SAGE Musings: Geoscience Career Resources on the SAGE 2YC Website

Carol Ormand, SERC, Carleton College
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published Mar 7, 2019 8:03am

When I was a faculty member, I gave very little thought to teaching my students about geoscience careers. I suppose I thought -- to the extent that I thought about it at all -- that if they enjoyed my course enough, they would choose to major in geoscience, would earn their Bachelors degree in it, and would then do what I did: go to graduate school. If I were teaching now, I would take a very different approach. There are a wide array of careers available to people with degrees in geoscience; it seems to me that I could find a geoscience career option that would appeal to almost anyone. Moreover, there are geoscience careers available to people with any college degree, including an Associates degree. If you would like to include information about geoscience careers in your courses, check out the SAGE 2YC web pages on providing geoscience career information to your students.

What Do Geoscientists Do?

One of my earliest Musings was about this page, which focuses on three key pieces of information:

  • what geoscientists do;
  • details about a variety of geoscience careers, including job responsibilities, work environment, salary range, needed qualifications, and job outlook; and
  • general guidelines about what careers are available to graduates at each degree level.

Geoscience Degrees and Careers

This page provides a more detailed listing of the types of jobs that are accessible to people with Associates, Bachelors, Masters, and PhDs. For several of the career options available to Associate degree holders, the page links to the "occupational outlook handbook" information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Employment in the Geosciences

If you or your students are looking for information on how much geoscientists in various employment sectors earn, or salary and employment trends over time, this page is a good place to start.

Employer Perspectives

This is my new favorite page! This page links to

  • a collection of a dozen presentations by geoscience employers, with information about geoscience careers in their fields, the knowledge, skills, abilities, and attitudes that they are looking for in employees, and advice and suggestions for potential employees;
  • a page about the knowledge, skills, and abilities employers in a range of geoscience fields are looking for; and
  • a comprehensive competency model for Geospatial Technology. A competency model is a collection of multiple competencies that together define successful performance in a defined work setting. This model provides a clear description of what a person needs to know and be able to do for a career in geospatial technology.

Professional Society Career Resources

This is an extraordinary list of links to career information available from professional societies across the geosciences. Almost all of these pages have information about what types of careers are available in particular disciplines, profiles of people who are doing those kinds of jobs, and job placement opportunities. In all, there are links to 45 different organizations' resources about geoscience careers!

What's your favorite resource or reference about geoscience career options, especially for 2YC students?

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