Saturday, October 4, 2008

Blogging GSA: the future of jobs in geology

I'm heading for Houston and the Geological Society of America meeting tomorrow. I'm going to miss the Sunday sessions, but people following discussions of the employability (or not) of geology graduates may be interested in the abstracts from this session: Perspectives on an Emerging Workforce Crisis in Geology: Assessing a Looming Irony.

As someone who has lived her entire life in the Ivory Tower (or the Sandstone Fortress, in my current job), but who advises students headed for the Real World, I'm particularly interested in the perspectives of people in the industries that employ geologists. (Links take you to the individual conference abstracts.)

Oil and gas (Exxon-Mobil, BP)
Consulting engineering
Environmental Geology

(I'll be at the meeting from Sunday evening until Thursday morning. My talk is the last one in a session on Thursday... but at least it's possible to get back to Durango in time to teach on Friday, even when I have to leave in the afternoon.)

Edit: Some quick comments from an academic perspective, on ways that industry can ensure a supply of well-prepared employees. (I will add to this as I have time.
The kindergartener is climbing on me.)

Job fairs and other college recruiting: Colleges usually have some office that helps students find jobs, craft resumes, and so forth. Ours puts on job fairs every so often (like next Wednesday). I rarely, if ever, see geoscience employers listed with the recruiters. (Even now.) And students who have not chosen a major may hear about the opportunities at job fairs. In addition, the college career services offices may have things like electronic job listings, electronic resume services, and so forth, and may make those services available to alums - those things can make the job search process more efficient.


Chuck said...

Well, since this economic deal, I haven't had random strangers walk up to me in the supermarket and offer me work, but I think that there are still opportunities around. It might be worth soliciting the advice of a job searcher; I think that geoscience does a particularly poor job at matching people with positions.

Kim said...


I think that geoscience does a particularly poor job at matching people with positions.

Yes. From what I've seen in the past couple years, one of the main way employers recruit is to contact someone they know in academia, and ask them if they know a good match. It's great for students who know professors who have contacts in industry, but it's not a very efficient way to connect people with jobs.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing! I really enjoyed reading about the future of each industry.