SAGE Musings: Recruiting Students into the Geosciences

Carol Ormand, SERC, Carleton College
published Sep 19, 2016

Facilitating student pathways into geoscience careers begins with enrollment in geoscience courses, and continues with recruiting those students into geoscience programs. What recruitment strategies work? The Building Strong Geoscience Departments project gathered strategies from faculty across the country and compiled them on this web page: http://serc.carleton.edu/NAGTWorkshops/departments/recruiting/index.html. They recommend reaching students early, informing students about career options and opportunities, and developing a sense of community in your department, among other ideas. They also have suggestions for advertising your program, to build student awareness of it. And there's a page of recruitment posters from a wide variety of geoscience programs: http://serc.carleton.edu/NAGTWorkshops/departments/recruiting/posters.html.

Things I found interesting, in working on the Building Strong Geoscience Departments project: students are very interested in career and salary information, and most of them have no idea that there are career opportunities in the geosciences. Interesting tidbit from the American Geosciences Institute 2016 Status of the Geoscience Workforce report: median salaries in major geoscience industries went up this year, continuing the trend of the geosciences being one of the most well-compensated STEM fields.

How do you and your colleagues recruit students into your classes? How do you encourage them to consider geoscience degrees? Do you talk about salaries at all?



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