Internship Participation Among Recent Geoscience Graduates

Wednesday, May 24, 2017
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 2015, the survey also investigated the efforts of recent graduates to obtain an internship before graduation. The assumption behind these questions was that students were applying but not selected for an internship. However, in 2015 and 2016, higher than expected percentages of graduates, particularly bachelor’s and doctoral graduates, did not apply for an internship. These results raise a couple of important questions. Do students not recognize the importance of internships to their educational and professional development; or are students having a hard time finding appropriate internship opportunities?
Internships are an essential experience for geoscience students because these opportunties provide a firmer understanding of the daily activities in various geoscience occupations, as well as provide students with new contacts that can lead to jobs after graduation. Further investigation is needed into the availability of geoscience internships and concepts for creating internship-like experiences for those students that need them.