Geography and careers

Introduction

Geographers have many skills which are valued by employers. This illustration focuses on the knowledge and skills that geographers bring to various careers. These skills - learnt and practiced in geography and applied to numerous careers - provide students with clear links between the subject and future employment opportunities. 

The activities identify these skills, and explore connections between geography and employment options. 

Other options for teachers to make these connections include inviting interesting speakers from different career backgrounds to talk to students (ensuring positive images and challenging stereotypes) and creating a 'Geography and careers' blog that students contribute to and share ideas. 

Classroom application

Many students do not realise that geography equips them with a broad range of skills and knowledge, enabling them to make sense of the world. The skills learnt in geography include: 

  • collecting
  • synthesising and communicating information
  • problem solving
  • managing data
  • teamwork
  • using a variety of new technology
  • thinking critically and creatively
  • planning and organising
  • research and report writing
  • independent inquiry. 

By applying these skills and looking at things geographically, students can understand and work out the best solutions to problems and issues.

A number of activities that link geography and careers are provided in this illustration of practice for you to use with your students. Geography prepares you for a career (PDF, 403 KB) outlines a variety of careers in geography, and provides a number of activities students can undertake to focus their thinking about career options. The Australian Government's geography bullseye careers poster Do you enjoy or are you good at geography? is also a very useful tool (you can download a PDF of this poster from the website).

To assist you to educate students and parents about career options linked to the study of geography a PowerPoint presentation Geography and careers (PPT, 19.79 MB) has been provide for use in subject selection presentations, geography promotions and careers events.

Questions for discussion

  1. What classroom strategies can you use to weave geography careers into your teaching?
  2. How can you make clear links between geography and careers for your students?
  3. How can you involve your Careers Teacher in helping promote careers in geography? 
  4. At which age levels is it most appropriate to promote geography and careers?
  5. How much time should be spent promoting geography and careers?

Questions for reflection

  1. Which career activity was most successful with your students? Why?
  2. Did your students gain a greater appreciation of a study of geography as a pathway to a career?
  3. Should the relevance of geography as a career pathway be promoted with parents? When and how would you do this? 
  4. Are there any geography skills that are more relevant to career promotion than others? Can you identify these and explain why you think they are more relevant to some jobs?
  5. Should your faculty promote a special geography awareness day or week to promote careers in geography?

Resources


Videos:

Geographical Association, UK. A different view: Promoting geography (duration, 05:42). A video funded by the Geographical Association (UK) to promote geography. Retrieved September 2012, from: www.geography.org.uk/resources/adifferentview/promotinggeography.

YouTube. Geography matters (duration, 06:46). A video on why students should study geography. Retrieved September 2012, from: www.youtube.com/watch?v=JyhSHDGg-cw.

YouTube. Going places with geography (duration, 09:36 & 09:30). Two videos on geography studies and careers. Retrieved September 2012, from: http://www.rgs.org/OurWork/Schools/Careers+and+Further+Study/....  

Websites:

Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA). Australian Curriculum: Geography. Retrieved May 2013, from: www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/Geography/Rationale

Australian Government. Bullseye career information. Do you enjoy or are you good at Geography? (You can download this PDF poster about geography careers from the website). Retrieved September 2012, from: http://www.deewr.gov.au/Schooling/...

Guardian newspaper, UK. What makes psychology and geography grads the most employable? An article from the Guardian newspaper, UK. Retrieved September 2012, from: http://careers.guardian.co.uk/careers-blog/experts-view-why-are-certain-grads-less-likely-to-be-unemployed.

GeoCareers. This is a resource especially designed to provide students with information about careers based on the study of geography at secondary school or a tertiary institution such as a university or college. Retrieved September 2012, from: www.geocareers.net.au/.

Institute of Australian Geographers. Careers through geography. This website shows the diverse careers of geography students. Retrieved September 2012, from: www.iag.org.au/about-geography/careers-through-geography/.

Pearson Australia. Geography futures: Career options in geography. Here there are several profiles of people who are working in geography-related professions. Retrieved September 2012, from: www.hi.com.au/careers/geography/index.htm.

There are a number of websites that focus on careers in spatial technologies: 

Map Pros! Careers in geospatial technologies. This USA site is for students and others interested in learning about careers in geospatial technologies. It features career information and profiles of people who use geospatial technologies. Retrieved September 2012, from: http://geospatialcareers.net/index.html.

Destination Spatial. Be who you want to be. Retrieved September 2012, from: http://www.destinationspatial.org/discover.aspx.

GISjobs Australia. Connecting spatial professionals. Retrieved September 2012, from: http://www.gisjobs.com.au/.