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People who study geography, what are your plans?

I'm planning on studying physical geography at uni and was wondering what geography students were planning on doing after their degree?
Hi @annabellewillow!

I'm a BSc Earth and Environmental Science student at Lancaster University, and although I don't do Physical Geography, there is a lot of overlap with my subject which is in a similar vein. I'm currently in the process of applying to various masters programmes abroad in Canada - one of the perks of studying at Lancaster was the opportunity to study abroad in my second year, and going through that experience has made me more open to continuing my studies over there. My research area of interest is hydrogeology, so once I've completed my masters, I hope to do some water resources/hydrogeology-specific environmental consulting.

A few of my coursemates (a few of who are physical geography students) are applying to/have been accepted onto graduate schemes with Atkins, JBA, and the Environment Agency for environmental consulting roles which involve a lot of site/field work. Generally speaking though, physical geography and environmental students are in very high demand across almost all sectors - there are a ton of opportunities in the energy sector too (EDF, SSE, Scottish Power, etc.) and even many large businesses that are not necessarily environmentally-focused often recruit environmental students for activities like carbon footprint analyses, etc. Here at Lancaster we have an amazing departmental careers support team who have helped myself and others refine career plans and provide help with a lot of application stages like interviews, psychometric tests, and assessment centres. If Lancaster is not necessarily somewhere that you are considering, most other universities will offer at least some level of central careers support you can access (and there may even also be a departmental team like there is here at Lancaster).

Hope this helped and gave you some career ideas as well!

^Harry (Lancaster Student Ambassador)
Original post by annabellewillow
I'm planning on studying physical geography at uni and was wondering what geography students were planning on doing after their degree?

Hi @annabellewillow,
I'm currently a third year Geography BSc student at the University of Lincoln. My plan for after my degree is to do one more year at university to study a Masters in Environment and Planetary Health at Lincoln, before hopefully going into a career in environmental management. Environmental management being a broad field that includes things like managing flood risk, soil, water quality, air quality, and ecology. Examples of companies that offer these kinds of jobs are the Environment Agency, or environmental consultancies such as Delta-Simons. Please note that doing one more year at university is not a necessity for doing these kinds of jobs, but was based on my personal choice to want to deepen and broaden my knowledge further. For example, I'm also aware of many students that decide to go straight into a career after they've gotten their degree in Geography.

More importantly, I would recommend choosing to do a degree in Geography if you really enjoy the subject, because it opens you up to many different career opportunities particularly if you are unsure about what you want to do in the future. For instance, you can could go on to work with your local council to help them reach net zero regarding carbon emissions, in a nature reserve to help protect species, or even help to research wildfires in another country. The opportunities Geography opens up are endless because you are taught so many transferable skills, like in GIS, lab, fieldwork, and computer modelling, plus many more.

Finally, in terms of searching for a Physical Geography degree that suits you I would suggest ensuring that the modules offered are of interest to you as they can vary greatly between universities, because they reflect the research expertise areas of the teaching staff. Furthermore, look into what connections with organisations the degree and university has, alongside making sure to attend any open days for the places and courses that interest you.

All the best for the future.
Megan :smile:
Reply 3

I studied physical geography for my undergrad and climate/env science for my masters. I am now going to do a PhD in environmental science. The breadth of employment for geography graduates is very broad. Some of the more popular ones include research, consultancy and management for both private and public agencies. It really depends on your interests and your skill sets. Employers now care more about your skills and experience instead of the actual degree title you earn.

I studied BSc Geography as my undergrad, and I'm currently studying MA in Political Ecology (Lancaster for both). There are so many career opportunities for Geography graduates because the discipline includes research from a lot of different areas and gives you a lot of opportunities to hone new skills like GIS. I know people who have gone into Management Schemes, the Civil Service, teaching and even someone who is now doing a Law conversion! After my master's, I am hoping to go into a Graduate Scheme such as the Civil Service Fast Stream, Charityworks or the NGDP.

Hope this helps!

Tyler (Student Ambassador of Lancaster University)
I am an Earth and Environmental Science student and I am thinking of doing a Masters in Renewable Energy after I finish my degree as I am interested in going into this sector but there are a wide range of fields you can go into with this degree as it encompasses so many key skills, not just for geography related sectors.

Lucy (Lancaster Student Ambassador)
Original post by annabellewillow
I'm planning on studying physical geography at uni and was wondering what geography students were planning on doing after their degree?

Hi @annabellewillow,
I'm currently in my 3rd year studying physical geography at Lancaster. Currently, i'm trying to decide whether to stay on at Lancaster to study a masters in sustainable water management, or to get a job. Currently i'm interested in working in the water sector, as my uni modules relating to these have been the most enjoyable. I'm interested in working the environment agency, local rivers trust or water companies themselves in a more data collecting/analysis role. I know a lot of physical geographers also go into environmental consultancy for companies like Atkins and JBA.
Hope this helps!
-Jasmine(Lancaster student ambassador)
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