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What kind of careers can you pursue with a degree in Science of Earth Systems?

There are many choices. Here we summarize the career information from a 2011 survey of Science of Earth Systems alumni.

70% of our graduates have attended or are currently attending graduate school. However, most of our alumni (70%) have worked either while at Cornell University or before going to graduate school. 

Graph 1

Those alumni who currently work or who have worked, do/did so in government (29%), consulting (26%), academia (23%), non-profits (15%), and private (non-consulting) (8.5%). Most of our alumni work either in small (<50 people) companies, or large (>300 people) companies, and work at a broad range of scales from local, regional, national, to international.


Employment Graph 2

Alumni, when asked to identify their current field, indicated geological sciences (18%), environmental or energy consulting (16%), education (13%), professional (law, finance, medicine, etc.) (13%), oceanography (11%), government or policy (7%), atmospheric or climate (4%), environmental health (4%), hydrology (4%), military (4%), planetary science (4%), and ecology (2%).  


Field Graph 3

 Alumni who worked earned an average of $40,000-$50,000 1-3 years after graduation and $60,000-$70,000 5-7 years after graduation.

Income Graph 4


View our alumni map to see what our alumni are doing!

Career Resources

Career Overview (Emphasis on Geosciences Careers) (pdf)

Opportunities in Marine Biology and Oceanography (pdf)

Undergraduates in Climate Sciences: Career Opportunities (ppt)

Interesting Jobs for MS/PhD in Geosciences (doc)

Some overall tips and stats from EAS faculty member Natalie Mahowald

Education and Teacher Preparation Programs at Cornell University

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Career Development

College of Arts and Sciences Career Services

College of Engineering Career Services

Cornell Handshake - Cornell Handshake gives you 24-hour, online access to job postings and recruiting information.

Graduate School Resources

Tips for Choosing a Graduate School (doc)

Graduate School Tips from Current EAS Graduate Students (pdf)

Additional Resources

Undergraduate Research Opportunities (doc)

Each year, career panels and graduate school information sessions are brought to you by the department and also by the Science of Earth Systems Student Association. Get involved!