Why Is My Slice of the Pie So Small? The Individual in Context of the Broader Geoscience Workforce

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The geosciences in the United States, and in many parts of the world, continues to experience high demand for talent. This demand is in aggregate, and the specifics of what is in demand vary by country, and often by region. Many new graduates report challenges in securing their first job and call into question the nature of the “boom.” Likewise, the press often reports on statements from think tanks about the oversupply of scientists and engineers and that there is no STEM shortage, all of the while many companies and government agencies continue to report of actual shortages of qualified workers for science and engineering positions. All parties are reporting on the same reality, the key issue is that the pool of talent demand is large, but the nature of what actually meets this demand is much more complex than simply the degree awarded. Likewise, we are seeing major stresses on doctoral recipients in developing their career, while Master’s recipients are generally finding ready work. The reasons and some strategies for addressing this challenges of the individual in a complex employment market are analyzed.

  • Christopher Keane*
  • P. Patrick Leahy*
  • American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting 2014