Geography is the discipline of the 21st century

In an intensely brilliant editorial, The (U.K.) Guardian newspaper proclaims “A star is born.”  And that star is the ancient but dynamic field of Geography.   [The Guardian view on geography: it’s the must-have A-level]

As the editorial states, ‘…in a world that increasingly values people who can work across the physical and social sciences, geography’s all the rage.’   In the UK, 13% more took the subject at A-level (a school exit exam) this year than last, the biggest jump of any of the major subjects.  There are good career opportunities at the end of these studies: according to UK government data,  only 5.8% of geography graduates were still job-hunting six months after they graduated, against an average of 7.3%

Although speaking about Britain, the editorial speaks some universal truths about Geography being the ‘it’ discipline for our times.  Quoting from the editorial:

It is inherently multidisciplinary in a world that increasingly values people who have the skills needed to work across the physical and social sciences.

Geographers get to learn data analysis, and…geographic information systems (GIS)

They can turn maps from a two-dimensional representation of a country’s physical contours into a tool that illustrates social attributes or attitudes: not just where people live, but how, what they think and how they vote.

They learn about the physics of climate change, or the interaction of weather events and flood risk, or the way people’s behaviour is influenced by the space around them


All these are not just intrinsically interesting and valuable. They also encourage ways of seeing and thinking that make geographers eminently employable.

Yes, it is true.  With the proper education, including strong doses of GIS and spatial data analysis, geographers get jobs!  And there are few places better to receive this education than the Department of Geography at The Ohio State University.   For over a century, OSU Geography has been one of the top five Geography program in North America.  We have also been ranked in the top tier of Geography programs for spatial careers.

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