Status of Recent Geoscience Graduates: Jobs and Challenges Getting There
AGI Press Release -- The American Geosciences Institute has released the 2014 Status of Recent Geoscience Graduates, which highlights the impact of booming enrollments and the challenges for students face in matching their education to the demands of the current hiring in the geoscience-related industries.
"Understanding the skills, knowledge and experiences of geoscience graduates is important because of upcoming changes to the geoscience workforce," report author Carolyn Wilson said referencing a large population of baby boomers approaching retirement age. "This research has not been conducted prior to 2013 and it's important we are able to characterize what a geoscience graduate looks like, and what they know."
Many trends from 2013 are echoed in the 2014 study, and there was a 60% increase in participation from the geoscience community in this year's study. However, 2014 did see the graduation rates of women increasing to almost equal or higher than that of men. Also, a Latino/Hispanic population dominated the percentages of those who self-identified as members of an underrepresented population.
Two key trends continued in 2014, with an increasing number of geoscience graduates not participating in internships, and a shortage of available spaces to attend field camps and courses during the course of their studies. Both trends impact potential employability as work and field experiences remain top employer desires in new hires.
Social aspects of geoscience student experiences are also explored. Many students are drawn to geoscience by an appreciation of the outdoors, enjoying the interdisciplinary nature of the science, the influence of role models, and job security. Consistent with the 2013 report, students who graduate with master's degrees tend to find jobs with higher annual salaries than doctoral candidates and those with salaries higher than $90,000 are exclusively employed in the oil and gas industry.
When asked about what picture is emerging from researching recent geoscience graduates Wilson said, "Since this kind of research has not been previously done, we are now able to provide supporting data to the often anecdotally cited issues, most of which are neither new or surprising, only now we are able to back it up."
To download the report: http://www.americangeosciences.org/workforce/reports
The American Geosciences Institute is a nonprofit federation of geoscientific and professional associations that represents more than 250,000 geologists, geophysicists and other earth scientists. Founded in 1948, AGI provides information services to geoscientists, serves as a voice of shared interests in the profession, plays a major role in strengthening geoscience education, and strives to increase public awareness of the vital role the geosciences play in society's use of resources, resiliency to natural hazards, and interaction with the environment.