Status of Recent Geoscience Graduates 2021 (print)

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The 2020–21 National Survey of Recent Geoscience Graduates Exit Survey is the latest in a nearly decade-long effort by the American Geosciences Institute (AGI) to understand the experiences and outcomes of new geoscience degree recipients in the geosciences. This report reflects the results of the survey conducted of graduates in the 2020–21 academic year.


Invitations to complete the survey were sent to all degree-granting geoscience programs in the United States, and additional solicitations were sent to registered student members of several AGI Member Societies. Responses to the survey were voluntary and care has been taken to ensure no individual identifying data is publicly reported.


This year’s survey had 441 responses, which represents approximately 7% of geoscience graduates in the United States. This report provides summary views of the results of the survey and reflections on long-term trends for geoscience graduates. Though no specific statistical power or confidence is asserted with these results, continuity of trends over the years and alignment with externally measured trends provides evidence of utility in the insights provided by these results for department chairs, faculty, employers, graduates, and current students.


Of note this year is the addition of questions focused on the development and exposure to specific skills and concepts during a graduate’s education. These skills and concepts were identified as part of the Vision and Change in the Geosciences — The Future of Undergraduate Geoscience Education report (https://www.americangeosciences.org/change) with input from over 1,000 members of the geoscience community, including employers and faculty.


The format for this year’s report has also changed to reflect a data almanac approach. Based on feedback regarding the use of the results of this survey, we are focused on presenting the results as the centerpiece with supportive annotation. Each data topic stands independently. Individual charts will be made available for download from AGI’s website. For consistency, when bachelor’s or master’s degrees are abbreviated as BS or MS, these are inclusive of their BA and MA equivalents.


We would like to extend our appreciation to all the graduates who completed the survey and to the department chairs, faculty, and geoscience society staff who helped disseminate the survey instrument to our graduates.

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