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 geographers of the future to help us understand them.
Global warming, sustainable food production, natural disasters such as earthquakes and tsunamis, the spread of disease, the reasons for migration and the future of energy resources are just some of the great challenges facing the next generation of geographers.
A knowledge of geography, instilled into me by two excellent teachers, has enriched my life and encouraged me to take on long and sometimes difficult journeys. Geography has stimulated my mind and given 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 degree programme in another subject. An A Level in geography is recognised for its academic ‘robustness’ and, most importantly, it also helps young people into the world of work.
We know this is true because so many employers prize the knowledge and skills that studying geography can provide, be it knowing how the world works, planning research and report writing, working in a team, using new technologies and communication skills – and much more. You will find geographers working in a wide range of jobs, from the City to planning, working in the environment to travel and tourism, or in international charities or retail. As you can see overleaf, studying geography can help young people achieve careers that are professionally and financially rewarding and also enjoyable.
Last year I was delighted to hear that more than 230,000 pupils studied a GCSE or A Level in geography. So, alongside the 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