How does climate change come about? Are natural disasters really happening more often than they used to be? Is it possible to switch completely to alternative energies soon? Anyone who believes that geography is limited to memorizing cities, countries and rivers is mistaken. The subject deals with our environment in all its facets . This includes not only the earth’s surface, natural events or climatic zones, but also the effects of human activity on nature.
Geographers research the consequences of demographic change or how mega-cities are developing. With their extensive knowledge, they make a decisive contribution to solving current ecological, economic and social issues .
The subject geography – an overview
According to topmbadirectory, geography is at the interface between natural and social sciences . The course is accordingly divided into scientifically oriented physical geography and sociological anthropogeography . It depends on the research focus of the universities, which of these sub-areas is more in focus in the course.
More than sixty universities offer geography as a subject. In some cases, there is the option of enrolling for a two-subject bachelor’s degree or choosing a further main subject to focus on specific areas. At other universities or technical colleges, students choose two minor subjects in order to sharpen their professional profile. Useful combination subjects are, for example, economics , political science or cartography. There is also the option of studying geography as part of a teacher training course . The structure of the teacher training course differs in the individual federal states. Information on this is available from the respective state ministries and universities.
In the bachelor’s degree, the first step is usually to introduce you to both areas of geography. In physical geography , students answer questions such as:
- What surface forms are there on our planet?
- What are the characteristics of the different climatic zones?
- How is the water distributed on and below the surface of the earth?
In human geography , they learn, for example,
- how social inequalities arise or
- what effects migration flows have on our environment.
Parallel to the theoretical lessons, the students also practice dealing with various practical working methods in geography. For example, they take soil samples and record spatial data with the help of geographic information systems.
In the higher semesters , the budding geographers specialize in one sub-area. The universities offer focal points such as “Leisure, Tourism and Environment” or “Human-Environment Relationships”. Modules in related subjects such as economics or landscape ecology complete the curriculum.
Anyone who intends to work as a teacher later will complete the Master of Education after completing their bachelor’s degree and then begin their legal clerkship. But a master’s degree is also ideal for those who want to qualify for management positions in business or for a career in science . More than eighty percent of all geography students graduate with at least a master’s degree.
A master’s program offers the opportunity to deepen and expand the knowledge acquired in the bachelor’s degree. As a rule, students specialize in one area of focus. Depending on what the university offers, this can be physical geography, human geography or economic geography, for example.
Studying geography – requirements
Geography students not only have a weakness for natural sciences , they are also interested in social science content . Good cards are those who already had good grades in physics , mathematics , geography and social sciences at school. A sound knowledge of English is also helpful, as some of the study literature is only available in English.
Occupational fields for geographers
The geography course, like many social and natural sciences, does not provide training for a specific profession. This does not apply to student teachers who mostly go to school after completing their master’s degree. Everyone else has to show a lot of initiative when looking for a suitable job . This includes completing internships during your studies in order to gain practical qualifications and to find out about possible occupational fields. The wide range of content in the subject can also be seen as an advantage, as the graduates have access to a wide variety of work areas.
Geographers work, for example, in offices for spatial planning and environmental protection. There they manage nature reserves or, as landscape planners, check the quality of soils and waters. They also pursue activities in urban planning and, in this context, develop usage concepts for open spaces.
In the tourism industry , geographers work for tourist offices and associations for tourism. Or they take on advisory functions in private companies and take care of location planning, for example. In the area of economic development , for example, they are responsible for the marketing of commercial space. Activities in the real estate industry are also possible. Geographers are redesigning various areas here or freeing the soil from contaminated sites.
Geographers also find jobs in the logistics industry : Here, for example, they take care of the optimization of transport routes. Geographers also find a field of activity in publishing houses and institutes for market research .
Those who move abroad have the chance to find their field of activity in development cooperation. Here you work, for example, on projects for the supply of food and drinking water or on measures to protect the environment. Quite a few graduates stay at universities and research institutes and embark on a scientific career after completing their doctorate.
Advantages of studying geography abroad
In order to qualify for the future world of work, a study visit to another country is extremely useful. One or two semesters abroad give you the opportunity to study regional geographic features on site and thus expand your specialist knowledge. But also the intercultural skills and foreign language skills gained during a study abroad are welcome qualifications on the highly competitive job market.