The analytical and research skills gained from your geography degree are attractive to a range of employers
Jobs directly related to your degree:
- Commercial/residential surveyor
- Environmental consultant
- Geographical information systems officer
- Planning and development surveyor
- Secondary school teacher
- Town planner
Jobs where your degree would be useful:
- International aid/development worker
- Landscape architect
- Logistics and distribution manager
- Market researcher
- Nature conservation officer
- Tourism officer
- 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 and get work experience in your chosen field to get an insight into the work available and to establish contacts. Fieldwork is a useful way of developing your practical skills and gaining hands-on experience, which is highly valued by employers. Some degree courses also include a placement year either in the UK or abroad, which is another great way to get an insight into working practicalities.
The technical and interpersonal skills you develop during your degree will equip you to apply for a range of jobs when you graduate. If you're unsure which career to follow, try doing some work-shadowing to find out about particular career areas that are of interest to you.
Search for placements and find out more about work experience and internships.
Geography graduates are employed in a range of sectors, including the public sector, education, commerce, industry, transport and tourism. Graduates have excellent transferable skills, which also attract 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.
Skills for your CV
When you study geography you gain an insight into a range of practical, social, economic and environmental issues. 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 also develop a range of key skills that are relevant to many jobs and sectors.
- skills in 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 choose to go on to postgraduate study to specialise in an area from their undergraduate degree, such as geographical information systems, remote sensing, environmental conservation, environmental management, oceanography, coastal and marine management, meteorology 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. Some geographers also opt to take business or management courses.
What do geography students do?
More than 60% of geography graduates are in employment in the UK six months after graduating. Two of the top five occupations held by these graduates are marketing associate professionals and HR and industrial relations officers.
|Working and studying||5.8|
|Type of work||Percentage|
|Business, HR and financial||17.4|
|Retail, catering and bar work||16.5|
|Marketing, PR and sales||11.3|
|Secretarial and numerical clerks||10.5|
For a detailed breakdown of what geography graduates are doing six months after graduation, see What Do Graduates Do?
Graduate destinations data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency.