For JSG Students
As a new or continuing student in the Jackson School, graduation and your upcoming career may seem far away. The guide below is provided to help you begin the exploratory process in the geosciences followed by understanding various career options, gaining some experience & skills, and finally emerging into your profession.
Geology is not only about looking at rocks; a degree in the geosciences can open up a variety of career options. The geoscience workforce is dynamic and it is expected to increase by 4.9% from 2019-2029 (US Bureau of Labor and Statistics). Not all geoscience jobs happen outdoors. There are a the wide range of career opportunities available, include geoscientists working in labs, offices, and leadership positions to roles like climate modelers, data analyst, environmental lawyers, and science journalists. Start your search online using the following sites:
- 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
- Career Compass for Geosciences – Career Compass Infographs provide options, tips, suggestions, and strategies for how students can obtain critical skills, experiences, and competencies in order to launch their geoscience career
- GROW – Geosciences Resources on Opportunities in the Workforce
- My Next Move – Free career assessment and career paths for various areas and industries
Career and Self-assessment
Identify your values, interests, personality and skills by taking introductory classes in a discipline that interests you. For example, taking a course like GEO 401 (Physical Geology) or EVS 311 (Environmental Science & Sustainability Field Seminar) can help you begin study on a potential career path. Taking career assessments can help you uncover many possible careers. Request an appointment to take the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator to explore majors and career paths if you are unsure of your plans.
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 to enhance needed skills to succeed in the workplace. Jackson School students find summer internships in research programs, national parks, and many other opportunities. Internships can help you learn about your field of interest, gain real-world work experience, narrow down your career interests and 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. Our office is happy to help with how to find and apply for internships
Internships Held By JSG Students
- Geosciences Intern – Arena Energy
- Environmental Sciences Intern – Antea Group USA
- Geological Technician Intern – ConocoPhillips
- Geology Intern – Hilcorp Energy Corporation
- Geology Intern – Occidental Petroleum (Oxy)
- Geoscience Intern – Pioneer Natural Resources Company
- Intern – Texas Water Development Board
- Intern – Inner Space Cavern
- Geophysics Intern – Chevron Earth Sciences
- Geosciences Intern – ExxonMobil Geosciences
- OSTEM Intern – NASA
- Intern – Zara Environmental LLC
- National Association of Geoscience Teachers Intern – U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)
- Intern – Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance
- Intern – Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA)
- Intern – Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (Mickey Leland Internship)
- Hydrogeology Intern – 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 6-9 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 develop geoscience skills for the workforce and market those strengths to prospective employers. Below are some important skills employers typically look for when hiring (see also the Workforce Readiness provided by AGI):
- Spatial & temporal reasoning: Solve problems in 3-D and 4-D space, grasp both deep time and human timescales
- Real life problem solving: Assess uncertainty, work with real data and open, complex systems, make inferences
- Data synthesis: Data collection, interpretation, handling multiple datasets, quality control, making predictions
- Quantitative skills: Math, statistics, computer programming, GIS
- Communication: Clearly express ideas to scientists and non-scientists, work effectively with a team
- 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
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.