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Geography job prospects

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    After reading around a few things it seems to me that Geography is starting to be perceived as a less academic qualification, and I'm a bit worried by graduate prospects, as percentages in employment 6 months after the degree seem low in comparison to other subjects.

    I was wondering if, were I to be given the opportunity, switching to BA joint honours in Economics and Geography would be a better idea if I wanted to secure a 'top job' for example. I haven't had much experience with Economics, only relevant modules in Geography itself, but if I ended up not liking the course content I wouldn't be too bothered as I'd have half the time studying something I really liked.

    They're just a few last minute worries that I'd like clearing up because having already mistakes with subject choices and applications etc, I'm a bit paranoid about my employability in the future.
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    Do not fear! Geography equips you to do many things- employers do recognise this. Less academic? That is the blinkered view of those who think Geog is about what is the Capital of X... Everythings good
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    I don't know where you heard that about geography. That doesn't make sense to me. It's the only subject that isn't completely biased as opposed to something like...economics. I guess if all you care about is how much money you'll make right out of school then go ahead and switch. Geography is very multidisciplinary and provides many different employment opportunities.
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    As long as you get a First or a 2:1 you should be fine.
    I'm doing what you suggested, Geog and Econ but focusing on Geog. I'm not fussed about econ as I study it now and it's fine so if I do a couple of modules in it I'll survive.
    You never know, you might find it interesting. There are some modules very linked to Geography such as developing economies and tourism and the economy
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    (Original post by brock_dave)
    I don't know where you heard that about geography. That doesn't make sense to me. It's the only subject that isn't completely biased as opposed to something like...economics. I guess if all you care about is how much money you'll make right out of school then go ahead and switch. Geography is very multidisciplinary and provides many different employment opportunities.
    Yeah, that was my original thoughts on the subject, that it was so versatile many employers would recognise it as a strong degree to have! I'm just basing this on employment figures from Unistats and the Times guide and what other people have said on this forum.

    On paper it seems like a brilliant degree to have but I am just worried that its reputation with employers has slipped.
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    (Original post by PurpleMonkeyDishwasher)
    Yeah, that was my original thoughts on the subject, that it was so versatile many employers would recognise it as a strong degree to have! I'm just basing this on employment figures from Unistats and the Times guide and what other people have said on this forum.

    On paper it seems like a brilliant degree to have but I am just worried that its reputation with employers has slipped.
    Well if jobs really matter that much then maybe you should switch. I'm taking geography only because that's what I'm most interested in. I'm not overly concerned about how my degree will look on the job market. It comes down to your own needs and wants. I've always felt that university doesn't exist just to prepare you for a job. A lot of people end up in crappy business degrees and etc. just because they think they will get a high paying job after school, but they aren't happy and they aren't enjoying what they study, it's only done out of obligation.
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    At least you'll be able to find your way to the job centre.
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    (Original post by Fields)
    At least you'll be able to find your way to the job centre.
    :rofl:



    Back on topic, I had always thought geography taught quite a few skills which were useful in the job market. :dontknow:

    I'm not doing it for any specific career anyway.
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    Geography teaches a multitude of skills, and as a subject it covers a lot of material from a number of different subjects. As long as you get a first or a 2.i, and even better if you have relevant work experience, then you will be competitive in the job market.

    It depends what sort of job you're wanting, though. Graduate jobs don't usually pay that well, but as you move further up the ladder the salaries become a bit better.
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    (Original post by brock_dave)
    Well if jobs really matter that much then maybe you should switch. I'm taking geography only because that's what I'm most interested in. I'm not overly concerned about how my degree will look on the job market. It comes down to your own needs and wants. I've always felt that university doesn't exist just to prepare you for a job. A lot of people end up in crappy business degrees and etc. just because they think they will get a high paying job after school, but they aren't happy and they aren't enjoying what they study, it's only done out of obligation.
    :ditto: couldn't agree more.
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    Geography provides you with a vast spectrum of skills though. Far too many people think it's just about looking at atlases.
    In my first two years alone I've done Geographic Information Systems, statistical analysis and interpretation, interviewing, international development, gender, identity, rivers, coasts, glacial processes, slopes processes. There are very few subjects that teach you such a wide range of things.
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    (Original post by PurpleMonkeyDishwasher)
    After reading around a few things it seems to me that Geography is starting to be perceived as a less academic qualification, and I'm a bit worried by graduate prospects, as percentages in employment 6 months after the degree seem low in comparison to other subjects.
    Lolwut.
    It's not perceived by employers as being less academic than any other social science, and opens you up to a bunch of opportunities in planning and other fields. Anecdotally, almost all of my friends fomr Durham who graduated with me are employed or in further study.
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    Most points seem to have been covered. Geography isn't a degree like medicine or engineering where the skills are very specific to a particular career and, generally, doing that degree will lead to a fairly well paid job. But geography, as others have said, will equip you with a range of skills which will be useful in a range of careers. Geography, in my opinion at least, has better job prospects than English or history for example.

