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Geography graduates: the future’s bright? . Introduction. Careers/Employment. Evaluation of course. Summary. Research. Millennium Survey. 99 questionnaires sent out to 2000 and 2001 graduates. 48 Questionnaires returned = return rate of 48%.

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Geography graduates: the future’s bright?

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Geography graduates:

the future’s bright?




Evaluation of course




Millennium Survey

99 questionnaires sent out to 2000 and 2001 graduates

48 Questionnaires returned = return rate of 48%

Targeted Survey to find out what our Graduates are doing now.

GEES Graduate Employability Survey

Study looked at graduates from Gloucester, Leeds and Plymouth

1575 Surveys sent out to Geography, Earth and Environmental Science Students

Response rate of 32%

Of the 514 respondents 220 were Geography Graduates


6 Months after Graduating

University of Plymouth Geography Graduates

These records typically show that 74% of Plymouth Geographers have found jobs, 16% are engaged in further study; and 10% have gone travelling


finance & management


human resources


planning & surveying

government & environment

retail services


First Job (information obtained 6 Months after graduating)


What do Geographers do?

First job results

Inward Investment Officer

Registration Officer

Admin Assistant

Teacher of Geography

Information Officer for a Charity

Credit Analysis

Working for LloydsTsb

Planning Consultant

Graduate Manager for Royal Mail

Graduate Surveyor

Bus Driver


Types of companies Geography Graduates have worked for – Current Job

Environment Agency

Litchfield District Council

Isle of Wight Council

Hampshire County Council

Birmingham County Council

Gosport Borough Council

The AA

Lloyds TSB


National Statistics Office


Home Office

Climate Change Consultancy

Accountancy Firms


Teaching (All Levels)

UK Hydrographic Office

Capita Insurance Services

Regen South West

Enterprise rent-a-car


Current Job

Major Accounts District Manager,



Planning and Policy Manager, Regen SW,


Studying a PhD in Palaeoecology

Planning Office, Environmental Department of Hampshire District Council, £25- 29,999

Transport Consultant, Halcrow Group Ltd,

£20 -24,999

Mapping and Charting Office, UKHO,

£20 – 24,999

Some Examples….


Graduate Manager – Royal Mail Scheme

Bus Driver

Hydrological Technician

Planning Assistant

Call Centre

First Job

Principle Planning Officer – Litchfield District Council

Enterprise Rent a Car Corporate Account Manager

Environment Agency Senior Environment Officer

Secondary School Teacher

Parcelforce Operations Manager

Current Job


How many jobs have you had since graduating?

24% of respondents have stayed in the same company and progressed.


Millennium Survey

Five years after completing their course, we asked a sample of Plymouth Geography graduates if they felt their degree had provided a good platform on which to build a career – 93% said yes, it did


How qualified do you feel for your current employment?

6% Under qualified

73% Qualified

21% Over qualified

Think back to the final year of your degree. Please indicate if you had a clear idea, a vague idea or no idea of the kind of career/ job you wanted?

26% Had a clear idea

48% Had a vague idea

26% Had no idea

GEES Survey 2004


Skills, Skills, Skills



Communication Skills







‘generic’ skills that employers seek


Laboratory techniques,

Graphic production,

Social surveys,

Information analysis

GIS remote sensing

additional special skills of Geographers

68 % of employers look for good graduates in any degree subject


About Right – GEES Survey

Working Under Pressure

Woking Independently

Fieldwork Skills

Working with Maps and Diagrams

Written communication

Self Confidence

Problem Solving

Presentation Skills

Research Skills

Self/time Management

“Geography as a degree couldn't help you prepare more for employment. So wide ranging and varied – must be the only degree that covers all of the skills seen as attractive by employers – analytical skills, research, report writing, presentation, teamwork and working on own”


Too Little – GEES Survey

Leadership – 34%

Professional Work Experience = 89%

Business Awareness = 73%

Career Planning = 46%

Entrepreneurship = 69%

“I think business internships should play a more central role in any degree program. Stronger business links would mutually benefit the university, local industry and students alike”


How has studying Geography helped you in employment?

“I enjoyed the modules I studied and use my knowledge and skills frequently in day to day life” (Jenny Cox)

“Geography gave me a very broad understanding of multi-disciplinary subjects, allowing me to work in just about any field/sector. The best decision I've ever made!!” (Steve Blamire)

“I enjoyed learning new aspects of Geography. Studying different aspects enabled me to precede what area I wanted to focus on for my career - before going to uni I didn’t have an idea what area I wanted to work - the course helped me to decide.” (William Martin)

Millennium Survey 2006


Also needs to be student proactive

Wrote/Updated my CV = 91%

Visited my Institutions Career Centre = 72%

Did some research on specific careers that I was interested in = 66%

Visited a careers fair = 65%

Sought advice on how to write a CV = 62%

Browsed newspapers, websites and magazines = 56%

Found out what skills/attributes employers wanted = 51%

Had my CV checked by a tutor/advisor = 46%

Had an interview with a careers advisor = 44%

Kept a record of my personal development and achievements = 43%

Gained work experience = 34%

Asked a tutor for advice = 24%

GEES Survey 2004


Graduate Profiles

Michelle Clift-Matthews, Graduated 2000

Michelle is now a Senior Research Officer within the Office for National Statistics where she is engaged on research projects to improve migration and population statistics. Michelle provided the following reflections on her three years in Plymouth:

‘I often wish I was back there . . . the course was excellent and I really enjoyed it. The field trips were really good and provided real insights, particularly the trip to South Africa. Modules were wide-ranging, interesting and varied, and ticked many of the employer skills requirements in terms of competences’.


Kevin Kay, Graduated 2000

Kevin is now a Senior Transport Planner, involved in the task of highway modelling within the west London-based team, where he is attached to a Development Control Department. Part of his role involves working for major residential and commercial developers in the delivery of a ‘transport case’ for various development proposals. This work has recently included Sherford new town (5500 dwellings) on the outskirts of Plymouth. He writes …

‘My degree has provided the broad basis necessary to enable me to think outside of the box. The research skills and the diligence that it taught me has been the most important asset which I am now able to apply in my job. I say - thanks to all the lecturers for taking the time to develop the best in all of us’.


Looking back on their degree would they choose to study Geography again?

Millennium Survey 2006


Why would you study the same course again?

“Good range of modules to choose from, can specialise in particular area of geography. The degree covers a good and vast range of subjects” (Laura Fisher 2001)

“It was a fantastic course and has given me a good standing for the development of my career” (Lisa Kirby 2001)

“I enjoyed the modules I studied and use my knowledge and skills frequently in day to day life” (Jenny Cox 2000)

“Geography gave me a very broad understanding of multi-disciplinary subjects, allowing me to work in just about any field/sector. The best decision I've ever made!!” (Steve Blamire 2001)

Millennium Survey 2006



Yomping the Nations 2007 Business competition

Grand Final won by Plymouth Geographers

“One of the main reasons for the success stems from the fact that as Geographers the team are adaptable, flexible and resourceful. The broad range of skills developed throughout the degree programme, utilised effectively in the earlier stages of this competition, have produced a well rounded team. Although the team are determined and have a competitive edge they are very down to earth and likeable with an enthusiastic attitude. Whilst being self-assured and resourceful the team are aware of their knowledge limitations and are willing to accept advice from the experts.”



Our surveys have shown that Geography Graduates go into a diverse range of careers and are highly employable

Skills developed through the degree are very relevant to employers

Still needs to be further development in Work Experience, Business Skills and Career Planning

Students also need to be proactive

90% of graduates would choose to study the same course again

Need for more promotion