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The subject we all liked at school - Geography - is now a world-beater
21 May 2022 Posted by 

The subject we all liked at school - Geography - is now a world-beater

DALLAS SHERRINGHAM
GEOGRAPHY has been a favorite subject for generations of Australian students, but it has never been recognised as a viable career path or a vital subject – until now.
According to Deakin University, Geography now has huge potential for students who aspire to a career in the field.
In fact, if you are interested in pursuing a career in an area that genuinely makes a difference to the world we live in, you well should consider Geography.
 
From understanding everything from how and why volcanos are formed to the impact of overcrowding in urban areas, Geographers are integral to help find solutions to some of the biggest issues in the world, such as climate change, urban over-development and natural disasters.
 
Drawing on many other related disciplines geography offers a broad range of career outcomes and, with the increasing global focus on the issues geographers are equipped to address, employment opportunities are growing exponentially.
 
Professor Louise Johnson from Deakin University’s School of Humanities and Social Sciences said there were many reasons why studying Geography could lead to a rewarding and successful career.
 
More to Geography than you think
 
“Contemporary Geography is much less about where places are, though this is useful knowledge, but the ways in which physical and social processes differentiate the earth. It therefore splits into physical Geography where you learn about geo-physical processes such as plate tectonics, soil formation and climate, and Human Geography where you would consider the ways economies, cultures and societies create very different places. 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,” Ms Johnson said.
 
Geography is experiencing  a boom
 
“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 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.”
 
“'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.”
 
Employment prospects are vast
 
“Geography graduates can go into a range of occupations and areas of further study. In particular, Human Geography leads directly into urban and regional planning, which can occur within governments but also in the private sector. Skills acquired in Geography can also be marketed on their own – such as cartographic maps, Geographic Information Systems  such as Google maps and data presentation skills – into these same organisations,” Ms Johnson said.
 
“Many Geographers are employed in major consulting firms, conducting innovative social research. They are also training further in urban and regional planning. There is also of course teaching, as the discipline is taught once more in primary and secondary schools.
 
“Physical Geographers, who are also often involved in environmental management/consulting, can and do go into parks and other forms of nature management, as well as advise on climate change adaption in the public and private sectors.’
Geographers truly make a difference 
 
“Geography is enormously important because it teaches a spatial perspective that is not available in any other discipline. It is also uniquely synthetic, bringing together the physical dimensions of the environment with the human side of things and, in this exercise, can offer unique and vital solutions to many of the local and more global problems – of uneven development, socio-spatial inequality and building sustainable environments.
 
“There are also tools that are unique to the discipline, such as Geographic Information Systems and cartography, as well as others around “reading” landscapes and data presentation, which make it uniquely placed to assist in analysing and addressing local, regional and global problems.”


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Michael Walls
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