Preparing for the Geoscience Workforce–Career Pathways
Minority Participation in University Programs, AGI Currents #30, 2010). Part of the solution can be found in the need for a broad-based marketing campaign to advertise the career possibilities in the Geosciences. The American Geosciences Institute Status of the Geoscience Workforce 2014 Report documents an extended growth of 10-30% for geoscientists (depending on sub-discipline) into the next decade. This information should be made broadly accessible to high school teachers and counselors, STEM faculty in 2YCs, to parents, and to the general public. It is also important to understand the career aspirations and motivations of today's students, and to be able to demonstrate how the Geosciences can lead to a personally fulfilling career.
(1) Geoscientist, including sub-fields of
- Environmental Science
- Atmospheric Science
- Climate Science
and (2) Geoscience Engineer, including sub-fields of
- Geoscience Manager
Our project aims to consider both the educational pathways and professional work consistent with this broad definition of "the geosciences."
"To promote pathways to STEM careers for non-traditional students, the Federal Government should provide current and comprehensive data on STEM jobs. Today, public and private employers of STEM professionals lack data about the skills, choices, and availability of STEM workers" (PCAST Executive Summary). However, in the geosciences, data on projected workforce needs and the skills required to be successful in geoscience careers are available from a number of sources:
- National Academy of Science Board on Earth Sciences and Resources (2013), Preparing the Next Generation of Earth Scientists: An examination of federal education and training programs .
- The American Geosciences Institute maintains a comprehensive service on Geoscience Workforce, with information about workforce data, employment trends, and other career information.
- AGI report on Critical Needs for the Twenty-First Century The role of the Geosciences
- AGI report on Status of the Geoscience Workforce 2014
- The NAGT Building Strong Departments program has developed a web module on Professional Preparation (of students) -- includes resources and strategies to support student success in preparing for the workforce.
- The InTeGrate program convened a workshop and developed the related website on: Geoscience and the 21st Century Workforce: Considering undergraduate programs in the context of changing employment opportunities.
- InTeGrate's module on Understand the Workforce Needs provides resources on the workforce overview, workforce outlook, needed competencies, and employer perspectives.
- InTeGrate's module on Strengthen Worforce Preparation in Your Program provides resources on career opportunities, skills and experiences, and utilizing connections with employers and alumni.
- InTeGrate's module on Attract Diverse Students to STEM
- NAGT"s Building Strong Departments module on Integrate Professional Preparation into your Program
- NSF sponsored the January 2014 and 2016 Summit on the Future of Undergraduate Geoscience Education at the University of Texas. The report is now available. A webinar by Sharon Mosher for the AGU/AGI Heads and Chairs Webinar Series summarizes Outcomes of the Geoscience Undergraduate Education Summit.
- The follow on Geoscience Workforce Workshop, May 2015, produced this Summary of Outcomes.
- Watch the 5 minute video on career opportunities for students in the geosciences: Be a Geoscientist -- produced by the Jackson School of Geosciences, University of Texas-Austin.
- Becoming a scientist or engineer: your pathway to the future with LSAMP -- Produced by CSU-LSAMP. "Becoming a Scientist or Engineer: Your Pathway to the Future with LSAMP is intended primarily for high school and lower division college students from racial/ethnic groups historically underrepresented in STEM fields. The goal of this video is to motivate these students to pursue majors or careers in STEM, and to encourage them to seek out LSAMP or other programs that provide support and enrichment experiences to help facilitate their success."
Articles on Preparation for Workforce
- Michael Solem, Aurelia Kollasch, Jenny Lee, Career goals, pathways and competencies of geography graduate students in the USA, Journal of Geography in Higher Education, 2013, 37, 1, 92.
- Stipanovic, N., Lewis, M. V., & Stringfield, S. (2012). Situating programs of study within current and historical career and technical educational reform efforts. International Journal of Educational Reform, 21(2), 80-97.
- Thompson, A., McDaniel, W.L., James, J., Peeler, C., & Hollifield, S. (2013). The Future of Course Work: Customizing Community College Curricula to Meet Industrial Needs.