In an article for the American Chemical Society, two researchers from the American Geological Institute have examined how the US geoscience industry will meet increased demand for geoscientists.
At present, the authors say, the supply of new geoscience graduates to the workforce does not meet current demands, much less the projected increase in demand over the coming years. In short, society needs more geoscientists than there are students.
Ideally, the gap between demand and supply will be filled is a large pool of new, well-trained geoscience graduates, and in the end, this is required to fully meet societal needs.
The likely solution to this problem, say the authors, is a combination of options to fill the void until geoscience graduation numbers increase to meet demand.
Such measures may include incentives for geoscientists to delay retirement, hiring and training scientists from other science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines, increased efforts in recruitment and retention strategies, and hiring non-US geoscience graduates.
On the bright side, the convergence of a supply shortage of skilled geoscientists, an aging geoscience workforce, and growth in the energy and environmental sectors means a bright future for well-trained geoscience graduates in the coming decades.