Workforce, Transfer, and Careers
Two-year colleges play an important role in preparing the next generation of the geoscience workforce. And there is an array of issues that affect how and how well our institutions are able to do that. This part of the website will address what the community knows about workforce preparation in the context of 2YCs and how to develop the capacity to do it better.
Geoscience Careers: What options are available for your students?
One of the first steps towards getting students at 2YCs interested in considering a career in the geosciences at 2YCs may be to show them what geoscientists do. Information about the kinds of careers that are available and the kind of education required to land one can help students envision themselves as a part of the "geo" workforce.
Employer Perspectives: What do your students need to know and be able to do?
It's important that 2YC programs are designed to provide students with the skills, knowledge, and competencies they will need to be successful in the workforce or when they transfer on to further study. The best source of this information is the employers who will be looking to hire your students after graduation. Here are some first-hand accounts of the kinds of abilities that will make your students into hireable assets for companies and agencies looking for geoscience expertise.
Students aiming to transfer from 2YCs to 4-year colleges and universities often need support to successfully navigate the transition. Programs at 2YCs can be structured in ways to provide that kind of scaffolding so that the students can excel once they have moved on to the next stage of their education.
Many programs throughout the country focus specifically on preparing students to enter the geotechnian workforce. These programs commonly focus on local issues and workforce needs, have both college-transfer and technical courses, and lead to AAS degrees or certificates.
Preparing your students for their future careers isn't something you can do once and just check it off. Done well, it's an integral part of their education. Many different aspects of their experience - both inside and beyond the classroom - can contribute to your students' professional preparation. From advising and internships to seminars and innovative curricula, the opportunities to distribute information about geoscience careers and to integrate professional preparation throughout programs are numerous and varied.
- Preparing Students in Two-year Colleges for Geoscience Degrees and Careers: This workshop brought together faculty, administrators, and representatives of professional societies to address the challenges and share successful programs and activities for bringing students from two-year colleges into geoscience careers. We worked together to develop new strategies and recommendations from the classroom to the national level. Participants became part of a network of colleagues who share similar challenges and concerns for the preparation of 2YC geoscience students.
- InTeGrate - Geoscience and the 21st Century Workforce: This workshop from the InTeGrate project was held in 2013 as a way of looking broadly at employment opportunities for students from geoscience and related programs and from other programs that include geoscience and considered employment opportunities for students with associate degrees as well as bachelors degrees.
- The American Geosciences Institute has a website on Geoscience Workforce issues and information, including a number of career-related webinars.
- The Role of Departments in Preparing Future Geoscience Professionals: This workshop from the Building Strong Geoscience Departments project sought to improve the ability of departments to prepare geoscience students for professional careers including traditional roles in academia, government research, industry, and teaching, as well as opportunities in business, law, public service, and elsewhere. The workshop brought together faculty leaders, chairs, and other campus administrators to discuss strategies that have been effective on their own campuses, to develop new ideas to strengthen their programs, and to develop recommendations regarding the critical elements in preparing future geoscience professionals.