Tuesday, September 3, 2013

where are they now?

It's been more than a decade since I graduated from college, and I was wondering what everybody ended up doing. I didn't exactly keep in touch with other geology alumni, since I had a sort of difficult relationship with the department by the time I graduated.

Because I went to a small liberal arts college (SLAC) and my geology department made it something of a crusade to recruit students who didn't intitially consider geology (or any science) as a major, not everyone became A Geologist when they left. When I graduated, I knew that other students were considering going directly to grad school, into the environmental biz, to teaching, or other careers.

So I decided to do some facebook/linkedin stalking. Even if I wasn't best buddies with everyone, if I could remember a few names, maybe I could connect to other former students and figure out how they ended up.

It wasn't terribly successful. I only found one other person on facebook, and by doing an alumni search, I found an extremely small number of people on linkedin - less than 10 from my own class, and just a few other folks in the classes immediately before and after mine. I was surprised at the relatively low number of people on linkedin. Does everyone in my class have their searching/privacy settings cranked up, or are there just fewer people using the website than I expected?

Going by numbers alone, it looks like most people are in the resource side - primarily oil/gas. But perhaps these numbers are skewed because resource work is more contract-based, and therefore a higher percentage of resource-extraction geologists are on networking sites because they need to hustle more for work. Maybe the environmental geologists are less likely to use networking sites.

I first signed into Linkedin when I finished grad school and started job-hunting, but I haven't used it solely for that purpose. It turned out to be ideal to keep track of folks through layoffs and other job changes, and to keep in touch with the other people in my department in grad school. Although I'm not planning on going anywhere for a good long time, I think that having my name out there can only be positive as I work to become more visible in the local geological community.

Are there other, geology-specific networking sites I should check out? Maybe my fellow alumni are hanging out somewhere else in cyberspace...


C W Magee said...

What fraction have left earth science entirely?

Short Geologist said...

Only a tiny proportion that I could locate, but they may have downplayed the degree or be in a position where they don't care about networking. Most of my fellow alumni have their privacy settings cranked up, so I don't have a name to figure out if they were a geo major.