Careers and employability

Our graduates are highly employable and progress into a diverse range of employment sectors where they use their skills to address some of the biggest issues in our changing world.

Man working in a Geography laboratory
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Employability is embedded throughout our degrees, from first-year tutorials through to the Level 3 module on Professional Skills in Environmental Science. This combined with a focus on developing hands-on skills and the department’s reputation for academic excellence, ensures that our graduates are in high demand.

The flexibility of our courses enables students to pursue their individual interests, so our graduates progress to careers in a variety of sectors. These include public sector roles in local government and the Civil Service, roles as surveyors and environmental consultants in private sector companies, research and teaching roles in the education sector and management roles in NGOs and international development organisations.

Wherever they go our graduates make an impact, often progressing into key management and leadership positions. Recent graduates have secured positions in the following fields:

Environment and Sustainability
  • Environment Advisor, Natural England
  • Flood and Coastal Risk Management Officer, The Environment Agency
  • Waste and Recycling Officer, Hackney City Council
Development and Global Issues
  • Research Assistant, British Red Cross
  • Youth and School Engagement Campaigner, Oxfam
Travel and Journalism
  • Environment Journalist, Guardian
  • Media and Communications Executive, Lonely Planet
  • Advertising Executive, ITV
Education
  • English Language Teacher, TEFL Vietnam
  • Geography Teacher, Teach First Graduate Programme
Business
  • Audit Graduate, Deloitte
  • Operations Graduate, Santander
  • Store Location Analyst, Jaguar Land Rover
  • Logistics Manager, Royal Mail
Regeneration and Planning
  • Senior Consultant, Regeneris Consulting
  • Town Planner, Sheffield City Council
  • Research Assistant, Transport for London
  • Information and Data Manager, Scottish Government
Geographical Techniques
  • Geophysicist, Statascan
  • Weather Forecaster, Met Office

Our graduates regularly come back to the department, to share their experiences with our current students, through alumni networking events and contributions to modules.  Each year we hold an industrial advisory board where we discuss course content to ensure our courses remain current and meet employers' changing needs.


93% of our Geography and Environmental Science graduates are in employment or further study within six months of graduation (DLHE 2016/2017).


I work for a consultancy firm using data analytics to create investment plans for global utility companies, mainly within the water and energy sector. The company mainly hires mathematicians, so my geography degree brought fresh insight into how data is used within the real world. The job enables me to further develop skills that I gained from my degree such as GIS and statistics - don’t expect the learning to stop once you’ve graduated!

Dan Homer

BA Geography


Field classes and practical skills

The Department of Geography is located in a 'living laboratory' where students can explore the physical landscape of the Peak District, the rich cultural and social heritage of Sheffield, and environmental processes and issues across the region.

The area is a testbed for issues like climate change, landscape protection, wildlife conservation and sustainable rural communities. This means that our students have a rich learning resource on their doorstep, which enables them to explore and understand some of today’s key challenges and develop the practical skills that employers value. Find out more about our fieldwork philosophy.

Employability in the curriculum

Throughout your degree, we will help you to identify the employability skills that you gain from your module choices. We use our very own icon system to flag the employability skills that are contained within the degree programme.

You can find out more by downloading the Graduate Skills Icons document (PDF 264KB).


The course offers a diverse range of topics taught by enthusiastic, experienced lecturers with vast expertise. The course allows you to develop a range of analytical, technical and communication skills, which are vital for any career. During my masters year, I secured a Data Analyst role with Yorkshire Water, which I started on completion of my degree. I believe that the degree I studied and particularly the area that my masters research topic covered was a key stepping stone in helping me to secure this position.

Heather Woodhead

MEnvSci Environmental Science


Opportunities

There are numerous opportunities for students to gain employability skills and experience.

SURE

Sheffield Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) offers undergraduate students in their penultimate year of study the chance to be directly involved in research activity at the University of Sheffield, working in partnership with an academic staff member on a bespoke real-life research project during the summer vacation.

SIDshare

SIDshare is our flagship student-run NGO, which promotes engagement through outreach work with local organisations and schools, and through partnerships with international development organisations and funding bodies. Each year over 100 students gain practical experience of the skills needed in the international development workplace and beyond. One of our recent social enterprise projects has been the construction of a field centre with our partner KEDA in Tanzania.

GeogSoc

GeogSoc, our student society, is one of the most vibrant societies in the University and provides you with a peer network that arranges everything from study skills training to a diverse range of social events. It’s an inclusive society which encourages integration between students across all levels of study, including postgraduate. The society also has strong links with local schools, providing opportunities for students to volunteer, develop key skills and help encourage the next generation of geographers.


Studying Environmental Science gave me a great base on which to begin my career. One of the biggest things I gained from the course was the confidence and conviction to pursue the area of environmental protection because learning about the impact humans have on the environment, coupled with the knowledge that we can do something to protect and enhance it, is inspiring as well as humbling.

Josh Tinsley

BSc Environmental Science


Study with us

We have achieved 90% overall student satisfaction and are number one in the Russell Group for Student Voice (NSS 2019).

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