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Careers – University of Reading

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  • Far-reaching career prospects

    95% of our undergraduates are in work and/or study 15 months after graduating*


Enhance your career opportunities by developing practical and transferable skills.

We believe in preparing you for success by making employment skills and opportunities a central part of your programme throughout your time at the University of Reading. You will develop both the practical and the transferable skills that employers want to see, and our close relationships with leading companies and agencies give you the chance to make valuable contacts in your chosen industry.

Achieve the career you want

Our graduates are passionate about improving the world in which we live, and go on to work in a wide range of sectors, including education, commerce, environmental consultancies, government agencies, pollution monitoring and renewable and sustainable energy companies.

You will have the opportunity to gain direct contact with future employers through placements, our year in industry option, and your day-to-day studies in our innovative modules.

Geography careers PGTStudentfieldtrip

A degree in Geography arms you with the ability to see the big picture. The intellectual, technical and team-working skills gained during the course can be applied to roles in education, commerce, government and environmental consultancy.

Alongside your geography studies, you will also learn how to plan for your future career. The compulsory second-year career development skills module covers aspects of career planning, including self-awareness, career opportunities, writing a CV and attending interviews.

Recent graduates have been employed as:

  • transport analysts
  • recruitment consultants
  • regional planning officers
  • GIS specialists
  • environmental scientists and consultants, for example, flood warning officers and environmental engineers.

Around 17% of our students continue their studies, to specialise further or to qualify to teach (PGCE).

Environmental Science careers

The need for professional environmental and climate scientists with a sound scientific background continues to grow and opportunities for graduates from this degree include employment by environmental consultancies, water companies, and waste disposal and pollution monitoring companies.

Many of our graduates undertake a specialised MSc course, such as in hydrogeology, basin analysis, renewable resources or environmental science before entering employment or a research career. Recent graduates have entered employment with companies as varied as:

  • AWE
  • Centre for Alternative Technology
  • Thames Water
  • Sustrans
  • Syngenta
  • Jacobs Engineering

Transferable skills

Transferable skills are key in the current job market and for many employers the attitudes and aptitudes of graduates are of equal importance to the content of your particular degree. A degree in Geography or Environmental Science from the University of Reading will provide you with invaluable experience and an unrivalled skill-set to enhance your career prospects. These include:

  • problem solving
  • literacy and numeracy: data analysis, report and essay writing
  • teamwork and presentations
  • leadership
  • international perspective
  • relevant work experience

Modules that prepare you for the workplace

Jonathan Cocks studied Human and Physical Geography at the University of Reading and developed his practical, applied skills and transferable skill set through the programme.

Jonathan chose the "Preparing for Floods" module which was developed with input from organisations that hold a real stake in the issues explored in the course including staff from the Environment Agency, Met Office and Red Cross Climate Centre. Learning from professionals in the field allowed Jonathan to gain insight into a variety of potential sectors, organisations, and roles, helping to prepare him to enter the job market with a clear direction.

“Taking this module meant that I got to work directly with people who used the concepts I was learning about in their day-to-day roles, and really made it clear how relevant my course was to the issues I care about”

Jonathan Cocks

BSc Geography (Human and Physical)

He was awarded a prize for his dissertation on "An Evaluation Changing Rainfall-Runoff Relationships in the Loddon Catchment", and since graduating has joined WM Atkins as a Graduate Transport Planner in their graduate scheme.

Dedicated Careers Adviser

The School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science has a dedicated Careers Consultant who offers careers advice incorporating coaching techniques, and has developed career learning in both higher education and school settings. They provide additional support actively supporting us by building links with industry both locally and nationally.

To find out more, visit the Careers Centre site.

RED award

The RED Award (Reading Experience and Personal Development) is a formal record of all your placements and volunteering and is included in your University transcript. This allows you to make the most of extra-curricular activities and experiences undertaken outside of your academic course and to share these with prospective employers on graduation.

Come to an Open Day

Get a real feel for the University and explore our beautiful award-winning campus.

*Graduate Outcomes Survey 2017/18; First Degree responders from Geography and Environmental Science. Contains HESA Data: Copyright Higher Education Statistics Agency Limited 2020. The Higher Education Statistics Agency Limited cannot accept responsibility for any inferences or conclusions derived by third parties from its data. 

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