Building Strong Geoscience Departments > Professional Preparation > Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

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

USGS hydrologists measure the cross section at Upper Pine Creek. Mount St. Helens steams in the background. USGS Photograph taken on October 9, 1980, by Lyn Topinka. Image courtesy of the USGS/Cascades Volcano Observatory.

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 professional careers, you'll have to know what knowledge, skills and abilities their future employers are looking for. While every career (and every job) is different, the resources below can help to guide your choices.

Employer and Employee Perspectives

This collection of interviews of employers and employees within the geosciences focuses on what knowledge, skills and abilities are most useful in entry-level positions. Employers tell us what makes some candidates stand out from the competition, while recently employed graduates offer their advice to job candidates.

AGI Career Webinars

The American Geosciences Institute has a webinar series on careers in the geosciences. Follow the links below to watch webcasts of these webinars.

Profiles of Geoscientists

Many educational and professional organizations have online career profile collections. Here are several of them, from


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