Two-year colleges play an important role in preparing the next generation of the geoscience workforce. And there is an array of issues that affect how and how well our institutions are able to do that. This part of the website will address what the community knows about workforce preparation and how to develop the capacity to do it better.
Geoscience Careers: Where are your students going?
One of the first steps towards getting students interested in studying geoscience at 2YCs may be to show them what geoscientists do. Information about the kinds of careers that are available and the kind of education required to land one can help students envision themselves as a part of the "geo" workforce.
Competencies, Skills, and Knowledge: What do your students need to know and be able to do?
It's important that 2YC programs are designed to provide students with the skills, knowledge, and competencies they will need to be successful in the workforce or when they transfer on to further study. One step on that path is understanding what those competencies are or working with employers and transfer institutions to discover them.
Preparing your students for their future careers isn't something you can do once and just check it off. Done well, it's an integral part of their education. Many different aspects of their experience - both inside and beyond the classroom - can contribute to your students' professional preparation. From advising and internships to seminars and innovative curricula, the opportunities to distribute workforce preparation throughout programs are numerous and varied.
Students aiming to transfer from 2YCs to 4-year colleges and universities often need support to successfully navigate the transition. Programs at 2YCs can be structures in ways to provide that kind of scaffolding so that the students can excel once they have moved on to the next stage of their education.
Many programs throughout the country focus specifically on preparing students to enter the geotechnian workforce. These programs commonly focus on local issues and workforce needs, have both college-transfer and technical courses, and lead to AAS degrees or certificates.
- The American Geosciences Institute has a website on Geoscience Workforce issues and information, including a number of career-related webinars.
- The Role of Departments in Preparing Future Geoscience Professionals: This workshop from the Building Strong Geoscience Departments project sought to improve the ability of departments to prepare geoscience students for professional careers including traditional roles in academia, government research, industry, and teaching, as well as opportunities in business, law, public service, and elsewhere. The workshop brought together faculty leaders, chairs, and other campus administrators to discuss strategies that have been effective on their own campuses, to develop new ideas to strengthen their programs, and to develop recommendations regarding the critical elements in preparing future geoscience professionals.