Important Job Choice Factors for the Early-Career Geoscience Workforce

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AGI’s Geoscience Student Exit Survey has been conducted with graduating students completing their bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral geoscience degrees for the past 5 years. AGI followed up with approximately 1250 recent graduate respondents. This follow-up survey investigated their career path up to September 2017, the factors they consider when choosing a job, and the skills and knowledge gained since entering the workforce. This survey collected 332 responses (27% response rate)--163 bachelor’s graduates, 101 master’s graduates, and 68 doctoral graduates.

All participants, whether currently employed or not, were allowed to respond to the question asking them to rank the given factors (listed in figure) by importance when considering a job offer. The figure below shows the responses from all the survey participants. Among all the respondents, a job’s salary, intellectual challenge, and location were the most important factors that are taken into consideration while reviewing job offer. However, when you break out the participants by degree, these factors change slightly. Bachelor’s graduates tended to value a job’s salary, intellectual challenge, and perceived work/life balance. Other noted factors by bachelor’s graduates included job location, contribution to society, and opportunities for advancement. Master’s graduates tended to value a job’s intellectual challenge, salary, and location. Master’s graduates also tended to note a job’s perceived work/life balance as well. Doctoral graduates tended to value a job’s intellectual challenge, location, and salary. Other noted factors by doctoral graduates included the job’s degree of independence and perceived work\life balance.