A career in geography

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You might not realise it but geography plays a huge part in our everyday lives. Geographers help to find the oil and gas that heat our homes and their mapping skills enable the emergency services to get to us as quickly as possible. They protect the environment around us, and even send us on our holidays.

Geography is one of the few subjects that combines both social science (human geography) and earth science (physical geography). And, as the case studies in this book reveal, because geography teaches you many different skills, there's a range of possible careers to follow.

What's more, many careers covered in this book are in growth areas. The potential uses of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are virtually limitless, while protecting the environment and helping to build a more sustainable society are issues which are high on many Government agendas. In addition, we are taking more exotic, foreign holidays now than ever before.

Careers in geography also offer scope for travel themselves. Many geologists employed by energy companies work abroad, while the work of oceanographers and overseas development workers can take them anywhere in the world.

There are educational openings too. As well as teaching the subject to budding geographers, there are opportunities to work in field studies centres which combine the skills of management and teaching with an infectious enthusiasm for geography.

Many of the jobs in geography have a strong scientific element to them and as such entry is often with a first or even second degree. However, many may also offer the opportunity to enter at a lower level and work your way up.

As for skills, working in geography requires an enquiring mind, all-around awareness, good teamwork skills, and a well-developed sense of environmental and social awareness.

Geography is about rivers, people, mountains, maps, cities, and oceans – so it's no surprise that there's a world of careers out there waiting to be explored.

Modified: 16 June 2013

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