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.
This Currents demonstrates some of the issues that arise when trying to quantify the global geoscience workforce. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics is very transparent in their labor counts by industry and occupation, which allows for AGI to prepare a realistic estimation of the size of the geoscience workforce in the U.S. Most other countries either do not provide the detail or transparency comparable to the U.S., leading to both data availability and definitional problems. Most countries provide data in a highly aggregated form by industry, and only three industries where ge
The graph shows the 2015 median annual salaries for geoscience-related occupations in the United States as reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The colors represent different occupation categories. The columns in the lighter colors show the annual median salary for the broad occupational grouping. The darker colors are specific geoscience occupations within that broad occupational groups. The average median salary for geoscience-related occupations in 2015 was $83,737.