For JSG Students
As a new student in the Jackson School, your upcoming career may seem far away. Follow the guide below by exploring introductory courses and career options, gaining some experience in research or industry, and finally emerging into the world of geosciences.
Self-assess (for undergraduates)
First-identify your values, interests, personality and skills by taking introductory classes in a discipline that interests you. For example, GEO 401 (Physical Geology) and EVS 311 (Environmental Science & Sustainability Field Seminar) are suggested gateway classes to pursue if you have an interest in either of these areas as a field of study or possible career path. Use the site My Next Move to explore those industries and careers further.
There are many job opportunities for geoscientists. It is predicted that by 2022 there will be a shortage of geologists, resulting in increased demand in this field. Geology is not only about looking at rocks; a degree in the geosciences can open up a variety of career options. For example, you may work with technology and computers to help develop software for geologists. This degree can also lead you into jobs in the oil and gas, mining, or research industries. It is possible to obtain a job with a BS, but the opportunities are limited compared to jobs available with an MS or PhD. Fields that hire more BS graduates include environmental consulting, federal and state government, and service companies in the energy industry.
- What Can You Do With a Major in Environmental Science
- What You Can Do with a Degree in Earth Sciences
- Preparing for a Career in Petroleum Geology
- Occupational Outlook Handbook – Learn about various careers and jobs, how to develop skills and experience, job outlook, and similar occupations
- ONET – Browse by job family to compare work tasks, skills, education, training, and credentials
Get Connected With Alumni
Dedicated Jackson School Alums want to help students explore their career options and gain some insight to their professions. They do this by offering their places of employment as externship day sites (for 1-day job shadowing), volunteering for student mock interviews, and providing informational interviewing meetings. Consider getting involved when these opportunities arise and build your professional network.
Test and evaluate your career options with internships. Internships have numerous benefits and are highly encouraged. Jackson School students find summer internships in research programs, national parks, government agencies and in various industries. Internships can help you learn about your field of interest, gain real-world work experience, narrow down your career interests, learn important professional skills. Many companies like to hire interns for full-time positions, so think of an internship as an extended try-out for future employment. Visit the JSG Career Services for help finding and applying for internships.
Internships Held By JSG Students (undergraduates)
- Geosciences Intern, Arena Energy
- Environmental Sciences Intern, Antea Group
- Geological Technician Intern, ConocoPhillips
- Geology Intern, Hilcorp
- Geology Intern, Lewis Energy Group
- Geology Intern, Occidental Petroleum (Oxy)
- Geoscience Intern, Pioneer Natural Resources Company
- Intern for the Texas Water Development Board
- Intern, Inner Space Cavern
- Intern, Jones Energy
- Intern, Wagner Oil Company
- Intern, Zara Environmental LLC
- National Association of Geoscience Teachers Intern, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)
- Intern for Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance
- Intern for the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA)
- Intern for the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Mickey Leland Internship
- Hydrogeology Intern for Golder Associates Inc.
- National Parks Intern, Geoscientists in the Parks
- Interpreter Intern, The Student Conservation Association
As you get closer to graduating, begin your job search about 9-6 months ahead of time. Build your connections with employers by attending career fairs and company information sessions. Start considering your online, professional presence and create (or update) your LinkedIn account. Networking is a very powerful job search strategy whether it is online or in person. Visit Career Services to have your resume reviewed, schedule a mock interview or get assistance with your job search in general.
What Attributes Are Employers Looking For In JSG Candidates?
In addition to building technical knowledge through coursework, it is important to start developing traits and “soft skills” that industries you plan to work for are seeking. Many of these are similar for different positions, but they may vary in importance. Start developing these skills through classes, student organizations or other experiences (e.g. internships or research). Here are some important traits employers typically look for when hiring:
- Communication (oral and in writing)
- Critical thinking
- Out of the Box Thinking
- Taking Responsibility/Self-Management
Industries That Hire JSG Graduates
- Education (K-12, Higher Education)
- Energy Finance, Consulting, Green Technology
- Environmental Services/Consulting
- Oil & Gas Exploration, Production, or Services
- Research (National labs, academic institutions)
- State, City or Federal Government
- Networking – American Geosciences Institute recommendations for face-to-face networking
- Social Media Your Career – Join us! JSG Student/Alumni Mentor Group (Facebook)
- JSG Alumni Spotlights – Read the professional profiles of some of our successful alumni
Consider whether graduate school is necessary to accomplish your career goals. Most jobs related in geology or environmental science require a graduate degree. A Master’s degree will not only open up more job opportunities, but help you earn more money. If you think that money will be a problem for continuing your education, know that most universities offer full or partial funding through research or teaching assistant positions to make graduate school financially feasible for most students. If this option does not work for you, you may also look into attending graduate school on a part-time basis to do both work and study.