Employment Prospects for Geography Graduates

I gave a talk to prospective students this week in which I said that Geography graduates were very attractive to many employers because of their special combination of subject-specific and transferable skills.

Shortly after I gave the talk, however, I saw a post on Facebook – a post from a student Geo-Society indeed – suggesting that Geography graduates suffered from poor employment prospects. I thought I would check, and found some useful recent data on the web site of the Higher Education Careers Services Unit.   One of the things I say in my talk is that Geography graduates learn to treat statistics with caution, and to make sure their statistics are reliable before they base any conclusions on them. I therefore hesitate to report just one set of statistics in this post, but at least these data somewhat reassured me after I read the item on Facebook!

According to HECSU, the unemployment rates for 2012 graduates of a range of different degree subjects in the UK 6 months after graduation were as follows:

% UNEMPLOYED
14.8%   Computer Science & IT
13.3%   Media Studies
12.0%    Fine Arts
10.9%  Finance & Accountancy
10.7%   Physics
10.6%    Biology
10.3%   Economics
9.9%   Sociology
9.8%   Politics
9.4%   Maths
9.3%   Marketing
9.2%    Chemistry
8.8%   Physical and Geographical Sciences
8.4%   Mechanical Engineering
7.2%  Geography
7.1%  Law

Those basic numbers probably do not tell the whole story, and you may wish to scrutinise the original data to see exactly what kind of jobs Geography graduates are doing, and how many of them are in employment or in further education or training, but at least for those of us who wanted to do a quick check, graduate prospects for Geography students are looking pretty good here!

For more information you might check out the Higher Education Careers Services Unit, or this article about employability of geographers from The Guardian, or the Higher Education Statistics Agency site, or these Geography careers pages from the RGS 

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