JSG Happenings

Summit on Improving Geoscience Graduate Student Preparedness for the Future Workforce

May 11-13, 2019 – Austin, Texas


Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences

A NSF sponsored Summit on Improving Geoscience Graduate Student Preparedness for the Future Workforce was held on May 11-13, 2019 in Austin, Texas. This summit brought together geoscience academic leaders (Deans, Heads, Chairs, and Graduate Program Directors) to discuss the skills and competencies Ph.D. and M.S students need to be successful in the future workforce, regardless of the career path they choose. Only about half of Ph.D. students and few M.S. students in the geosciences end up in academia, yet universal skills needed for other careers are generally not emphasized or developed in graduate school.

The goal of the Summit was to explore how graduate programs can effectively develop these skills and competencies in graduate students in Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences. This summit was specifically designed for administrative leaders who have the ability to make and lead change.

Geoscience Employers Workshop

In October 2018, we held a Geoscience Employers Workshop, with participants representing a broad spectrum of employers of Ph.D. and M.S. students in Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, including industry, business, government agencies, non-profits and academic research universities. This workshop identified the skills and competencies universally needed by graduate-level geoscientists regardless of their field or future career. Employers also discussed effective methods for developing these skills and competencies, and their role in these educational activities. The Summit will discuss these results and other national graduate student STEM reports on workforce preparedness. An overview of the workshop results was presented at the 2019 Summit.