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Workforce report released summarizing the Geoscience Career Master's Preparation Survey

September 16, 2015

Alexandria, VA - The results of a survey have been published in a report assessing the academic experiences of Master's candidates against the skill sets identified as valuable for non-academic working professionals. The study titled, "Geoscience Career Master's Preparation Survey" sought to understand students' experiences within geology, geography or hybrid geology-geography Master's programs, their career goals and interests, and how well they are being prepared to enter into non-academic positions.

Students surveyed in these programs mostly wanted to pursue government or industry-related positions, and that individuals ranging from research advisors and faculty, to significant others and family members influenced their career decisions. Assessments of a student's exposure to certain skill sets, known as competencies, were compared against those identified by scientific and professional societies as baseline skill sets needed for professional practice. In addition, the survey polled non-academic professionals' valuations of these same skills, and how important each are to professionals' current positions in the workforce.

The result of this study provides valuable insight into how workforce-ready this subset of students is upon graduation. This study was done collaboratively between the American Geosciences Institute and the Association of American Geographers, and was funded by a National Science Foundation. A printed copy of the report can be purchased through or a free PDF of the report may be downloaded from AGI's Workforce website at
The American Geosciences Institute is a nonprofit federation of geoscientific and professional associations that represents more than 250,000 geologists, geophysicists and other earth scientists. Founded in 1948, AGI provides information services to geoscientists, serves as a voice of shared interests in the profession, plays a major role in strengthening geoscience education, and strives to increase public awareness of the vital role the geosciences play in society's use of resources, resiliency to natural hazards, and interaction with the environment.

American Geosciences Institute

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