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Geography is often deemed a ‘general’ degree, but what does that mean for your geography career prospects? 

Figuring out what you want to do with your life is hard, especially if you’re still in school. You might feel a little lost right now because you’re unsure of what career opportunities are available for Geography graduates.

Is Geography even an interest worth pursuing in higher education?

So we created this guide to help aspiring Geography students such as yourself discover the many potential careers awaiting those with a Geography degree.

From being an environmental consultant to a climate change specialist, there’s something for everyone in this field. So don’t give up on your dreams yet- take a look at our guide and see for yourself how you can make a difference with a Geography degree.

Why Study Geography?

According to the Higher Education and Student Affairs (HESA) Graduate Outcomes 2019/2020 data, Geography has a higher full-time employment rate (57%) compared to Law (55%) and Psychology (50%.) 

What’s more, the Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services (AGCAS) “What Do Graduates Do” 2021/2022 survey reports that Geography graduates (along with Law) who proceeded to further study have among the highest average salaries of £24,429 among social science graduates.

In addition, Geography is an immense, interrelated course. Related subjects you’ll study while taking Geography include:

  • History
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Economics
  • Politics
  • Maths/Statistics

Since undergraduate Geography students learn about diverse subjects, they have many options for further study. And the subject variety also helps them develop transferable skills that will open numerous career opportunities.

Further Study

The AGCAS “What Do Graduates Do” 2021/2022 survey states that for Geography graduates who proceeded to further study:

  • 62.1% moved on to Masters/Doctorate
  • 17.2% aimed for a Postgraduate Diploma (e.g. PGDE for teaching and GDL for Law)
  • 8.9% studied further for a Professional Qualification 

Geography graduates can choose a specific area in Geography to specialise in for further study. Here are a few of the common specialisations you can take for your Masters/Doctorate degree:

  • Human Geography Research
  • Geographic Data Science and Spatial Analytics
  • Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
  • Environmental Conservation
  • Environmental Modelling and Data Analysis
  • Environmental Policy and Management
  • Urban Studies
  • Sustainable Food Systems
  • Sustainable Cities
  • Remote Sensing and GIS
  • Oceanography 

Professional qualifications Geography graduates often take include:

  • Urban/Rural Planning
  • Landscape Architecture
  • Business Management

What Skills Will You Gain From Geography For Your CV?

When studying Geography, you’ll develop Geography-specific skills and transferable skills that are valuable to various job positions. Check out the Geography-specific skills you’ll gain:

  • Using specialist Geography equipment
  • Cartography
  • Laboratory skills
  • Interpreting data from maps, tables, and graphs.
  • Conducting social survey
  • Integrating social science and natural science principles
  • Fieldwork techniques
  • Geographic Information Systems (GIS) skills

Some of the transferable skills you’ll develop are: 

  • Strong communication and presentation skills
  • Report writing
  • Data analysis
  • Research skills
  • Project management
  • Commercial awareness
  • IT skills
  • Leadership and teamwork
  • Excellent writing skills

What Do We Study in Geography?

Here are some of the topics Geography students discuss at the university:

  • Earth systems, processes, and dynamics
  • Human Geography
  • Economic Geography
  • Environmental Geography
  • Glaciology
  • Volcanology
  • Biogeography
  • Urban Geography
  • Political Geography
  • Geographical Techniques and Field Methods
  • Climate Change
  • Contemporary issues and controversies in Cultural Geography
  • Cities, Citizenship, and Society
  • Legal Geographies
  • Development theories and policies
  • Inequality
  • Geographical Research

Each university has its unique course structure and coverage. Some of them allow you to choose optional modules to personalise your study. But the topics covered here are some of the most common Geography topics you will find across universities. 

Is A Degree in Geography Worth It?

Yes, because according to the AGCAS “What Do Graduates Do” 2021/2022 survey, Geography graduates have a below-average unemployment rate of 8.1%, compared to Politics (10.6%) and Law (10.5%). A geography student’s comprehensive skill set makes them highly sought after by an extensive list of potential employers.

