Career Advice From Professionals in Geosciences

By Dr. Richard Kyle, Professor
The Third Mr. and Mrs. Charles E. Yager Professorship
Department of Geological Sciences, Jackson School of  Geosciences

  • Bachelor’s degree sufficient for many entry-level industry positions.

    Dr. Richard Kyle, Department of Geological Sciences, Jackson School.
    Dr. Richard Kyle,
  • Graduate degrees preferred for advancement in industry and government.
  • Ph.D. required for most college/university teaching and advanced research positions.
  • A love of the outdoors, interest in natural processes, and enjoyment of travel serves well in many geoscience careers.
  • Physical stamina is desirable to complete research and work assignments in remote areas under various conditions.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills are essential in most positions.
  • Valuable skills include experience with computer hardware and software related to industry or research applications.
  • Student associations and professional organizations related to interest area(s) can provide valuable career-long contacts.
  • Foreign language proficiency increases one’s ability to accept work assignments in other countries.
  • Proficiency in two subject areas can increase employability, for example, geology and physics for geophysics, geology and chemistry for geochemistry, geology and foreign language for overseas assignments, etc.
  • Experience obtained by volunteer, part-time, summer, internship, and/or co-op work may be valuable in securing entry-level employment. Contact local geologists, geophysicists, geochemists, hydrologists, oceanographers, urban planners, surveyors, and civil engineers for possibilities.

Geoscience Career Spotlights

These 3 minute videos highlight diverse professionals working in various Geoscience-related areas using their education, skills, interests and knowledge of science. Each person demonstrates their career path beginning with their degrees to getting experience, whether it be volunteering in research labs or an internship, to advancing in their field and into higher management positions. All videos were produced by UNAVCO interns.

The American Geosciences Institute

AGI compiled career information from the U.S. Bureau Labor of Statistics and researched various areas of the Geosciences field to easily explore specialty areas. The links below are to printable PDF versions.

Data Science 
Geographic Information Science 
Planetary Science 
Ocean Science 
Geoscience Policy 
Atmospheric Science