Why Study Geography?

The Benefits of Broadening Your Horizons

An Europe map at Shamrock, Texas, USA

Feifei Cui-Paoluzzo/Moment/Getty Images

The question of why one should study geography is a valid question. Many around the world do not understand the tangible benefits of studying geography. Many might think that those who study geography have no career options in the field because most people do not know anyone who has the job title of “geographer.”

Nonetheless, geography is a diverse discipline that can lead to a myriad of career options in areas ranging from business location systems to emergency management. 

Study Geography to Understand Our Planet

Studying geography can provide an individual with a holistic understanding of our planet and its systems. Those who study geography are better prepared to understand topics impacting our planet such as climate change, global warming, desertification, El Nino, water resource issues, among others. With their understanding of political geography, those who study geography are well-positioned to comprehend and explain global political issues that occur between countries, cultures, cities and their hinterlands, and between regions within countries. With instant global communications and media coverage of geopolitical hotspots around the world on twenty-four-hour news channels and on the Internet, the world might seem like it has gotten smaller. Yet centuries-old conflict and strife remain despite huge technological developments over the past few decades. 

Studying Geographical Regions

While the developed world has developed rather rapidly, the “developing” world, as disasters frequently remind us, has yet to benefit from many of those advances. Those who study geography learn about differences between world regions. Some geographers devote their studies and careers to learning and understanding a specific region or country of the world. They study the culture, foods, language, religion, landscape and all aspects of the region to become an expert. This type of geographer is desperately needed in our world for the better understanding of our world and its regions. Those who are experts in various “hotspot” regions of the world are certain to find career opportunities.

Being a Well-Educated Global Citizen

In addition to knowing about our planet and its people, those who choose to study geography will learn to think critically, research, and communicate their thoughts through writing and other means of communication independently. They will thus have skills that are valued in all careers.

Finally, geography is a well-rounded discipline that provides students not only with ample career opportunities but it also provides students with knowledge about our rapidly-changing world and how humans are impacting our planet. 

Importance of Geography 

Geography has been called "the mother of all sciences," it was one of the first fields of study and academic disciplines developed as humans sought to find out what was on the other side of the mountain or across the sea. Exploration led to the discovery of our planet and its amazing resources. Physical geographers study the landscapes, landforms, and the terrain of our planet while cultural geographers study out cities, our transportation networks, and our ways of life. Geography is a fascinating discipline that combines knowledge of many fields to help scientists and researchers better understand this amazing planet. 

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Rosenberg, Matt. "Why Study Geography?" ThoughtCo, Sep. 8, 2021, thoughtco.com/why-study-geography-1435605. Rosenberg, Matt. (2021, September 8). Why Study Geography? Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/why-study-geography-1435605 Rosenberg, Matt. "Why Study Geography?" ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/why-study-geography-1435605 (accessed March 21, 2023).