Who Are the Typical Employers of Geography Graduates?

The typical employers of Geography graduates can be found in several fields, such as:

  • Non-Government Organisations 
  • Government Agencies
  • United Nations
  • Construction 
  • Transportation
  • Engineering and Architecture Firms
  • Law Firms
  • Banks and the Financial sector
  • Environmental Organisations
  • Other Private Businesses

Is Geography a Good Career? 

Geography in itself is not considered a career. Instead, it is a field of study examining Earth’s physical components and its relationship with human beings. You’ll learn essential skills in the process of earning a Geography degree, opening various career opportunities for you. 

Do you know that those who pursued further education in Geography have among the highest average salaries of £24,429 among social science graduates? So if you’re looking for a degree that can give you many lucrative options, Geography is an excellent choice.

Are Geography Graduates Employable?

Yes, Geography graduates are highly employable. In fact, it has a greater employability rate of 57% compared to graduates in Psychology (50%) and Law (55%.) So what makes Geography graduates employable? It’s because of the transferable skills they gain by studying a broad interdisciplinary subject such as Geography. 

Geography graduates are well-versed with the techniques and technologies used in studying, measuring, and recording the physical processes and components of the Earth. And they’re also proficient in human culture, economics, politics, and environmental interaction. Making them valuable assets in any given workplace. 

What Career Can I Do with Geography? 

Environmental Consultant

Average annual median salary: £34,375

An environmental consultant gives helpful guidance on environmental issues to businesses and individuals. They may work for environmental protection agencies, or they may be self-employed. 

Environmental consultants have the following responsibilities:

  • Assessing and regulating the impact of proposed developments on the environment
  • Reviewing environmental management systems
  • Advising on ways to reduce energy consumption and CO2 emissions
  • Preparing environmental impact statements
  • Auditing and evaluating sites for contamination
  • Carrying out environmental assessments


Average annual median salary: £30,310

A cartographer uses geographical data to produce up-to-date, accurate maps. These maps can range anywhere from road maps and weather maps to city maps and transportation maps. 

Here are the usual responsibilities of Cartographers:

  • Collecting data from surveys, aerial photographs, and satellite images
  • Interpreting data to identify features such as mountains, rivers, and roads
  • Drawing features on maps using computer-aided design (CAD) software
  • Adding labels and symbols to maps
  • Printing or publishing maps
  • Updating existing maps

Town Planner

Average annual median salary: £37,500

Town planners develop plans and strategies for the future development of towns and cities. They aim to improve the quality of life for residents by creating sustainable, efficient, and attractive places to live and work. 

To achieve these objectives, town planners do the following duties:

  • Researching demographic trends
  • Analysing data to identify best practices
  • Consulting with stakeholders such as local residents, businesses, and government officials
  • Preparing reports and presentations
  • Developing planning policies
  • Managing development projects

Geographical Information Systems (GIS) Officer

Average annual median salary: £32,000

A GIS officer designs and develops geographical information systems. These systems provide essential information for proper decision-making in long-term planning and development. 

Here are some of the responsibilities of GIS officers: 

  • Designing GIS databases
  • Entering data into databases
  • Analysing data to produce maps and reports
  • Presenting findings to clients or senior managers
  • Updating databases as new data becomes available
  • Maintaining hardware and software

Conservation Officer

Average annual median salary: £32,269

A conservation officer works to protect and conserve the environment and its natural resources. They often work for a government agency or a non-profit organisation. 

Conservation officers have the following responsibilities:

  • Educating the public about environmental issues
  • Conducting field surveys
  • Monitoring environmental conditions
  • Preparing reports
  • Enforcing environmental regulations
  • Managing conservation

Landscape Architect

Average annual median salary: £35,000 

A landscape architect designs blueprints for outdoor spaces such as gardens, parks, playgrounds, and campuses. They create detailed plans showing how these spaces will look once they are built, including the flowers, trees, and walkways. 

Here are the daily responsibilities landscape architects attend to:

  • Conducting site visits and surveys
  • Analysing data to identify patterns
  • Preparing reports and presentations
  • Drawing detailed designs
  • Working with other professionals such as architects, engineers, surveyors, and community planners.


Average annual median salary: £34,148

Teachers provide instruction to help students learn. They cultivate a safe environment for educational growth to promote well-rounded student development. 

Teachers are responsible for accomplishing the following tasks:

  • Preparing lesson plans
  • Delivering lessons
  • Assessing student progress
  • Providing feedback to students
  • Preparing students for exams
  • Researching new teaching methods

Climate Change Specialist 

Average annual median salary: £41,717

A climate change specialist works to mitigate the effects of climate change. They study weather changes over time to detect trends. 

Here are some of the responsibilities of climate change specialists:

  • Developing strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions
  • Improving energy efficiency
  • Promoting the use of renewable energy
  • Conducting research on the impacts of climate change
  • Preparing reports
  • Providing advice to decision-makers

Architectural Technologist

Average annual median salary: £35,000

An architectural technologist is responsible for the technical design of buildings. They work with architects and engineers to ensure that plans are realistic and can be built within budget. 

Some of the responsibilities of architectural technologists include:

  • Conducting site visits
  • Preparing feasibility studies
  • Analysing data to identify patterns
  • Preparing drawings and specifications
  • Liaising with clients, architects, and contractors

Data Analyst

Average annual median salary: £35,000

A data analyst collects, organises, and analyses data. They use this data to help organisations make better decisions. 

Data analysts have the following responsibilities:

  • Collecting data from sources such as surveys and databases
  • Organising and cleaning data
  • Analysing data to identify patterns
  • Preparing reports and presentations
  • Providing advice to decision-makers

Marketing Executive

Average annual median salary: £27,500

A marketing executive is responsible for planning and executing marketing campaigns. They work with other members of the marketing team to develop strategies that meet the company’s objectives. 

So what does a marketing executive do? They accomplish the following:

  • Conduct market research
  • Develop marketing plans
  • Execute marketing campaigns
  • Monitor campaign performance
  • Measure results
  • Revise marketing campaigns

Social Researcher

Average annual median salary: £35,875

A social researcher collects and analyses data to understand social issues. They then present their findings to be peer-reviewed by their colleagues. 

Social researchers have the following responsibilities:

  • Conducting research using methods such as surveys and interviews
  • Preparing reports and presentations
  • Writing academic papers and journal articles
  • Carrying out literature reviews
  • Providing advice to policy-makers

Political Risk Analyst

Average annual median salary: £35,000

A political risk analyst assesses the risks associated with political decisions. They work for companies, governments, and international organisations. 

Here are some of the responsibilities of political risk analysts:

  • Monitoring political developments
  • Assessing the impact of political decisions
  • Preparing reports and presentations
  • Providing advice to decision-makers
  • Developing strategies to mitigate risks

Transport Planner

Average annual median salary: £28,000

A transport planner is responsible for the planning and design of transportation systems. They work with other professionals to ensure that transport projects are feasible and meet the needs of the community. 

The daily responsibilities of transport planners include:

  • Conducting feasibility studies
  • Preparing plans and designs
  • Investigating the legality of proposed designs
  • Preparing reports and presentations
  • Submits bids to secure funding for a project

There are many different career paths that you can take with a geography degree. These are just a few of the options that are available to you. With a geography degree, you will have the skills and knowledge to make a difference in your community and the world.

What Are The Highest Paying Jobs In Geography? 

