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Yes, Your Geoscience Degree Can Lead to a Job Outside of Academia

By Grace Chang, Ph.D., Technical Director

Entering the workforce after receiving a degree can be a daunting process. For aspiring geoscientists, there are many opportunities within academia, but what about non-academic careers?

Geoscience Resources on Opportunities in the Workforce (GROW) is a powerful new collection of tools available to students, mentors, and departments. By creating a space for those interested in geoscience careers, GROW opens up opportunities and exposes students to paths they may not otherwise know about.

The site includes an in-depth look at various non-academic geoscientists in the “Ask an Expert” sections of the jobs by sector. Integral Senior Science Advisor and Technical Director of Marine Sciences and Engineering, Grace Chang, Ph.D., was interviewed for this portion of the site. Her Q&A offers candid advice and insight into her path from Ph.D. graduation to academic research, and eventually to consultancy.

The various sectors within the geoscience workforce are both numerous and fluid. Consultants must juggle technical skills and knowledge of a wide range of topics under the umbrella of geoscience, Dr. Chang said. It is the job of a consultant to meet the ever-changing needs of the industry.

“I see environmental consultancy moving even more toward addressing climate change issues, understanding new and yet undiscovered chemical contaminants and their effects on humans and the environment, and managing potential multi-use conflicts in marine and coastal environments,” Dr. Chang shared in her interview for GROW.

As the urgency for consultancy on climate change issues increases, we need more passionate, fresh, and young talent to get involved. Integral is committed to investing in the next generation of geoscientists in the workforce. Through academic scholarships and corporate giving, Integral actively works to support the continuation and accessibility of STEM education. Dr. Chang said the favorite part of her job is contributing to the career growth of other staff members at Integral. You can read her full “Ask an Expert” interview here.

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Dr. Grace Chang has more than 25 years of experience in the fields of limnology and oceanography. Dr. Chang has... Full bio