When you say geography people often think maps, and nowadays that map is probably on your phone in the form of ‘google maps’. But beyond the mockery of ‘it’s just colouring in’ or ‘it’s about just about rocks’ is a seriously valuable subject.
How valuable you ask? A recent article by The Huffington Post which looked into research done by leading management consultants Deloitte describes how the tech giants in silicon valley are increasingly looking for people with a social science or a liberal arts background. The days of requiring hundreds of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) graduates are waning, as a smaller number of people and the help of some very powerful machines are increasingly filling the roles they do.
As organisations look for people who can explain complex ideas in a way that’s more easily digestible they look to those from social sciences. As a geography graduate I do carry some bias, but I truly believe it is a subject that gives you a very broad understanding of the world we live in. Having studied aspects of economics, politics, anthropology, sociology, philosophy and environmental science as part of my human geography degree it’s not difficult to see why employers think geography graduates are the most well rounded.
I’m a firm believer in the idea that university should teach you how to think not teach you what to think, being analytical in one’s approach and being able to critically debate are skills which will be useful in almost any profession. Even more so when you can debate some of the critical challenges facing our planet, with a level of sophistication and dexterity few other subjects offer. The opportunity to conduct research in teams and individually gives you a sound understanding of project management and group dynamics, all of which are paramount for success in work.
But outside of the benefits to employment Geography is a subject that allows you to travel within your mind, and to understand the people and places that make our world so fascinating. Whether it’s looking at a river in Aberystwyth, Wales or speaking to the Polish diaspora in New York I’ve found the challenge of trying to better understand the connection between people and the environment a rewarding one.
I hope more people continue to study Geography and continue to push the subject to new heights, the scope is massive and there is already so much great work from teachers and students at all levels. Whilst the school system gives you a great grounding and a taste for both human and physical geography it will be University where one can truly explore their interests. I believe anyone can be inspired to study Geography, as there is something for everyone.
I hope as a tutor I can inspire students to find and pursue their passion within the subject, and enable them to develop the tools and knowledge to understand the world we live in from a truly holistic position.