careers

Employability

Our graduates aren’t just employable, they’re employed. Our students progress into an incredibly diverse range of careers and employment sectors often progressing into key management and leadership positions.

Both Geography and Environmental Science graduates are highly employable and our students have progressed into a wide range of careers after studying with us. These have been in the public and private sector and include Flood and Coastal Risk Management Officer, Graduate Transport Planner, Risk Consultant, Advertising Executive, Geography Teacher and Environmental Modeller.

Careers support

Best University Placement Service Finalist 2017Degree with Employment Experience – Undertake a one year work placement as part of your degree programme. A year in employment will also enable you to further develop your transferable skills, become more commercially aware and may even secure your entry onto the graduate career ladder. The Universities career modulesCareers and employability modules – Tailored employability modules that focus on growing and selling your skills as a geographer to employers whilst providing practical advice on application processes.
Badge of the geographical associationRoyal Geographical Society and Geographical Association internships – as a leading UK geography department, we enjoy partnerships with both of these national bodies and many of our students are successful in securing valuable work experience opportunities with them. Ernst and young logoErnst and Young Scholars of the Future – Two scholarships are available annually to Year 1 students, specifically designed by the company for our students. The scholarship includes a place on Ernst and Young Leadership programme, a summer internship or year long placement and a £1000 bursary for each year.


Our Graduates

Cathy Fenning, Retail Analyst at FSP

What does your current job involve?

I am a retail analyst, so I have to research shopping behaviours all day… I think there are probably worse jobs! We get to work with some pretty big shopping centres, towns, developments and retailers to identify what the best route is for them and how to maximise their opportunities.

What do you enjoy about your job?

It varies so much from project to project! It’s so interesting to understand why some retailers choose to locate in one place but not another, and why retailers may not do as well as they thought in a location. There is so much more behind your shopping experiences than you may realise. We do a lot of bespoke work, so if the client wants something particularly unusual, it means that we may have to look at things in a different way, which can produce some really useful (and interesting) information.

How do you use geography skills in your work?

Pretty much everything relies on geography (in some way or another!) and my job is a particularly good example of that – I use my geography skills all the time. Our clients need to know where they are attracting their shoppers from, who they are, what they like. This can all vary hugely by location, so my whole career is reliant on geography and on things I learnt at university.

What advice would you give to students to enhance their employability?

Personally, I would really recommend diversifying your skills – whilst your studies are very important, it is great to be able to say that you were involved in a society, so that employers can see that you are well-balanced with good time management skills.

Dan Homer, BA Geography

Dan Homer, geography graduate"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!"

Heather Woodhead, MEnvSci Environmental Science Heather Woodhead"On starting out my Masters in Environmental Science degree at Sheffield University I was unsure exactly what career path I wanted to follow, other than "environment". The course offers a diverse range of topics which can be studied, tutored by enthusiastic, experienced lecturers with vast expertise. In addition to allowing you to develop a range of analytical, technical and communication skills, which are vital for any career. Having a keen interest and passion in water quality, environmental impact and biodiversity, I opted to focus on this area for my Masters Research Project, a project which I have since presented to a number of statutory bodies/authorities, including the Environment Agency, Natural England and Yorkshire Water. During my Masters year I secured a Data Analyst role withYorkshire Water, which I started on completion of my degree in May 2012. 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. Whilst working for Yorkshire Water an opportunity arose to apply for the Environmental Officer role at Kelda Water Services, a position I was successful in gaining and started in April 2013. This is an extremely diverse, enjoyable and challenging role which allows me to put into practice the many skills gained throughout my degree whilst using and enhancing my environmental knowledge further"
Josh Tinsley, BSc Environmental Science

Environmental Science Graduate Josh Tinsley "Studying Environmental Science gave mea 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."

Jonathan Kerr, Degree with Employment Experience

Image of Jonathan Kerr"I joined the degree with employment experience degree scheme late last semester after contemplating the idea for a couple of months. In order to decide I consulted both the careers service and Geography Department, both of which were very passionate about students working a year within a company. The careers service provided a long list of advantages such as how by doing a placement year, students often secure a graduate level job with the same firm, placements give a taster of what a certain career would be like and also how placement would enhance a student’s CV incredibly. The later advantage is made more evident through how many students graduate with some form of work experience, yet very few can boast of having done an entire year’s worth of work in a company, such an attribute truly does make students more marketable. The main reason I pursued the scheme was to enhance my marketing experience, hence I knew that I wanted to work for a company that would provide me with a wide variety of challenges and possessed a strong marketing department.

"I applied to a few companies including Unilever, GSK, P&G, Mars, M&S, Boots, but L'Oréal was my preferred choice on the basis of the firm’s products, cultural diversity and ranking of 2nd for marketing in consumer brands in the Guardian’s UK top 300 companies. Moreover, L'Oréal recruits a large number of graduate employees from those who completed a placement or summer internship with the company. With regards to what I seek to gain from a Marketing Placement with L'Oréal, I hope to face different challenges on a daily basis that will enhance my previous background in Marketing also I hope that this placement will secure me a graduate job within the company or a least provide me with a strong platform to apply to other companies."

Further Examples

Here are some more examples of the first jobs our graduates have gone into:

Travel Leisure and Culture

  • Environment Journalist, Guardian
  • Media and Communications Executive, Lonely Planet
  • English Language Teacher, TEFL Vietnam

Environment and Sustainability

  • Environment Advisor, Natural England
  • Flood and Coastal Risk Management Officer, The Environment Agency
  • Waste and Recycling Officer, Hackney City Council

The Business World

  • Audit Graduate, Deloitte
  • Operations Graduate, Santander
  • Advertising Executive, ITV

Development and Global Issues

  • Research Assistant, British Red Cross
  • Youth and School Engagement Campaigner, Oxfam

Regeneration and Planning

  • Senior Consultant, Regeneris Consulting
  • Town Planner, Sheffield City Council
  • Research Assistant, Transport for London

Society

  • Information and Data Manager, Scottish Government
  • Royal Mail, Logistics Manager
  • Geography Teacher, Teach First Graduate Programme

Geographical Techniques

  • Geophysicist, Statascan
  • Weather Forecaster, Met Office
  • Store Location Analyst, Landrover

Listen to our recent graduates talk about how studying at Sheffield gave them the skills to start their careers

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