Geoscience Workforce Supply and Demand Trends

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The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects an overall 19 percent increase in all geoscience-related jobs between 2006 and 2016, which is 9 percent faster than the growth rate for all U.S. occupations. Since 1995, the number of geoscience graduate degrees conferred has averaged approximately 854 per year. As such, current and projected trends indicate that there are not enough geoscientists to meet existing and future demands for professionals in geoscience-employing industries. This presentation takes a close look at the dynamics involved in the low production of new geoscience graduates. We examine the trends in structure of geoscience academic departments over the past decade. We investigate the trajectory of enrollments, degrees conferred and number of faculty in U.S. geoscience departments and explore regional trends in these areas. We also explore new models of industry demand for geoscientists, and investigate the economic linkages between industry production and geoscientist demand over the past decade.

  • Leila Gonzales*
  • Christopher Keane*
  • Cindy Martinez*
  • American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting 2009