Geography

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There are lots of starting points for choosing a career and using your subject is just one of them. You are not restricted to the career ideas below and you may wish to consider additional factors which are important to you for your future career using our Understand yourself and your options section.

Remember too that the vast majority of graduate jobs are open to graduates of any subject and so your options are much broader than the examples given below.

Firstly, have a think about what ‘using your subject’ means to you and what you’re really looking for. Do you want to apply your subject-specific knowledge or skills to the real world? Or maybe you want to continue to practice and develop these skills? Maybe it’s a broader interest in your subject that you want to keep alive by working in a relevant type of organisation?

Using your subject can help provide you with some focus for your career research, but the broader your interests the more career options you will have open to you. Use our resources below to stimulate your thinking.

Generating career ideas with Geography

Using the resources below you can start to create your own list of career ideas to research

  • Look at what alumni from your department have done using the DLHE data we collect and through the University of Sheffield alumni page on LinkedIn.
  • Search for and contact alumni in your subject through our Graduate case studies database.
  • Browse the career ideas for Geography graduates on Prospects and TargetJobs but keep in mind that these are not a comprehensive list of all the careers related to your subject.
  • Brainstorm ideas and do some initial investigation to find out about research, organisations, start ups, government bodies and freelancers connected to your subject. Our Information resources - Occupations section is a good place to start.

Some career ideas for Geography graduates

Cartographer

Involved in all aspects of the production of maps for everyday use by individuals, to large-scale industrial development. Geographical information systems (GIS) and digital-mapping techniques now dominate the role, although it is also necessary to check what the clients’ requirements are and to work with external contacts, such as surveyors and designers, for additional support and information.

Commercial/residential surveyor

Is primarily involved in the purchase, sale and leasing of both private and public property and land, which can include its valuation and the drawing up of contacts. Negotiates on behalf of their client and produces detailed reports for the purpose of mortgage applications, rent reviews etc. Can also be involved in managing property portfolios and advising on proposed new developments.

Environmental consultant

Undertakes environmental impact assessments and offers expert advice to both commercial and public sector organisations on issues such as waste management, flood risk, renewable energy, compliance with environmental legislation and regulations. This can involve data collection and analysis, including conducting field surveys and the use of software-modelling packages and the production of detailed technical reports, which are then presented to the client considering the suitability of new developments e.g. housing, power stations, wind farms and their potential impact the environment.

Geographical information systems analyst

Uses computerised systems for the collection, storage, analysis, of complex geographical information. GIS technology allows multiple forms of data e.g. river locations, population centres, to be overlaid on a map, converted to the same scales and then manipulated, so as to better understand their inter-relationship and implications of planned changes and new developments. Can work in both the public and private sector.

Meteorologist

Collect data from satellite images, radar, remote sensors and weather stations worldwide in order to make short and long term weather forecasts for the general public and a variety of organisations e.g. government services, the armed forces, aviation industry, the shipping and fishing industries. In addition they undertake research into a climate change, weather patterns and global warming.

Social researcher

Plans and undertakes research into a range of societal issues e.g. healthcare, education, poverty using a variety of techniques such as questionnaires, interviews and focus groups in order to better understand human behavior and attitudes. The final report produced will then influence future policies or evaluate that which already exists. May also construct tenders for future research projects.

Town planner

Involved in the management of the built environment in order to balance the conflicting demands of housing, industry, farming, business development, the transport infrastructure and the needs of the local population. They aim to ensure sustainability of new developments and regeneration of towns and cities, alongside the preservation of the countryside and in light of climate change issues.

Tourism officer

Is responsible for the marketing of a specific region or location in order to attract visitors and generate income. This can involve a diverse range of tasks such as the writing or commissioning of tourist information, organising events and exhibitions, liaising with tour operators, handling budgets, writing funding applications, managing and training staff, as well as handling media enquiries.

Transport planner

Develops policies and works on projects relating to all kinds of transport systems. Endeavours to identify improvements which can be implemented, taking into consideration climate change, the economy and the environment i.e. encouraging people to reduce car use. May undertake surveys, analyses statistical data, participate in public consultations and evaluate the costs and benefits of alternative strategies. May also be asked to acting as an expert witness at planning appeals and public inquiries.

Travel writer

Many work on a freelance basis writing about the transport options, the accommodation, the culture, ecology and places of interest for individual destinations. They will attempt to sell their copy to travel related publications, agencies, websites and organisations. Some will ‘pitch’ an article, book, or script idea to a publisher in hopes of getting a contract to write an article. They may work for a variety of different publications or companies, or contribute a regular column.

Subject specific resources