Initial Publication Date: April 13, 2015

Understand Geoscience Employment Trends

Written by Carol Ormand and added to by Molly Kent, based on ideas compiled from the 2007 workshop on the Role of Departments in Preparing Future Geoscience Professionalsand the 2013 Geoscience in the 21st Century Workforce workshop.

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.

Future Geoscience Workforce Needs

According to these experts, the future of geoscience looks promising.

Who Will Fill the Geoscience Workforce Supply Gap?

In this article in Environmental Science and Technology (2010, v. 44 (2), pp. 550–555), Leila Gonzales and Chris Keane, of the American Geosciences Institute, point out that society's need for geoscientists exceeds the current number of geoscience students, and that the workforce shortage is expected to increase. They explore the reasons for this shortage as well as possible solutions.

AGI Geoscience Workforce Program Reports

AGI publishes an annual report on the status of the geoscience workforce, based on original data collected by AGI as well as from federal data sources, professional membership organizations, and industry. The report integrates these data into a comprehensive view of the human and economic parameters of the geosciences, including supply and training of new students, workforce demographics and employment projections, to trends in geosciences research funding and economic indicators. See the Status of the Geoscience Workforce 2014 report.

Geoscience Workforce Trends

Roman Czujko, from the Statistical Research Center at the American Institute of Physics, gave this presentation at the 2007 Workshop on The Role of Departments in Preparing Future Geoscience Professionals. Jobs are available in the geosciences, and geoscientists report a high level of job satisfaction.

National Recruitment Trends and Future Drivers

Chris Keane's gave a presentation at the 2007 workshop on Strategies for Successful Recruitment of Geoscience Majors detailing the current trends in geoscience employment, as well as what skills employers are looking for.

GeoCareer Futures: Myriad Opportunities, Complex Pathways

Chris Keane of the American Geosciences Institute made this presentation at the 2007 Workshop on The Role of Departments in Preparing Future Geoscience Professionals. In the coming decade, demand for trained geoscientists, particularly in the private sector, is projected to exceed supply by a significant margin.

National Perspectives on the Geosciences

This presentation was given by Christopher Keane of the American Geosciences Institute at the the 2005 Workshop Developing Pathways to Strong Departments for the Future. Using AGI data, he provides a snapshot of the "health" of the geosciences in academia, industry, and government, measured via factors such as economic growth and public perceptions of the relevance of the geosciences.

Non-Traditional Careers

This page discusses the many career paths available to geoscience graduates, from policy and education to research and law. It is based on the work of Deborah Bathke (University of Nebraska at Lincoln), Dave Mogk (Montana State University-Bozeman), Megan Pickard (Brigham Young University-Idaho), Craig Schiffries (Carnegie Institution of Washington), Karen Viskupic (Boise State University) and Carolyn Wilson (American Geosciences Institute) at the 2013 Geoscience in the 21st Century Workforce workshop.


AGI's Webinars

The American Geosciences Institute offers webinars that address topics of interest within the geoscience community. Speakers come from industry, government, and academia. Webinars are recorded, so you can watch and listen to them via the AGI website. Past webinars have focused on topics such as

AGI's Geoscience Currents

The American Geosciences Institute publishes online news reports related to geoscience workforce issues, based on up-to-date data they've collected. Subscribe to receive email delivery. Past issues have focused on topics such as

Geoscience Employment Data

References and Additional Readings