Our geography graduates find employment in a wide range of fields. They work in areas such as local government, retail, human resources, finance, insurance, ICT, education and research. Many of our students have gone on to postgraduate studies in subjects such as conservation; rural estate management; economy, society and space; and cities, culture and social change.
Check out what our graduates have gone on to do and how studying at Kingston helped them achieve their goals.
Name: Joshua Ogunleye
Course: Human Geography BA
Alumni: Andrew Boyd
Year of graduation: 1998
Current job: Divisional manager, Robert Half International
A geography degree has helped Andrew Boyd develop the skills he needs to forge ahead in the financial recruitment industry.
"I decided to study geography because it was a subject that I had enjoyed throughout my GCSEs and A-levels. I chose Kingston for my degree because I wanted to go to a university close to London and so attended one of its open days, which went well. Also, I had friends there who were very positive about the social life.
"Once at Kingston, I thought the course was very good. The lecturers were really approachable and there was an excellent range of modules. I found the fieldwork particularly enjoyable and met some great people who will be my friends for life.
"After leaving University, I worked for Crystal Holidays for six months in a French ski resort. When I returned to the UK, I got a job as a candidate resourcer for Robert Half International, which is the world's largest specialist financial recruiter with over 30 offices in the UK and over 300 worldwide.
"This was a graduate entry position. My then manager was also a geography graduate and so recognised the value of my degree. This helped me to secure the job. Since joining the company I have had two promotions, first to recruitment consultant and now I am a division manager with a team of three. I have responsibility for the temporary and contract placement of clerical, part-qualified and qualified accountants in the Thames Valley.
"What I like most about my work is meeting a very varied range of people (both clients and candidates). It gives me an insight into a large number of businesses. I also enjoy having the opportunity to work in a position where earnings are directly related to how much effort you put in.
"During my time at Kingston I developed a wide range of skills, which I believe have helped me advance in my career. These include presentation and communication skills; the ability to work to deadlines; plus the ability to analyse situations and suggest possible solutions and improvements. These are of value to every employer."
Former student: Caroline Dugard
Year of graduation: 2001
Current job: Trainee environmental consultant, Mott MacDonald
Geography alumna Caroline Dugard talks about how her degree has helped to develop her confidence and self-belief, as well as a great career.
"I loved geography at secondary school. It's the broadest subject you can get, encompassing the study of the earth, its features and the distribution of all activities within it. It involves elements from most other subjects, such as physics, history, sociology and maths, but in understandable and applicable ways.
"I found the first few weeks at Kingston a bit strange – getting used to the life, the work and what was expected of me. Year two was definitely the best year. The first year is used to find your feet and enjoy yourself. By the third year you know what's going on and need to get your head down to get the work done.
"After graduating, I did some temping while trying to decide what I wanted to do. One placement was providing admin cover at a large consultancy company, Mott MacDonald. This was my luckiest move ever – I was placed in the environment team, which needed someone to co-ordinate a large project undertaking environmental due diligence on an oil pipeline. I have been at the same company ever since, moving from the environment team when work became sparse to doing admin work for the engineering team.
"Now Mott MacDonald is helping me to do an Environmental Assessment and Management MSc. Therefore I am on my way back to the environment team to be a bona fide environmental consultant. I really enjoy what I do and will enjoy it even more when I'm fully qualified.
"The best thing about my job is its variety. I have to solve problems on a daily basis and talk to lots of different people from different backgrounds, work areas and countries. My degree provided a brilliant basis for all the things I do today.
"University did a great deal to help me to become the person I have. I wasn't confident before I went but I am now. I know that I can achieve something if I put my mind to it. University is not just about getting the essays in on time, it is about getting as much as possible out of the whole process.
"I would say knowledge is the most useful thing I got from my degree. Facts are good, but the ability to think and learn is not to be underestimated. I didn't imagine I would do a masters degree, but here I am doing it. My geography degree made me hungry to learn more.
"Geography is a very well respected subject in the workplace and it's such a brilliantly broad degree it can lead anywhere. Friends from my course are doing such different jobs that you wouldn't think we had done the same subject. I would advise people taking geography to really go for it – don't just study the easy options but vary the sub-topics, mixing physical with human. That way your knowledge-base will prepare you for anything!"
The Faculty of Science, Engineering and Computing has a specialist employability team. It provides friendly and high-quality careers and recruitment guidance, including advice and sessions on job-seeking skills such as CV preparation, application forms and interview techniques. Specific advice is also available for international students about the UK job market and employers' expectations and requirements.
The team runs employer events throughout the year, including job fairs, key speakers from industry and interviews on campus. These events give you the opportunity to hear from, and network with, employers in an informal setting. For example, here students are practising their interview skills with employers at a 'speed interviewing' event on campus.
In addition to building expertise in your own discipline, our courses will also help you to develop key transferable skills that you'll need for professional life or further study once you graduate.
As well as a range of careers and employability activities at Kingston, we also offer you the chance to apply and develop your skills in live contexts as an integral part of your course. Opportunities include:
In your final year, you'll get the opportunity to complete a major 'capstone' project where you can apply the knowledge and skills you have acquired to a range of real issues in different contexts. This is a great way to learn and is a valuable bridge to employment or further research at masters level.
If you decide that you would like to go on to postgraduate study after your undergraduate course, we offer a 10 per cent discount on our postgraduate course tuition fees to our alumni. Here are some courses that might interest you: