Developing Workplace Skills and Competencies in Geography Graduate Programs




Kollasch, Aurelia
Lee, Jenny J.
Solem, Michael

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The Grosvenor Center for Geographic Education


This study compares the perspectives of graduate students and faculty in geography programs in the United States regarding their assessments of preparedness in transferable workplace skills and competencies. Graduate students and faculty were surveyed to examine: I) graduate geography students' assessment of their preparation in transferable skills and competencies; 2) geography faculty perceptions of graduate students' career preparation; and 3) the transferability of the skills and competencies to academic, public, and private sectors. Graduate students and faculty in both master's and doctoral graduate geography programs ranked writing, critical thinking, and research planning and design skills as top three transferable skills with the most extensive level of preparation. There were some significant differences in skill preparedness by graduate program, as well as demographic and academic characteristics. Based on our analyses, we contend that a perception on a 'skills gap' between students and faculty exists in the types of skills and competencies that are emphasized in geography graduate programs.



geography, geography education, career preparation, transferable skills, skills gap


Kollasch, A., Lee, J.J., & Solem, M. (2017). Developing workplace skills and competencies in geography graduate programs. Research in Geographic Education, 19(1), pp. 10-42.


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