From environmental consultancies to planning departments, your geography degree can lead you into a variety of careers
Jobs directly related to your degree:
- Architectural technologist
- Business analyst
- Data analyst
- Environmental consultant
- Geographical information systems officer
- Marketing executive
- Secondary school teacher
- Social researcher
- Town Planner
Jobs where your degree would be useful:
- Construction manager
- Landscape architect
- Market researcher
- Nature conservation officer
- Political risk analyst
- Sustainability consultant
- Transport planner
Remember that many employers accept applications from graduates with any degree subject, so don't restrict your thinking to the jobs listed here.
The direction your career takes will depend on your interest in physical or human geography. Try to secure work experience in your chosen field to get an insight into the work available and to establish contacts. You could consider looking at:
- environmental consultancies
- local councils
- planning departments
- utility companies.
The Royal Geographical Society has a directory of work experience opportunities which is useful for giving ideas of what you can consider.
Fieldwork is a useful way of developing your practical skills and gaining hands-on experience, which is highly valued by employers. Some degree courses include a placement year, which is another great way to get an insight into working practicalities.
The skills you develop during your degree will equip you for a range of jobs. If you're unsure which career path to follow, try doing some work shadowing to find out what interests you.
Search for placements and find out more about work experience and internships.
A geography degree opens up careers in a range of fields, including those in the education, commerce, industry, transport, tourism and public sectors. You'll also have many transferable skills, attracting employers from the business, law and finance sectors.
- the armed forces
- the Civil Service
- environmental consultancies
- environmental protection agencies
- information systems organisations
- local government
- Ministry of Defence
- police service
- private companies
- utility companies.
Find information on employers in environment and agriculture, energy and utilities, public services and administration and other job sectors.
Skills for your CV
By studying geography, you'll gain an insight into a range of practical, social, economic and environmental issues. Geography offers the opportunity to tackle some of the most important issues facing modern society, from climate change and natural disasters, to overpopulation and urban expansion.
In addition to core geographic skills, for example field work and the use of specialist equipment, preparing maps and diagrams and using social survey and interpretative methods, you'll also develop a range of key skills that are relevant to many jobs and sectors.
Some geography degrees, such as those focused on population geography, will mix human geography with quantitative analysis methods. These degrees will provide you with quantitative skills which are rare among the social sciences and are sought after, particularly in careers in which social research skills are key.
The skills you'll gain include:
- research and data collection, analysis and evaluation
- mathematical and computational skills
- IT skills, for example computer cartography and the use of databases and spreadsheets
- written and oral communications skills, including report writing and data presentation
- the ability to understand abstract concepts and articulate these to a range of audiences
- planning and problem-solving skills
- creative thinking and the ability to recognise the moral and ethical issues involved in debates
- the ability to work independently and also in a team, taking on board ideas and coming to a consensus
- self-motivation and self-reliance
- time management and the ability to meet deadlines.
Some geographers opt to specialise in an area from their undergraduate degree by completing postgraduate study. Areas you could specialise in include geographical information systems, remote sensing, environmental conservation, environmental management, human geography research, oceanography, coastal and marine management, meteorology, urban studies or water resources.
Postgraduate courses in teaching, surveying, urban/rural planning or landscape architecture are also popular, as they qualify you to work in these career areas. Studying a business or management postgraduate course is another option.
For more information on further study and to find a course that interests you, see Masters degrees and search postgraduate courses in geography.
What do geography students do?
The top ten jobs held by geography graduates employed in the UK include, sales, marketing and related associate professionals, teaching professionals, business, research and administrative professionals, business associate professionals, architects, chartered architectural technologists, planning officers, surveyors and construction professionals, conservation and environment professionals and finance professionals.
|Working and studying||11.6|
|Type of work||Percentage|
|Business, HR and finance||24.1|
|Retail, catering and customer service||11.7|
|Clerical, secretarial and administrative||11.5|
For a detailed breakdown of what geography graduates are doing 15 months after graduation, see What do graduates do?
Graduate destinations data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency.