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Jobs and careers in geography

 

Why pursue a career in geography?

There has never been a more important time to use geographical knowledge and skills to pursue a career. None of the changes and challenges facing the UK and the world in the 21st century, including climate change, energy security, migration, urbanisation and globalisation, can be properly understood, let alone tackled, without geography.

This is the discipline that connects the natural and the human, the local and the global and in doing so, enables us to plan sustainably for the future. Whether your future career lies in the environmental sector, business, education, the natural or social sciences, the media, in geospatial industries or in travel, geography opens up a range of choices for your future work and career.

 

Job prospects

A degree in geography equips you with the tools to tackle the big challenges facing society in the 21st century. This is from the GA’s ‘Importance of geography’ document:

More information about the career prospects of studying geography can be found on our Student Guidance page.

 

Work experience

A work experience placement is a great way to get a taste of working within a certain industry or sector and can provide valuable experience and contacts for your career going forward. Here are a few work experience placement links which you may find helpful.

 

Volunteering advice

Volunteering is a great way to build up your skills and experience and can often pave the way for a paid position, either within the same organisation or elsewhere. Some voluntary roles or internships can lead to qualifications such as NVQs or certification from local colleges. Further information is available on the Do-it website.

There are plenty of opportunities that have a geographical dimension, including environmental and conservation work, climate change education and working with wildlife. Do-it has thousands of voluntary opportunities on its website.

Vinspired is a government supported national charity for 16 to 25-year-olds to encourage them to participate in voluntary work placements. Vinspired works with other organisations to offer a wide range of placements, some of which include accredited training and living expenses.

Skelton Grange Environment Centre, recruits eight volunteers a year to undertake a six-month placement. Volunteers learn how to teach children about the environment and are trained to do a range of practical conservation activities.

Find out more about the placements, and read about previous volunteers on the Skelton Grange website.

Want to volunteer further afield? Here is some information about volunteering in Africa.

 

Career profiles

Take a look at the following career profiles to get a flavour of the kinds of jobs geography has to offer.

Andrew – GIS analyst

Emily – Funding & Strategy Senior Advisor, Flood & Coastal Erosion Risk Management

 

Become a geography teacher

As the

subject association for teachers of geography, we offer support for anyone considering a career as a geography teacher.

The link below takes you to our Initial Teacher Education section and contains information about training options, the required subject knowledge, how to apply to teach geography and what to do if you’re coming back into teaching after a period away.

GA ITE section

Continue your professional development with the GA’s CPD courses.

Become a member

GA membership provides specialist support and expert advice for geography teaching

Geography Quality Marks

Register for the 2025 Quality Mark before 31 July and receive a 20% discount off your fee

National Festival of Fieldwork 2024

The GA encourages everyone to take part in June 2024

More from GA

Explore our wide range of support available