Illustration 1: Geography and careers
Geographers have many skills 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.
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:
- synthesising and communicating information
- problem solving
- managing data
- 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 activity sheet – outlines a variety of careers in geography, and provides a number of activities students can undertake to focus their thinking about career options.
Questions for discussion
- What classroom strategies can you use to weave geography careers into your teaching?
- How can you make clear links between geography and careers for your students?
- How can you involve your Careers Teacher in helping promote careers in geography?
- At which age levels is it most appropriate to promote geography and careers?
- How much time should be spent promoting geography and careers?
Questions for reflection
- Which career activity was most successful with your students? Why?
- Did your students gain a greater appreciation of a study of geography as a pathway to a career?
- Should the relevance of geography as a career pathway be promoted with parents? When and how would you do this?
- 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?
- Should your faculty promote a special geography awareness day or week to promote careers in geography?
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 May 2019, from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=27p2k1oot80 & https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ExB7-xzAVLc
Australian Government. Bullseye career information. https://docs.education.gov.au/system/files/doc/other/2013_-_bullseye_booklet_update.pdf
Guardian newspaper, UK. What makes psychology and geography grads the most employable? An article from the Guardian newspaper, UK. Retrieved May 2019, from: https://www.theguardian.com/careers/careers-blog/experts-view-why-are-certain-grads-less-likely-to-be-unemployed
Institute of Australian Geographers. Careers through geography. This website shows the diverse careers of geography students. Retrieved May 2019, 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 May 2019, from: www.hi.com.au/careers/geography/index.htm
Geography and careers. Australian Geography Teachers' Association, 2013