The guardian recently cited geography as being one of, if not the most, employable degrees. This is due to the range of skills the graduates have, the flexibility of the career path and the ability to think critically. So what types of careers can you pursue with a degree in geography? I’ve put together 10 possible options- but there are many more. If none of these float your boat I’ve included a link to a quiz which will help uncover more options!
Go into Research
What is it involves: Doing a Masters and then potentially going on to doing a PhD. Both of these will involve doing a LOT of reading, a LOT of hard work and a LOT of money! However, if you have found something that you love during your degree (maybe a particular river process or social group) and have noticed that there is a lack of research surrounding this area- then this could be perfect for you. You can carry on doing this kind of research in an academic environment (at a university, most likely whilst lecturing) or in a private company.
If you’re interested in: One specific area of Geography, Fieldwork, Data Collection
What it involves: You’ll have to do some kind of teacher training, like a PGCE or Teach First. You have to enjoy teaching though- its the only way that will get you through the long hours, staff politics, frustrating visits from ofsted and annoying students. The best way to work out if this is the future for you is to get some work experience. Your job is to give these students the best education you can, to encourage them, support them and help guide them into adulthood- so only do this if you can commit to these parts of the job and not just the steady salary!
If you’re interested in: Lots of areas of Geography, Thinking of new and exciting ways to communicate your knowledge to a class room of teenagers.
Work with environmental management
What it involves: You will be advising clients in various projects to ensure they maintain an appropriate measure of compliance with environmental regulations. You may also create, implement and monitor environmental strategies to promote sustainable development. This type of work will vary from company to company so make sure you pick one which suits you.
If you’re interested in: Particular areas of geography relevant to the environment, such as hydrology or rivers or conservation. Protecting the environment.
What it involves: working with landowners and governments to protect natural resources including soil and water. They help find ways to utilize land without harming the environment. Conservationists may also be referred to as soil and water conservationists or conservation scientists. You may also choose to take on a role that also focuses on educating others about conservation and sustainability, delivering talks to a variety of audiences.
If you’re interested in: Conservation, Sustainability, Environmental management.
What it involves: You will be in charge of developing plans and programs for the use of land. You will use planning to create communities, accommodate growth, or revitalize physical facilities in towns, cities, counties, and metropolitan areas. As a geographer you will be trained in thinking broadly and critically, so will be able to offer well informed, balanced ideas that think about the impacts of a planning project on multiple communities, transport and the environment.
If you’re interested in: Writing reports and giving presentations. Planning, the layouts of the cities and developing new builds.
What it involves: making maps and customized GIS applications and manipulating data to serve a variety of purposes. You’ll read and interpret maps, manipulate and understand digital land data, and manage data entered into a GIS database.
If you’re interested in: GIS, Computers, Graphics
What it involves: Working with maps. Producing maps, for private companies, councils, universities, charities- you can work with a variety of companies to do this. You’ll carry out fieldwork to collect data for your maps, as well as analysising other data such as population demographics or annual precipitation patterns. You’ll need to be patient, you’ll need to be hard working and you really need to love maps.
If you’re interested in: Maps (obviously), computer work, graphic work
What it involves: Consultancies are the biggest employers of transport planners in the private sector. You’ll be working out solutions to transport issues, creating and interpreting transport surveys, using computer software to predict the effects of road improvements, policy changes or public transport schemes. You can also get work in Government departments such as the Department for Transport (DfT) and transport executives, which oversee public transport in major cities, such as Transport for London and The Highways Agency (HA), also employ transport planners
If you’re interested in: Transport. Computers.Working with a variety of people (you’ll be talking to the public, big clients and councils).
International aid/development worker
What it involves: providing aid and assistance to people in locations around the globe, covering all kinds of issues from healthcare, sanitation, housing, education and construction to agriculture, industrial development, human rights, sustainability and relief from natural disasters. You could take on a front line approach, managing projects or hands on relief work, or take on a more administrative role, controlling budgets and liaising with other agencies and authorities. It is not the best paid job out there so you will need to be driven by the good work you do rather than the salary.
If you’re interested in: Helping those in need. Seeing new places. Organisations and management.
What it involves: creating landscapes and planning, designing and managing open spaces (including both natural and built environments). Your work will provide innovative and aesthetically-pleasing environments for people to enjoy, while ensuring that changes to the natural environment are appropriate, sensitive and sustainable. You will need to work closely with other professionals, as you will work on a diverse range of projects in both urban and rural settings. From parks, gardens and housing estates to city-centre design, sporting sites and motorway construction.
If you’re interested in: Design, environmental management, drawing, being creative.
If none of these sound great to you, try this quiz to find out what sort of career you should be doing! https://www.prospects.ac.uk/
Geography is an amazing degree that opens up loads of doors. I am confident you will find something to do that you love!