SAGE Musings: Geoscience Careers

Carol Ormand, SERC, Carleton College
published May 2, 2016

Today's message is about presenting students with information about geoscience careers. Although most of our students won't pursue careers in the geosciences, I think we do them a disservice if we don't let them know about the wide range of geoscience careers that exist, and the opportunities that these careers present. That said, I think that the variety of career options is one of the things that makes it challenging to inform students about geoscience careers. Where do you start?

One place you can start is on the SAGE 2YC website, which has a set of pages about geoscience careers! I particularly like the page about Geoscientists in the Workforce, as it provides answers to three questions I think students will be interested in: what do geoscientists do, what degree is needed for different geoscience careers, and how much do geoscientists earn? Check it out: http://serc.carleton.edu/sage2yc/careers/overview.html.

Of course, this is just a jumping off point. The video embedded at the top of that page, "Earth Science Careers: Not Just Rocks" is an introduction to career opportunities at the USGS. The thing I like most about this video is that it shows both a wide range of geoscience activities and a diverse group of geoscientists. The thing I think is most unfortunate about it is the emphasis on field work. Research has documented a strong preference among some groups of students, particularly first-generation college students and members of some minority groups, toward jobs in offices or laboratories, rather than outdoors. I'd love to know about videos or other resources that showcase a variety of careers in geoscience and also show a range of work environments.

Do you have a favorite video or similar resource showcasing geoscience careers that you show your students? If so, what resources have you found most useful? Tell us about it!



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