Exploring Student-to-Workforce Transitions with the National Geoscience Exit Survey

PDF versionPDF version

In 2011, the American Geological Institute (AGI) launched the first pilot of a National Geoscience Exit Survey in collaboration with 32 geoscience university departments. The survey collects data about demographics, high school and community college coursework, university degrees, financial aid, field and research experiences, internships, and when and why the student chose to pursue a geosciences degree. Additionally, the survey collects information about students' future academic and career plans, and gives participants the option to take part in a longitudinal survey to track long-term career trajectories of geosciences graduates. The survey also provides geoscience departments with the ability to add customized questions to collect data about important departmental-level topics. The National Geoscience Exit Survey will be available to all U.S. geoscience programs at two- and four-year colleges and universities by the end of the 2011-2012 academic year. We use the results of the National Geoscience Exit Survey to examine student preparation and transition into geosciences and non-geoscience careers. Preliminary results from the pilot survey indicated future academic and career trajectories for geoscience Bachelor's degree recipients included graduate school (53%) and pursuit of a geoscience career (45%), with some undergraduates keeping their options open for either trajectory. Twelve percent of Bachelor's degree recipients already accepted job offers with geoscience employers. For geoscience Master's degree recipients, 17% planned to continue in graduate school, 35% were seeking a geoscience job, and 42% had already accepted job offers with geoscience employers. Furthermore, the majority of those geoscience graduates who already accepted geoscience job offers had also interned previously with the employer.

  • Leila Gonzales*
  • Christopher Keane*
  • Heather Houlton*
  • American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting 2011