AGI’s National Geoscience Student Exit Survey measures the relevant experiences in school and the immediate career plans upon graduation of recent geoscience degree recipients. In spring 2013, AGI distributed this survey nationally and received 428 responses from 71 geoscience departments. This Currents examines the results from questions focused on the survey participants’ plans after graduation of either a graduate degree or entering the geoscience workforce.
For the 2014-2015 academic year, AGI’s Geoscience Student Exit Survey had 692 graduating students from 210 different geoscience programs participate -- 495 bachelor’s graduates, 127 master’s graduates, and 70 doctoral graduates.
According to AGI's Geoscience Student Exit Survey, 48% of geoscience graduates choose to major in the geosciences at some point during their first two years as an undergraduate. This supports the importance of the introductory geoscience courses as recruitment tools into the major. AGI is conducting a brief survey to see the subject focus of these introductory courses, as well as the supplementary activities, such as field and research experiences, that can develop interest in the geosciences, for universities in the United States and Canada.
Concerns have been raised that geoscience programs tend to attract students from middle and upper class families, possibly due to either parental familiarity with geoscience from prior college experience or because of extra costs for co-curricular activities such as field camp. In an attempt to begin investigating the socioeconomic status of geoscience students, discussions within AGI’s Workforce Program have focused around using parent’s highest education level as a proxy for inferring a student’s socioeconomic status.
In AGI’s and AAG’s Geoscience Career Master’s Preparation Survey, similar to Currents 103, we asked Geography departments and non-academic professionals about 20 different specific technical competencies in geography. When asked about applying geographic information about geology and processes that shape the physical landscape, 51% of faculty and 36% of students indicate students are “Adequately” or “Extensively Prepared”, whereas 75% of non-academic professionals indicate that these skills are “Important” or “Very Important” to their careers. Overall in the physical Geography departmen