The participation rate of women in geoscience degree programs saw marked changes in 2016. There was a spate of doctoral degrees awarded to women in 2016, which has also been reflected in a decline in the participation rate of graduate enrollment of women. We observe that often December graduates and prior summer graduates are counted as “degrees awarded,” but not as “enrolled.” The percent of women receiving bachelor and master’s degrees remained steady, but undergraduate enrollment rates increased sharply to near historic highs at 44%.
Internships in policy, media and publishing, and education/workforce/talent pool areas at the American Geophysical Union (AGU) and American Geosciences Institute (AGI) exist to provide professional work experiences for students. These internships are offered for a period of three months and depending on the group and organization, between 1-6 interns are hired each year. Nine internship supervisors were surveyed to determine what skills were required to be hired and successfully complete the internships.
Field camp costs (all in U.S. Dollars) were pulled from syllabi and webpage sources for 63 US-based institutions offering a field camp course. These sources provided varying levels of detail in regards to the cost of their respective camps. ‘In-state’ costs (in-state students or students enrolled at institutions offering camp) and ‘Out-of-state/non-student’ costs (for out-of-state students or students not enrolled in the institutions offering camp) were used when cost details were available.
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.
Currents #119 investigated the representation of women in geoscience faculty positions in the United States. To extend that conversation of gender representation in the geosciences, NSF’s 2013 restricted-use data file integrating the National Survey of College Graduates and the Survey of Doctoral Recipients was used to look at the representation of women in the geoscience workforce as a whole. These are longitudinal surveys that follow individuals through their careers.
Between 2006-2016, the percentage of female geoscience faculty increased from 14 percent to 20 percent of the geoscience academic workforce. The largest growth was seen at the Assistant Professor rank with an increase of 11 percentage points. The increase of women in geoscience faculty positions over the past decade may seem small, but considering an academic may remain in the career for 30-40 years, this steady growth shows the inroads women have made into academia.
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.