Careers using geography

Geography graduates are considered highly employable for the wealth of transferable skills they acquire as part of their degree, including numeracy, teamwork, analytical and IT skills.

The Target Jobs website identifies that, “Geography students tend to be open-minded and interested in the world around them, qualities which are attractive to employers and may be a particular advantage if you are working for an international organisation.

What do geography graduates do?

Recent University of Birmingham graduates have found employment in a wide range of fields; six months after graduation many students were engaged in work or study related to the discipline, with others choosing career paths in areas outside of the subject where the transferable skills gained on the programme have proven invaluable.

Jobs related directly to their degree subject include nature conservation, environmental consultancy, tourism development, and town planning. A proportion of geography graduates also go on to pursue careers in teaching. Graduates get jobs in the public services, the commercial sector and industry, including financial and professional services, personnel management, retail, and local government. Around a quarter of graduates go on to further study before entering employment including PGCEs for teaching, one-year taught Masters courses in areas such as town planning, or doctoral research programmes.

To explore the range of careers undertaken by human geography graduates nationally see Prospects’ ‘What can I do with my degree?’

Where to start?

Not all students know what they want to do when they graduate – many may be uncertain whether they wish to pursue a career related to their degree discipline, or something in a different field entirely, which makes use of some of the transferable skills they developed whilst studying.

Some students may elect to undertake a postgraduate qualification after they complete their undergraduate studies as a means of putting-off making a decision about what they want to do. This can be counter-productive so it pays to research all your options and where they may lead before making a decision.

Careers Network Intranet 

Careers Network provide many helpful tools on our Intranet pages – Our Explore your options and Making Career Choices pages are designed to help you develop an awareness of your values, strengths and skills and to use this knowledge to plan your Career Journey. You can also book a face to face appointment with a Careers Adviser to discuss your options, using our Careers Connect database.


If you’ve already started to identify what motivates you and the types of activities that you may enjoy in a work environment, you’re ready to investigate the types of career that may suit you best. This means finding out more about what they involve.

Many recent graduates use LinkedIn as a means of connecting with employers and others in their industry sectors. Networking is an invaluable means of finding out what other recent graduates have done and how they achieved those outcomes, as well as putting you in touch with potential employers who may work in the industry sectors in which you are interested.

Use the LinkedIn Alumni Tool to find out what all UoB graduates with LinkedIn profiles are doing (over 164,000 as of February 2020). You can filter by degree discipline and year of attendance. Careers Network run workshops to help you get started with LinkedIn – find out when they take place via our events page.

Choosing a career path 

You may be a keen physical geographer, a dedicated human geographer, or have an interest in both areas. It’s important to remember that you don’t have to distinguish yourself based upon this separation. Whilst some careers may be specialised and require applicants with a grounding in certain processes, (for example most hydrologists will need to have a competent knowledge of the physical side of their discipline), many other careers do not have this requirement; indeed, approximately 66% of all graduate vacancies on Careers Connect do not require applicants to have completed a specific discipline.

A career in logistics for example requires the following skills, which you will have had the opportunity to develop in both human and physical modules:

  • work logically and good time management
  • problem-solving skills
  • think laterally and offer creative solutions
  • commercial awareness and numeracy
  • IT literacy and confidence with data
  • flexibility and adaptability
  • strong interpersonal and team-working skills
  • excellent communication skills
  • negotiation and analytical skills
  • positive attitude to continued learning

Although you may feel that you don’t have necessarily commercial awareness of a particular industry (whether it may be logistics or teaching) that is something which you can gain through targeted research. You can be confident however that you will have developed key skills both within your degree and also in the activities you have undertaken outside of it.

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