Since 2013, AGI’s Geoscience Student Exit Survey asked about internship participation among recent geoscience graduates. Consistently over the past four years, participation rates have been much lower than expected, particularly among bachelor’s and doctoral graduates. In 2016, 35% of bachelor’s graduates, 56% of master’s graduates, and 43% of doctoral graduates participated in at least one internship.
In last week's Geoscience Currents #117, AGI's Workforce Program examines latest in enrollments and degrees granted in geoscience programs in the United States. In 2015-2016 undergraduate enrollments slipped about 5%, while graduate enrollments dipped slightly, meanwhile bachelor's and doctoral degrees rebounded, and master's degrees dropped.
Enrollments in U.S. geoscience programs remained robust during the 2015-2016 academic year. Undergraduate enrollments slipped about 5% but remains near record levels, while graduate enrollments dipped slightly. The slip in undergraduate enrollments may reflect a perceived softness in geoscience employment. Graduate enrollments also dropped a little, mostly at the master’s-intended level, which is also most likely linked to job market concerns. In general, geoscience programs around the U.S.
The figure below is a Sankey diagram, a flow diagram in which populations are shown proportionally along the flow paths. This visualization shows the educational paths of the current geoscience workforce, from high school location to their primary job industry, using the National Science Foundation’s Survey of College Graduates 2013 data. The nodes (darker vertical lines) display the relative number of geoscientists in each position in their educational path and primary job position. The ribbons show the flow of geoscientists through the nodes.
AGI's Critical Issues Program aims to increase the use of geoscience information in the decision-making process, particularly at the state and local levels. The program specifically increases the discoverability of state geological survey content by featuring that content in the Research Database and Maps & Visualizations sections of the website.
From 1970-2015, the geoscience share of federal research funding dropped from 10% to 7%. However, the actual amount of federal research funding spent on the geosciences has increased from 1970-2015. In 2013, $4 billion of federal research funding was spent on the geosciences, and $1.1 billion of that was given to universities for geoscience research.