Geographers are often known by different names such as climatologists, oceanographers, or GIS specialists. These courses are beginning to gain prominence among university students both at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels in Nigeria.
Initially, people tend to believe that individuals who studied geography might have lower job opportunities due to the lack of the competitive nature of the course. Most people believe that geography is just about reading the map and knowing about the world's different countries and their capitals. Others feel that since the entire world is already mapped, geography as a course should be relegated to the background or just as an academic exercise.
But this is very far from the truth!
Geography is believed to be the mother of all sciences due to its far-reaching subspecialties and its long history. Geography begins with the question of "What really lies on the other side of that mountain." It is a subject that seeks to understand our world and to help humans to answer some tactical questions that help to make our world a better place.
Superprof platform has helped tap into this world viewpoint to enable one to investigate and understand why one needs to study geography and its importance to human civilization.
The Study of Geography
The study of geography courses online or offline involves more than just memorizing maps and capitals. It actually consists of more. Geography consists of studying humans and people through space, throughout time, and how those spaces have shaped history.
According to National Geographic, this study involves studying places and the relationship between people and their environment. It involves the understanding of the basic physical system and how it affects everyday life. How water cycles and ocean currents work to help monitor and lessen the impact of disasters.
Geography also helps us understand the location of places and their physical and cultural characteristics. The study of geography also helps us understand how geography has played important roles in the evolution of people, places, ideas, and environments. The study of geography intersects with other subjects such as History and Biology in understanding the big pictures.
Geography involves the love of our land and its features, such as soil erosion, earthquake, other coastline changes, mineral content, and even topography. Another phenomenon that clearly illustrates the importance of studying geography is the disappearing coastlines across the world. This eroding coastline is mostly attributed to global warming, resulting from the melting of polar ice caps causing the sea levels to rise.
This allows the oceanographers and climatologists to proffer solutions to these world issues. And don't be surprised to know that all of these career fields are listed above as geography subspecialties. All these are under the preview of geographers.
The study of geography represents humanity’s future safety as the world is changing. It is also a good opportunity to understand our history. If you want a better grasp of Nigeria's history or world history, then you should start by digging into geography. A geography course promises career stability full of excitement and understanding of global ecological systems and ways of human impacts on them.
Art is transformative. It's not 2+2=4. It works like the sea. It changes geography through its constant and relentless movement, just the way plants and water shape the world.
Career Benefits of Have a Degree in Geography
Studying geography as an undergraduate or as an advanced degree helps prepare you for many different careers and specialties. The course is seen as social science with many divisions.
Some area of specialty that a geography degree holder can work in or specialize in includes
- Oceanographer: This involves the study of seas and oceans
- Cartographers are concerned with all aspects of map-making (scientific, technological, and artistic).
- Climatology: The study of different weather condition over a long period of time that would aid predictions
- Biogeography: The pattern of species distribution and how it affects the environment
- Exploration Geologists are responsible for identifying and assessing the location, quantity, and quality of mineral deposits.
- Environmental Geography: Studies the spatial aspects of human’s interaction with the environment
- Geographical Information Systems: This involves combining economic, social, and topographical data for flood defense planning, healthcare, road traffic management, and market research.
- Hydrology: It involves studying the amount and quality of water in a specific region or across the planet.
It's important to note that, apart from physical geography, the other area of the study of geography is human geography. This involves the study of people and their communities, culture, and environment. A degree in geography can lead one to a career in urban and regional planning, which involves laying out roads in different cities and communities and mapping out future factories.
Other areas of human geography include
- Cultural geography
- Economic geography
- Social geography
- Applied geography
Therefore, whether you are interested in the prospect of traveling worldwide or plan on staying in Nigeria as a geography graduate – then they are a wide range of choices open to you to choose from.
For those that love computers, you can specialize as a Geographical Information Systems Specialist. This career allows you to use your computer at home or the office, analyzing and interpreting data. In short, there is no shortage of jobs for anyone wishing to take up geography as a course of study in the university, especially for those individuals who will be willing to advance in their study of geography as a postgraduate study in Nigeria.
Our world is evolving without consideration, and the result is a loss of biodiversity, energy issues, and congestion in cities. But geography, if used correctly, can be used to redesign sustainable and more livable cities.
Importance of Geography for SSCE Classes
Seeing how encompassing the study of geography is, it is quite shocking that this very important course is not part of the core subject that students in secondary schools are expected to learn or take for external examinations.
This has made most Nigerian students have shallow knowledge about their country and environment. The truth remains that geography helps us manage the earth systems for generations to come. The study helps us understand how to conserve our environment, restore them, and preserve our world.
Therefore, the best way to teach our youths in Nigeria about the effect of climate change and environmental management is to introduce them early into the world of geography. It's important to encourage environmental studies to understand how different events affect different regions of the world.
With the study of geography, we now have so many systems to help protect our society from natural disasters such as earthquakes, erosions, floods, and other natural disasters. Nigeria is lucky to be free from most of these deadly disasters such as tsunamis and high impact earthquakes.
Students from their formative years in secondary school need to understand the interrelationship of these concepts and help inspire them to seek a degree in this field and work towards better earth management for thousands of years to come.
GIS is the only technology that actually integrates many different subjects using geography as its common framework.
Why Should I Study Geography?
With the help of the satellite-generated GPS, then they are no more need for a map again! This is the thought of most people in this our present dispensation. But that is not really the truth as cartographers' jobs are still in high demand as classroom maps and atlases may never go out of vogue.
Even with the advent of GPS, the Geographic information system specialists are in charge of drawing all the maps and input displays on these devices. Besides, it's a very bad idea to depend solely on one's GPS as it might disappoint one or the battery of the device going down. This also informs the reason for studying geography in Nigeria. This knowledge helps one to develop good navigation skills and also helps one to develop good spatial relationships.
The most fun or exciting aspect of having a University geography major is that these courses are becoming in greater demand now than at any other time in history. More so, everything is getting global. Our countries, people, economies, environment, social spaces, political systems, marketplaces, natural and human resources have never been so interconnected and interdependent.
Who then can fully understand the planet than a geographer?
Another upside why people need to study geography has to do with Geospatial Technologies. These tools, including GIS, Computer Mapping, GPS, Satellite Imagery, and Navigation Systems, are becoming more popular and useful to our day-to-day living.
The availability of these tools in one’s technological toolbox is expected to improve the prospects of landing a lucrative job in Nigeria or overseas.
Just as explorers of old navigated by astronomy, which involves studying the position of the stars as it relates to their current position, one can cultivate such Geospatial intelligence by studying the unique features and variables of our environment and location.
It’s indeed an exciting time to be a geographer in Nigeria.