Since 1996, the majority of new geoscience Ph.D. graduates have entered into academic positions (both post-doctoral (PD) and non-postdoctoral (non PD)). Of note, is the increase in new geoscience Ph.D. recipients taking academic post-doctoral positions since 2000. This is due to a variety of factors including: 1) the dot-com bust (1999-2001), 2) the increase in federal funding for geoscience research at universities, and 3) the change in Ph.D. job search focus and attitudes about non-academic positions.
1) The dot-com bust (1999-2001) caused a decrease in job opportunities as markets shrank. As a result of the ensuing recession, more geoscience faculty continued to work later into their careers, delaying retirement. As a result, there were fewer faculty position vacancies in the following years.