Geography is not only up-to-date and re levant, it is one of the most exciting, adventurous and valuable subjects to study today. So many of the world' s current problems boil down to geography, and need the ge og raphers of the future to help us un derstand them.
Global warming, sustainable food production, natural disasters such as earthqua kes and tsunamis, the spread of disease, the reasons for migration andthe future of energy resources are just some of the great ch allenges facing the next generation of geographers.
A knowledge of geography, instilled into me by two excellent teachers, has enriche d my life and en couraged me to take on long and sometimes difficult journeys. Geography ha s stimulated my mind and gi ven me the attitude to go out and see for myself, rather than be told by others.
Choosing geography at school can open the doors to a university degree, either specifically in geography or by combining geography with other A Levels to gain a place on a de gree programme in another subject. An A Level in geography is recognise d for its academic ‘robustness’ and, most im portantly, it also helps young people into the world of work.
We know this is true be cause so many employers prize the knowledge an d skills that studying geography ca n provide, be it knowing ho w the world works, planning research and report writing, working in a team, using new technologies an d communication skills – an d much more. You will find geographers working in a wide range of jobs, from th e City to planning, worki ng in the environment to travel and tourism, or in international charities or retail. As you can see overleaf, studying geo graphy can help young pe ople achieve careers that are professionally and financially rewarding and also enjoyable.
Last year I was delighted to hear that more than 230,000 pu pils studied a GCSE or A Level in geography. So, alongside th e other subjects that your son or daughter might study, I would encourage them to choose a GCSE or A Level in geography. It meant a lot to me and it could mean a lot to them.
With best wishes
Michael Palin, CBE