The top 3 highest paying Geography-related jobs in our list (along with their respective average annual median salary) are:

The environmental consultant and climate change specialist are especially relevant in today’s ecological crisis. Geography is excellent preparation for environment-related occupations because it gives you the knowledge and practical skills you need to create a positive environmental impact.

Which is the Best Job in Geography 

Finding the best job in Geography depends on your personal needs and goals. Even the highest-paying job will not be what you consider “best” if it doesn’t meet your preference. So how do you decide which is the best job for you?

Let’s take a look at the Geography-related jobs we’ve discussed so far:

  • Environmental Consultant
  • Cartographer
  • Town Planner
  • GIS Officer
  • Conservation Officer
  • Landscape Architect
  • Teacher/Lecturer
  • Climate Change Specialist
  • Architectural Technologist
  • Data Analyst
  • Marketing Executive
  • Social Researcher
  • Political Risk Analyst
  • Transport Planner

Here are some practical tips to help you decide which to include in your “Top Choices”:

  1. Identify your greatest strength.

Which particular field do you excel most at? If you have a knack for solving environmental problems, perhaps being an environmental consultant will suit you best. Are you good at organising spaces and buildings to maximise beauty and utility? Maybe you’d want to consider studying further in Town Planning.

  1. What opportunities are available to you at the moment?

Due to the interdisciplinary nature of Geography, you won’t find it difficult to try out new career paths down the road. Think of your first job as a stepping stone that’ll help broaden your horizon. Hence, it’s highly recommended that you grab what opportunity you have now.

Say you’ve received an invitation for an interview for a faculty position. Or you have connections that can help you land a job as a conservation officer. Weigh your options and choose which will give you the most leverage. 

  1. Consider your working conditions.

Some people love being in the field, while others prefer to work behind a desk. Some don’t mind travelling from one place to another while others prefer staying in one location. Consider your working condition preferences before deciding on a job.  

For instance, if you love the idea of going outdoors and designing blueprints, maybe becoming a landscape architect is the best job for you. But if you get queasy at the thought of being away from family and friends for long periods, then perhaps you’d prefer to be a lecturer.

  1. Do a trial run

If you’re still undecided on which job to choose, why not do a trial run? Do an internship or work placement to get a taste of what it’s like to work in the field. This will help you gain first-hand experience so you can decide if the job is a good fit.

Here’s the bottom line: there’s no single best job in Geography. It all depends on your preferences, strengths, and weaknesses. So weigh the pros and cons and choose which career suits you best.

What Do Geography Graduates Do? 

The (AGCAS) “What Do Graduates Do” 2021/2022 survey reports that 61% of UK Geography graduates are employed. Of those employed, a considerable chunk (19.1%) work as Business, Finance, and HR professionals. Other top occupations include:

  • Marketing associates
  • Secondary education teachers
  • Chartered architectural technologists
  • Planning officers
  • Business professionals
  • Business analysts
  • Management consultants
  • Construction project managers

Let’s zoom in and look at the Top 2 Geography universities in the UK: the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge.

In recent years, Cambridge Geography graduates have been employed in a variety of professions, including: 

  • Teachers
  • Urban Planners
  • Environmental Consultants
  • Environmental Activists
  • Political Activists
  • Media Producers
  • Television Presenters
  • Water and Energy Industry
  • United Nations
  • Armed Forces Personnel
  • Health Policy Officials
  • Sports Professionals

How about at the University of Oxford? You’ll find Oxford Geography graduates working in numerous industries, such as:

  • Climate Science
  • Environmental Policy
  • Heritage Management
  • Charities and Non-Government Organisations
  • United Nations
  • Government and Politics
  • Communications and Media
  • Law
  • Finance
  • Banking
  • Research
  • Teaching

So, what can you do with a geography degree? A lot! You could become a climate change specialist, cartographer, environmental consultant, and more.

With the skills you learn in your geography program, you can make an impact in whatever field or industry you choose to work in. Do you feel more ready to explore the world and make a difference with a Geography degree? Go for it!

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