Trends in the Immediate Career Plans of Geoscience Graduates, 2013-2017

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The Status of Recent Geoscience Graduates 2017 report examines the prior five years of data and explores a number of emerging trends. In particular, the trends of employment of recent graduates in the geosciences and of the recent graduates planning to attend graduate school are showing new emerging developments in 2017.

Since 2013, the percentage of graduates at all degree levels finding a job in the geosciences at the time of graduation has decreased. This decline was particularly dramatic among doctoral graduates dropping from 70% in 2014 to 36% in 2017. A number of factors may be at play, including a slow recovery in the resources industries, displacement of some jobs with automation, and uncertainty in the regulatory environment in the current political landscape.

From 2013 to 2017, the percentage of bachelor’s graduates dropped slightly, from 39% to 35%, for those planning to immediately attend graduate school, but there has been an increase in the percentage of master’s graduates, from 17% to 31%, planning to immediately pursue another graduate degree. Even though graduate programs have generally been at full capacity, recent slowing in hiring of new graduates may be encouraging recent graduates to consider another degree, which would delay their entry into the workforce.

Please visit to download or purchase your copy of the Status of Recent Geoscience Graduates 2017 to learn more about the geoscience graduates of academic year 2016-2017.