What’s the point of studying geography?

Geography is the study of our planet and includes everything from the movement of tectonic plates through to the composition of our cities and towns.

We think you’ll use geography in a heap of careers, but here are five key ones you’ll need geography for:

  1. Urban Planner
  2. Nurse
  3. Border Security
  4. Travel Agent
  5. Mining Engineer

Most children start out by learning about where they are from, which means they explore their local area and things like its climate, density, landscape, and links to other places. Over time, we expand outwards and learn about what things are like in different places around the world, which means that by the time students leave school they have an awareness of the diversity of our planet.

Studying geography teaches us critical enquiry skills, which can help us both in our lives and also at work.

Here are five careers that use the skills they gained from geography:

Urban Planner

Governments employ urban planners who help make decisions about what changes should be made in our cities and towns, and they work on everything from the location for new hospitals and schools, through to deciding which streets should have apartments and which ones should have homes. They use their geographic understanding of place to inform their decisions, and the skills they learn in geography class are the foundation for their future studies.


Medical professionals, including nurses, work with a huge range of different people from different places, and they use their understanding of cultural diversity to make sure they are meeting the needs of their patients. Something that may be appropriate in one culture may not be ok in another, and nurses are able to adjust their treatment according to the patient, and they also know how to seek out help if they don’t know what is appropriate.

Border Security

People who work in border security need a strong understanding of the geographic boundaries of the places where they work, and the laws and regulations that cover those locations. Studying geography helps them gain the skills they need to understand the landscape they are working in, both physically and culturally, so that they can protect the borders while showing compassion for those moving across them.

Travel Agent

This one goes without saying – if you’re going to help people work out where they want to travel then you’ll need to understand the geography. Some travel agents specialise in one or two geographic areas, or even in one or two types of trips (e.g. business travel, cruising, or backpacking), but they generally need a basic understanding of much of the world. 

Mining Engineer

Mineral and resources engineers who work in mining work with the natural geography of spaces. Some explore to find new resources, while others work to minimise the impact of their operations on the natural environment. People who work in this industry generally need to understand the geography of the places where they are working, and they’ll use their geographic investigation and analysis skills on a regular basis.

When will you use geography?

There’s a pretty good chance that you’ll need the skills you learn in geography at one point or another. Be aware of your skills, and next time you’re watching the news or planning a trip think about how the skills you’ve learnt in geography have helped you understand what’s happening.


More to explore