.
The study of geography hones observational and analytical skills, the ability to take in vast quantities of information and also think critically, and the capacity to understand continuity and change in a range of contexts based on a broad knowledge base.
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How To Switch Your Career To Geography
Geography professionals seeking a career change to a different job within the same field do not typically need to earn another degree unless their new job requires more advanced education. In most cases, professionals changing careers within geography only need specialized training or certification for their new job.
Professionals coming from other fields may need to earn another degree. These individuals should especially consider going back to school if their new job requires a graduate degree. Professionals coming from other fields should also strongly consider earning certification from a geography-related professional organization.
Training and courses in practical skills, such as GIS, can also be helpful.
What Careers Can I Do With Geography
According to the Royal Geographical Society, Geography graduates have some of the highest rates of graduate employment.
Geography is great for any kind of career that involves the environment, planning, or collecting and interpreting data. Popular careers for people with geography qualifications include: town or transport planning, surveying, conservation, sustainability, waste and water management, environmental planning, tourism, and weather forecasting.
The army, police, government, research organisations, law and business world also love the practical research skills that geographers develop.
Because geographers learn about human and population development, geography can be useful for jobs in charity and international relations too.
If you’re interested in pursuing a career in geography, check out our post Career Choices for Geography Students.
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How To Be Good At Geography
wikiHow is a wiki, similar to Wikipedia, which means that many of our articles are co-written by multiple authors. To create this article, 37 people, some anonymous, worked to edit and improve it over time. This article has been viewed 97,540 times.
Being good at geography is a useful and desirable skill, as well as fascinating in its own right. Here’s how to immerse yourself in geographical information so that you can’t help but become a master.
What Can I Do With My Geography Degree
The knowledge and skills gained by majoring in Geography position graduates for careers as geospatial analysts, planners, researchers, and teachers. Mary Washington alumni with degrees in Geography currently work for a range of federal agencies, local and state governments, industry leaders in geospatial technologies, and service organizations. In addition, many alumni have excelled in top graduate programs. Profiles of Geography Department alumni can be found on this page.
Common employers for geography majors include:
- Intelligence Agencies
- City, Regional, and State Planning Departments
- Environmental, Engineering, or Architectural Consultation Firms
- Manufacturing Firms
- Government Agencies
- Schools and Teaching
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Catastrophe Modeller Or Emergency Planner
Any job that combines the words catastrophe and model is bound to be pretty cool. Are you the type of person who prides themselves on planning for the worst and keeping cool in a crisis? Perhaps you’re fascinated by hurricanes, earthquakes and other natural hazards? You might make a perfect emergency planner or catastrophe modeller.
Emergency planners typically play a key role in planning for and responding to threats to public safety. By assessing risks, analysing data and carrying out safety exercises, emergency planners can help people prepare for acts of terrorism, natural disasters and global epidemics.
Catastrophe modellers, on the other hand, are responsible for using data and computer calculations to help insurance companies assess how much they stand to lose in the event of a natural disaster. If you’re good with numbers and enjoy working under pressure, this could be the career for you.
Why Study Environmental Geography
Environmental geography is the branch of geography that describes the spatial aspects of interactions between humans and the natural world. It requires an understanding of the dynamics of climatology, hydrology, biogeography, geology and geomorphology, as well as the ways in which human societies conceptualize the environment.
Environmental geography represents a critically important set of analytical tools for assessing the impact of human presence on the environment by measuring the result of human activity on natural landforms and cycles. This program draws on courses within physical geography, including a distinctive strand of courses dealing with environmental issues, resources and management. Teaching and learning methods are diverse, ranging from lectures and tutorials through to a variety of practical work in cartography, GIS, remote sensing and statistics.
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Space Vs Place Awareness
Studying geography helps us to have an awareness of a place. All places and spaces have a history behind them, shaped by humans, earth, and climate. Studying geography gives a meaning and awareness to places and spaces. It also helps students with spatial awareness on the globe. Understanding direction and where things are in the world is still a vital skill, despite having easy access to this information online.
- Physical Geography: This is the study of the physical makeup of a land. It can include climate, landforms, soil and growth, bodies of waters, and natural resources.
- Human Geography: Human geography, on the other hand, includes the study of people and culture and how they are distributed across the globe.
Teaching The Five Themes Of Geography
As many of my long-time readers know, I spent time as a K-12social studies teacher and as a professor of social studies education. Duringthis time, one of my favorite things to teach was thefive themes of geography. The five themes of geography are location, place,human-environment interaction, movement, and region.
These themes were developed in 1984 by the National Councilfor Geographic Education and the Association of American Geographers to organizeand facilitate the instruction of geography in K-12. While they have been replacedby the NationalGeography Standards, I still think they provide an excellent way to promotethe teaching of geography. If I were still teaching social studies, I would useboth. Since come of you may not be familiar with the five themes of geography,lets discuss them.
A brief discussion of each the five themes of geography
Location Location pertains to a place or position.The instruction of geography usually begins with location. Location can be twokinds: absolute location and relative location. Absolute location is defined usingits exact address . Relative location describes where aplace is in relation to other locations.
Place Place pertains to the physical and human attributesor characteristics of a location. This concept allows us to compare andcontrast two places on Earth. The place theme of geography illustrates clear imageof a place in the minds of the learners.
Why do students need to learn the five themes ofgeography?
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Geography Careers In Academia
Alternatively, you may choose to pursue a career as an academic in a higher education institution. This usually requires that you have successfully completed a PhD, or at least a research-based masters degree. Academic geography careers typically combine independent or collaborative research projects with lecturing, teaching and supervision of undergraduate and graduate students. You may have opportunities to collaborate with academics based at other institutions across the world, and to contribute to papers and books in your field of specialization.
How To Start Your Career In Geography
A geography degree provides valuable skills in data collection, analysis, and research. Geographers examine qualitative and quantitative information to understand the earth, its land, and the distribution of populations. The skills gained during a geography degree prepare graduates for multiple geography careers, depending on their degree level and interests.
Professionals with a bachelor’s in geography can pursue careers in cartography, surveying, research, and data analysis. With a master’s degree, graduates can work as geographers, survey researchers, and urban planners.
Pursuing a certification or minoring in a related area like environmental science, urban planning, or public health can help geography majors expand their career opportunities.
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Why Pursue A Career In Geography
Careers with a geography degree offer the opportunity to work indoors or outdoors. Geographers and survey and mapping technicians spend time out in the field collecting data and studying the land. Careers like postsecondary teacher include more desk work and less time spent outdoors.
Geography students need excellent analytical thinking skills and attention to detail. Some geography professionals work alone, while others work as part of a team, meaning students should develop the ability to both work individually and compromise with others.
Careers for a geography major also require a deep understanding of the earth and how humans interact with it.