Geoscience Career Master's Preparation Survey Results

Student Decisions to Enroll in a Graduate Program

Student Decisions to Enroll in a Graduate Program

 

The Geoscience Career Master's Preparation Survey asked students in Geology and Geography Master's departments, "How important were the following factors in your decision to enroll in your graduate program?"  Out of the 23 factors asked of students, this graph highlights the trends of eight factors regarding employment, salary potential, career goals, extra opportunities and financial influences.  

Influences of Students' Career Goals

Influences on Students' Career Goals

 

This graph highlights how each of the following individuals, resources, or experiences influenced Geology and Geography students' career goals.  Geology students' career goals included working in the private sector, working in education (in teaching or diversity-related studies), and aspiring towards management positions.  When geography students responded, they indicated their interest in pursuing teaching or education careers, working in the GIS, or going into industry-related careers.    

Types of Geology and Geography Positions

Types of Geology and Geography Positions

 

The Geo Career MaPS Survey asked faculty about the types of positions their advisees secured after graduation, asked students about the types of positions they are pursuing, and compared these to the types of positions non-academic professionals currenly hold.  The categories "Academia", "Government" and "Private Sector" on the y-axis are comprised of several different positions. Academia includes working within K-12 education, at a 2-year institution or at a 4-year institution. Government positions include those at the local, state, tribal or federal levels. Finally, the Private Sector includes anything in industry, consulting or self-employment.   

Satisfaction with Geology and Geography Departments

Satisfaction with Geology and Geography Programs

 

The Geo Career MaPS Survey posed the question, "How satisfied are you with the following aspects of your Master's degree program?"  The graphs above display six of the twenty-two factors asked of faculty and students.  

Geology and Geography Non-Technical Skills

Geology and Geography Non-Technical Skills

 

Non-technical skills (commonly referred to as "soft skills") are equally as important as the technical competencies students acquire within Master's degree programs. The survey asked faculty and students in Geology and Geography departments about students' preparation in 28 of these non-technical skills. Additionally, the survey asked non-academic professionals about how important each of these are to their current careers.  The graphs above highlight the trends from five of the 28 competencies.  

Geology Technical Competencies

Geology Technical Competencies

 

Faculty were asked about the amount of preparation their Master's students receive for 36 different geology-based technical competencies.  Students were asked how prepared they feel in each of these skills.  Finally, non-academic professionals indicated how important each of these are to their current positions within the geoscience workforce.  The content for investigating the technical geology competencies was taken from the National Association of State Boards of Geology (ASBOG) Task Analysis Survey.  ASBOG is responsible for developing, writing, refining and grading the "Fundamentals of Geology" and "Practicing Geology" examinations used for state licensure. The graphs above illuminate 12 of the 36 competencies' trends.  

Geography Technical Competencies

Geography Technical Competencies

 

The last two graphs above display a sample of 12 technical competencies of geographers.  The Geo Career MaPS survey asked faculty, students and non-academic professionals about the preparation and importance of 20 different geographic competencies, which were taken from the Association of American Geographer's Enhancing Departments and Graduate Education (EDGE) study.