    With regards to swapping to geog and econ, personally I wouldn't if I was you. It will make little (if any) difference to your employability (unless you're thinking of going into a finance related career in which case it might) and you'd be better off doing a course you enjoy. Also bare in mind that, as far as I'm aware, geog and econ at Sheffield doesn't have any physical geography in it and, given the fact that you've applied for the BSc, I can't imagine it suiting your interests very much.
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    thats crap about no job prospects...

    me and my uni chums all graduated last year, and all now have jobs (apart from myself...i am on a gap year, going into teaching next year)

    and as for securing a top job...these are the jobs my friends now have, and more-a-less what they are earning:

    - one is a traffic management consultant - £25k
    - one is a urban landscape developer - £20k
    - one is a trainee teacher - no salary (but lots of funding)
    - one is a trainee town planner - £22k, and once the training is complete she'll get bumped up to £30k
    - finally my best friend from uni, worked for reading city council...was in charge of new road development for 6 months earning £22k, he was headhunted by the highways agency and is now the junior manager for road networks in the south east england...earning £31k

    now those figures dont look to bad for people who have just come out of university....and if your looking at going straight into a £40k job, then your laughing.
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    (Original post by phill.monk)
    thats crap about no job prospects...

    me and my uni chums all graduated last year, and all now have jobs (apart from myself...i am on a gap year, going into teaching next year)

    and as for securing a top job...these are the jobs my friends now have, and more-a-less what they are earning:

    - one is a traffic management consultant - £25k
    - one is a urban landscape developer - £20k
    - one is a trainee teacher - no salary (but lots of funding)
    - one is a trainee town planner - £22k, and once the training is complete she'll get bumped up to £30k
    - finally my best friend from uni, worked for reading city council...was in charge of new road development for 6 months earning £22k, he was headhunted by the highways agency and is now the junior manager for road networks in the south east england...earning £31k

    now those figures dont look to bad for people who have just come out of university....and if your looking at going straight into a £40k job, then your laughing.
    Sounds pretty good. In your experience, do a lot of people who do geography end up doing PGCE's? I've heard quite a few geography students say that's what they want to do.
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    (Original post by arkbar)
    Lolwut.
    It's not perceived by employers as being less academic than any other social science, and opens you up to a bunch of opportunities in planning and other fields. Anecdotally, almost all of my friends fomr Durham who graduated with me are employed or in further study.
    What are you doing/planning on doing now you've graduated, arkbar? (if you don't mind me asking)
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    (Original post by phill.monk)
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    That's great, you and your friends have done impressively! By top I didn't actually mean straight-out-of-uni-on-to-£40k, just what prospects it would give me in the future. Thanks to everyone else for all the replies, just needed reaffirming a bit because I am prone to paranoia...

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    (Original post by Grapevine)
    What are you doing/planning on doing now you've graduated, arkbar? (if you don't mind me asking)
    I'm currently doing an MSc in Transportation, following on from which I'll probably be starting a PhD next year.
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    (Original post by arkbar)
    I'm currently doing an MSc in Transportation, following on from which I'll probably be starting a PhD next year.
    Mint, you're looking to be a lecturer/researcher I guess then?

    And, again if you don't mind me asking, how are you funding the MSc and PhD? Are you doing them both at Durham?
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    (Original post by Grapevine)
    Are you doing them both at Durham?
    He's at Imperial, for his MSc. He was at Durham as an undergrad (and went to California for a year's exchange).

    I know how annoying and rude that probably was :p: Sorry

    Geography has fairly good prospects, as much as any other social science (and a lot better than many). There are few directly vocational skills associated with it, but I think it's one of the more rounded degrees and offers a range of transferable skills which are as valuable. It's already been covered, but there's a wide range of careers open to a geography graduate and many of these (like planning) are in areas where there's actually a shortage of qualified graduates. Then there's the wide range of careers open to all graduates.

    Geography has always had a bit of a reputation as a soft subject. At school, anyway, people called it an A-level in "colouring in". But this is largely just banter and those who were being serious had a non-existent knowledge of it and just thought back to their days sitting in a classroom colouring in a map. The A-level is valued and the geography certainly is.

    *sigh* Geograhy :love:

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