‘It’s not all about the money’ for Early Careers Professionals Concludes AGI / RGS Report


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The Association for Geographic Information (AGI) and Royal Geographical Society, with IBG, (RGS-IBG) have released the results of their survey into the values of early career professionals within the geospatial sector. Published by the AGI, the report concludes that opportunities for learning and development are particularly important to those in their early and mid-careers whilst employee wellbeing, job security and work-life balance are important at all career stages. Conducted by the AGI’s Early Careers Network (ECN) special interest group, the survey also revealed that office location is of greater importance for early career professionals than for those further on in their career.

“This report has provided some thought provoking and useful insights into the values of employees within the geospatial sector and the differences in perspectives between career stages. The results of the survey also highlighted the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on employee wellbeing and traditional working practices,” commented Tom Perks, Chair of the AGI ECN and GIS Officer at the Greater London Authority. “Going forward, we will use the results of this survey to develop new resources for early career professionals within the sector and we are also keen to engage with employers to discuss the key learning points and explore how we can maximise support for professionals at the start of their careers.”

Liz Fox-Tucker, Professional and Policy Manager at Royal Geographical Society (with IBG), which supported the AGI in designing and undertaking the original survey and analysing the results, added, “There is often a debate about what employees want from an employer and how this varies by career stage. Recent surveys, by Deloitte and the Chartered Institute of Personal Development, have also found good work-life balance and development opportunities, together with remote and hybrid working, were important in attracting and retaining top talent.”

The AGI ECN is run by a committee of volunteers, all of whom are early career professionals, to support students and fellow early career professionals (those with less than ten years relevant industry experience) within the geospatial sector. Its mission is to provide support, resources and development opportunities and host regular online and in-person events providing a platform for members to develop new connections, participate in discussions and showcase their achievements in a low-pressure environment.

The Association for Geographic Information (AGI) is the UK’s geospatial membership organisation; leading, connecting and developing a community of members who use and benefit from geographic information. An independent and impartial organisation, the AGI works with members and the wider community alongside government policy makers, delivers professional development and provides a lead for best practice across the industry.

The Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers) is the UK's learned society and professional body for geography. RGS-IBG advances geography and support geographers in the UK and across the world. The history of the RGS-IBG can be traced back to 1830 when the Geographical Society of London was founded as an institution to promote the advancement of geographical science. The Society’s purpose remains the same today as when first founded, namely the ‘advancement of geographical science’. However, the manner in which this is achieved has expanded greatly over the years – across schools, higher education and professional communities, while continuing to include publishing, the support of field research and expeditions, lectures and conferences, and our historical Collections.

A full copy of the report can be downloaded from the AGI website; https://www.agi.org.uk/agi-early-careers-report-2023/

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