Accretionary Wedge #38: Back to School

Anne’s topic for students for this Accretionary Wedge:

If you are a current or future student… what do you want to know about life and careers in the geosciences? Are there things you aren’t getting to learn or do in classes that you think are important? What sort of experiences do you want to get out of school and how do you think school can or should help you prepare for a career?

Let me say, I’m really excited that Anne chose this topic for AW #38. Lately I’ve been questioning what my ultimate goal is in regards to my geology degree. I mean, I know what I would like to do- work at a science museum doing meteorite curation and other planetary science related activities. I wouldn’t mind teaching at a community college as well.

However, I realize that conditions aren’t ideal and a tanked economy means I may have to adjust my goals. What are the job prospects for those interested in the planetary sciences? Are there options for a decent paying job when NASA and other space science institution’s are facing budget cuts? While I didn’t get into this field for the money, I would like to be able to pay my student loans, eat, and maybe, just maybe, retire one day.

I have few complaints as far as the academic side of my school is concerned. I’ve been fortunate enough to work at the Cascadia Meteorite Lab alongside some great professors and grad students. I’m starting a bonafide research project and will hopefully get to present it in the future. On that note, I’d like to leave some advice for other undergrads.  Opportunities to do research and get hands-on experience are not handed out. They are something you have to look for, and if found, fully exploit. You’re paying a handsome price to attend an institution of higher learning, so why not take full advantage of your time there and really get your money’s worth out of the entire experience?

And now for a bit of a theme appropriate SMBC cartoon…

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2 thoughts on “Accretionary Wedge #38: Back to School

  1. Pingback: Wisdom from the Geoblogosphere School of Learning & Doing (Accretionary Wedge #38) | Highly Allochthonous

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