Cutting Edge > Strong Geoscience Departments > Professional Preparation

Professional Preparation

These webpages were written by Carol Ormand, based on ideas compiled from the 2007 workshop on the Role of Departments in Preparing Future Geoscience Professionals.

To prepare your students for their future careers, you'll want to know what those careers are most likely to be and what knowledge, skills, and attributes those careers will require. These pages present information on geoscience workforce trends along with strategies for preparing your students for their future careers.

Build a Network of Alums, Employers, and Career Center Staff

Keeping track of your alumni is a great way to know what kinds of careers your students are heading into. Nearby employers and the staff of your career center share your goals of wanting your students to be well-prepared for their professional careers. Collaborating with them can help take the burden off of you while benefitting everyone.

Understand Geoscience Employment Trends

The landscape of career opportunities in geoscience is constantly changing. To help your students prepare for their future careers, you need to know what their options will be. Here are some predictions based on recent trends. This page also has links to salary data for professional geoscientists.

Know What Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities Employers are Looking For

What knowledge, skills and abilities will your students' future employers be looking for? While every career (and every job) is different, we've interviewed a variety of geoscience employers and recent employees to ask them. Read what they say.


Internships offer opportunities for students to get a taste of what it's like to work as a geoscientist. They also offer opportunities for departments and employers to forge mutually beneficial relationships.

Integrate Professional Preparation into your Program

Preparing your students for their future careers isn't something you do just once... it's an integral part of their education. Advising, curriculum development, seminar series, internships, and more all contribute to your students' professional preparation.

References and Additional Readings

      Next Page »