Tube Maps for Effective Geoscience Career Planning and Development

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One of the greatest challenges faced by students and new graduates is the advice that they must take charge of their own career planning. This is ironic as new graduates are least prepared to understand the full spectrum of options and the potential pathways to meeting their personal goals. We will examine the rationale, tools, and utility of an approach aimed at assisting individuals in career planning nicknamed a "tube map." In particular, this approach has been used in support of geoscientist recruitment and career planning in major European energy companies. By utilizing information on the occupational sequences of geoscience professionals within an organization or a community, a student or new hire can quickly understand the proven pathways towards their eventual career goals. The tube map visualizes the career pathways of individuals in the form of a subway map, with specific occupations represented as "stations" and pathway interconnections represented as "transfers." The major application of this approach in the energy sector was to demonstrate both the logical career pathways to either senior management or senior technical positions, as well as present the reality that time must be invested in "lower level" jobs, thereby nullifying a persistent overinflated sense of the speed of upward mobility. To this end, we have run a similar occupational analysis on several geoscience employers, including one with somewhat non-traditional geoscience positions and another that would be considered a very traditional employer. We will examine the similarities and differences between the resulting “tube maps,” critique the tools used to create the maps, and assess the utility of the product in career development planning for geoscience students and new hires.

  • Christopher Keane*
  • Carolyn Wilson*
  • Heather Houlton*
  • American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting 2013