Career paths that graduates can look at that enable travel

Grads Corner
03 September 2019 | Grads Corner | Guest Author

Taking that post-university leap into the job market is always daunting, but if you’re more at home travelling the world than sitting behind a desk, chances are the thought of a traditional 9 to 5 job has you sweating. So why not try and channel that passion for travel into a career? Because yes, it is possible…

Here are five jobs you should definitely consider if you’d rather pack a suitcase than a briefcase:


This role isn’t as obviously connected to the travel industry, but for those who love exploring the world there is one big benefit to becoming a teacher – school holidays. OK, you’ll have lessons to plan, but that long summer holiday in particular offers plenty of opportunity for trips abroad. You’ll also be in the unique position of being able to share your love of travel with your students, and with organisations offering exciting trips for schoolchildren of all ages, you could even find yourself travelling with your students.

Of course, being a teacher also affords you all the other benefits of a permanent job, AND you get to inform and inspire a new generation of travel-lovers.

Teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL)

Another way to use your teaching skills to see the world is to study for your TEFL certificate. With this accreditation, you can travel the world, earning money by teaching those who wish to learn or improve their English. From Spain to Vietnam to China, the TEFL job board has so many opportunities you’ll be spoilt for choice. Start by investigating TEFL courses in your area, and you could soon be heading somewhere much further afield.


From ski instructors to holiday reps, there are a number of unique jobs in the travel and tourism industry. Whether you fancy working in a hotel, a ski chalet, or an all-inclusive resort, check out jobs listings boards and for the latest roles and opportunities, as well as the websites of major travel agents.

Many, but not all, of these kinds of roles are seasonal, as resorts often need more assistance at particular times of the year – in ski season, for example, or during the peak summer months. A travel and tourism degree can be useful when applying for a role like this, but it is not usually essential.

Marine training

If you’re serious about spending time at sea and you’ve got a relevant degree, a career in the Merchant Navy could be just the thing. You could find yourself working on tankers, cruise liners, bulk carriers, container ships, ferries or all of the above for long periods of time. So while a reliable pair of sea legs will stand you in good stead, a marine training postgraduate course could really put the wind in your sails.
There are programmes to suit different areas of expertise – for example, if engineering is your thing, a BEng in Mechanical Engineering could get you onto a training programme that will last 18 months, at least half of which will be spent at sea. It will bring you a wide range of relevant industry experience to set you on course for a seafaring life in the maritime sector.


If you’ve got a degree in a foreign language such as French, German or Italian and you’re interested in a high-flying career in the retail sector, have a look at merchandising and buying opportunities. They offer you the chance to work for a big brand you already know in a part of the world that you don’t.

Major retail brands often offer long and short-term programmes, where you can work in their outsourcing offices in any number of far-flung corners of the globe. You’ll be sourcing exciting new products, strengthening business ties and working creatively and innovatively to bring international goods to the UK market – setting you up for a promising career whether you choose to return home or stay abroad.

Account management

Across a huge number of industries, from digital marketing and SEO to global haulage and logistics, companies big and small need people on the ground in every country where they operate. As an international account manager, you’ll be the face of your company abroad and develop a real understanding of the country you’re working in, wherever that may be.

Account management jobs offer a chance to make a big impression in all sorts of exciting destinations – no matter what your area of expertise or your destination of choice, it’s likely that you’ll find something that appeals to you. As a graduate working for a new employer you might need to begin in a UK-based role, but once they decide you’re ready to jet off, the opportunities for travel will be huge.

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