Help Students Pursue Non-Traditional Careers
What are non-traditional careers for geoscientists?
The American Geosciences Institute (AGI) developed this infographic (right) as a part of the Geoscience Careers Roadshow to help students entering the workforce redefine what it means to have a career in geoscience. Having a successful geoscience career is not solely about mastering the technical fields of study, but additionally includes how students seamlessly integrate their interests and competencies to build a professional portfolio that will bolster their geoscience career. Recognizing the importance of emphasizing the transferability of skills across different fields is imperative to students' employability as geoscientists. This image is not meant to be definitive, but used as a tool to help those entering the workforce think outside the box. The colored rings signify the different sectors where geoscientists work. The wedges, in turn, represent the fields where geoscientists are employed and include different examples of occupations. Where the wedges intersect with the rings indicate that those fields are included in those sectors.
Geoscientists have broad training in the sciences and mathematics. The following skills are associated with geoscience degrees and are transferrable to other fields:
- Temporal and spatial reasoning
- Connecting science to societal issues
- Analyzing and interpreting incomplete data sets
- Dealing with complexity
- Written and oral communication skills
- Problem solving
- Research skills (finding information, forming and testing hypotheses, synthesizing information)
- Evaluating the credibility of information
- Data analysis and statistics
- Use of data from a variety of fields
Get the word out
- Targeted messaging in introductory classes for non-science majors
- Outreach to 2-year colleges
- Presentations at orientation programs
- Collaboration with campus recruiting and outreach programs
- Working with current geoscience majors
- Partnerships with university clubs associated with non-traditional jobs (e.g. journalism club)
- Open house or open field trips
- Inviting speakers with geoscience backgrounds in diverse fields to campus
Learn more about non-traditional careers
- Geology and Human Health—check out the range of natural and anthropogenic health hazards in the Earth system that impact human health (from the On the Cutting Edge program)
- Geology and Public Policy—natural hazards, natural resources, climate change, land use planning—these are all topics that are addressed in the Earth sciences that have important implications for public policy and planning (from the On the Cutting Edge program).
- Workforce Development at 2-Year Colleges—information on available careers, desired competencies and skills, and examples of stronge workforce development programs.
- The Eco Guide to Careers that Make a Difference: Environmental Work for a Sustainable World, 2004, The Environmental Careers Organization, Island Press, Washington.
- The Complete Guide to Environmental Careers in the 21st Century, 1999, The Environmental Careers Organization, Island Press, Washington.
- Put Your Science to Work: The Take-Charge Career Guide for Scientists, Peter Fiske, 2000, American Geophysical Union, Special Publication Series.
- To Boldly Go, A Practical Career Guide for Scientists, Peter Fiske, 1996, American Geophysical Union.
- The American Geosciences Institute Workforce Page—the AGI 2013 Preparing the Workforce Initiative, Geoscience Career Brochures, Geoscientist Profiles, Geoscience Workforce Data and more!
- GeoConnection YouTube Channel—AGI produces and maintains this collection of videos about careers, students life and more.