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Development of Sustainability Technical Workforce (Sustainable Future)2 The Challenges and Dynamics of the Geoscience Labor Market

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Title: Development of Sustainability Technical Workforce (Sustainable Future)2 The Challenges and Dynamics of the Geoscience Labor Market


1
Development of Sustainability Technical
Workforce (Sustainable Future)2 The Challenges
and Dynamics of the Geoscience Labor Market
  • Christopher Keane
  • American Geosciences Institute
  • 23 May 2012

2
The Second Century
  • First Geoscience Century
  • Driven on resource development to support
    economic development
  • Second Geoscience Century
  • Still about resource development
  • Now about stewardship, efficiency, adaptation,
    transition bridging

3
Four Challenges for a Sustainable Future
Geoscience Workforce that Works for a Sustainable
Future
Quantity and Quality of Supply What are the Future Jobs
Case Examples of Self-Defeat Opportunities and Challenges
4
of Quantity and Quality
5
(No Transcript)
6
Source AGI's Directory of Geoscience
Departments
7
can we Import Talent?
8
Where are geoscientists?
  • United States 250,000 geoscientists
  • Russia 80,000 geoscientists
  • Europe 60,000 geoscientists
  • China 40,000 geoscientists
  • Canada 30,000 geoscientists
  • Africa 15,000 geoscientists
  • South America Unknown
  • Middle East Unknown
  • Iraq 5,000
  • India Unknown

9
Geoscience is not Attracting the Best, or even
the Average
  • The pews are full, but are the lights on?

10
Mean Math SAT Scores by Science Exposure
580
All Test Takers
Biology
560
Chemistry
Physics
540
Geology, Earth or Space Science
520
518
518
516
515
515
514
512
508
500
480
460
1996
1998
2000
2002
2004
2006
2008
2009
Source AGI Geoscience Workforce
Program, data derived from the College Board
College
-
Bound Seniors, Total Group Report
,
1996
-
2009
11
Mean Writing SAT Scores by Science Exposure
530
All Test Takers
520
Biology
Chemistry
510
Physics
Geology, Earth, or Space Science
500
497
494
494
490
493
480
470
460
450
2006
2007
2008
2009
Source AGI Geoscience Workforce
Program, data derived from the College Board
College
-
Bound Seniors, Total Group Report
,
2006
-
2009
12
What are the NextGen Geoscience Jobs?
13
JOBS
14
Is this Green?
  • Managing waste from the development of an
    alternative fuel source?
  • Wastewater injection well development and
    management in support of hydrofracking doesnt
    seem to have the pop creds.

15
Current Skills for New Applications
  • Geo carbon sequestration reservoir
    characterization
  • Pump storage strategies mining engineering
  • Wind/solar planning physical geography/geomorph/
    surveying/land planning
  • Not to mention working on sustainable/environmenta
    lly effective resource development.
  • Its about problem solving

16
Attrition, Replacement, and Growth in the next 10
years in the U.S.
  • 125,000 geoscientists expected to retire
  • 72,000 geoscience job growth by 2018 (BLS)
  • 15,000 total new graduates over the next 10 years
  • Or 45,000 total new graduates if you hire B.S.
    level
  • Net deficit of over 150,000 by 2021

17
Where is the Job Growth?
  • 40,500 are expected in Environmental Engineering
    and Sciences as a field
  • Whats Driving it? Water and operations
    management in support of Resource Development

18
Who is going to pay for a sustainable future?
  • Government? Good will and pressure of the public?
    Nope.
  • Private sector. Yep.
  • Liability. They continue to pay for sins of 2
    generations ago, they dont want those in the
    future
  • Longevity. Resource and social mixes change, so
    must companies
  • Growth. New sales are in China, India, and
    Africa, but they need a middle class

19
What Sectors will grow?
  • The future is the Consulting Industry.
  • Traditional industries expect only replacement
    demand.
  • They will do work for oil gas, mining, and
    environmental/alt energy, etc
  • Over 50 of geoscientists in 2021 will work in
    the consulting field.
  • 3 in academia 26 in government (local state)

20
Snatching Defeat from the Jaws of Victory The
current challenge of degreed vs. workforce ready
21
A Lesson from Computer Science
  • We see the difference in unemployment between
    people who invent computer technology as opposed
    to people who use computer technology.
  • Users have an 11 unemployment rate while
    inventors are around 6
  • - Georgetown University Center on Education and
    the Workforce

22
We hear the Same Thing
  • Employers want
  • Solid math and applied problem solving skills
  • Solution-oriented focus
  • Employers are finding, in general
  • Little to no math past Calc 2 and fine conceptual
    skills, but not integrative outside of science
  • Problem definers, not solvers

23
  • What is the engineering and economic aptitude
    of your graduates?
  • Can they tell you what the problem is? Or can
    they tell you a reasonable, realistic solution?

24
New graduates arent ready for the workforce
  • The leading complaint of employers

Because. They are not sufficiently numerate,
applied, possess an economic framework, are not
mobile, and seem to be holding out for a
management position
25
Math Case Example
  • Environmental Consulting Employer has 4
    positions, lots of work in water issues.
  • Finds 1 MS with diff eq., 3 BS in env science and
    little math.
  • MS thrives, promoted to lead projects in 3 years.
  • BS are left to sample collection and fired after
    3 years because they are too expensive. Really
    doing AA level work.

26
Mobility Case Example
  • 7 MS graduates from a well-known midwest
    university only 1 takes a job.
  • The employed moved 700 miles from the school.
  • 4 unemployed unwilling to live away from a major
    city.
  • 2 unemployed cant land job because their program
    ? the needed skills portfolio

27
World Changing Opportunities Exist, Deep
Challenges Lurk
28
Geoscience Theses Dissertation Topics 1950s vs
1980s
Environmental/Hydro
Economic Geology
1950-59
Geochemistry
1980-89
Geophysics
Igneous/Metamorphic
Stratigraphy/Paleo
Sedimentary Geology
Structure/Tectonics
Other
0
1000
2000
3000
4000
5000
6000
7000
Number of Theses and Dissertations
AGI 1991
29
The Prospect of Capacity Building Collapse
  • Loss of faculty in competency areas
  • Existing Experienced Practitioners Lull the
    15-year question
  • Without alignment to tenure/promotion, no
    incentive
  • What happens when capacity building collapses?

30
Solutions through Entreprenuership
  • Best assessment is 20 of US Geoscience Activity
    is entrepreneurial in nature
  • The labor gap is FTEs, not people
  • Opportunity for efficiency and rewards
  • Solve the worlds problems through tech transfer
  • Sell new, economical, efficient approaches
  • Address issues of economic and social justice on
    DC/LDC gap
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