I have written about geographic information systems and the geosciences being a perfect match. GIS deals with the 2D world we live in, and geosciences deals with the 3D we explore.
In that blog I talked about making sure you use GIS right away in your geoscience work flow for a complete view of your data.
In another blogpost I talk about what people value in GIS. People want solutions to their problems, not your GIS.
This is slightly different in the geosciences as entire industries are setup around geoscience problems and their solutions.
But what happens when a whole industry no longer needs solutions?
The skills and solutions graph for geoscience looks like this.
If you are in oil and gas you know this cycle well. This cycle occurs in many resources industries.
You may even be currently feeling the pain of this cycle.
This is not your fault. You cannot control global energy markets. You may not have even been able to control your university education.
University education is one of the problems.
I spoke with a university professor at a geoscience conference last year. I asked her if her universities geoscience program was including programming skills as essential for a geoscience degree.
Her answer was no, no specific programming course for geoscience… not good.
A traditional geoscience university education looks like this.
This is a university education, but not what really happens in life.
This means your skill set needs to rapidly change, or be cross discipline over your lifetime.
Your lopsided university education is outmoded in a matter of years.
Here is something important, you can take your education into your own hands. You can learn skills to keep you viable.
It is not too late, and it doesn’t have to be perfect, but it does have to be good.
Your skill set should look like this.
So how are you going to go about getting these skills?
Online Training (and purpose)
Python courses are all over the internet. Have a look yourself. You can get the skills, but that is only step one of 400.
You can do this will almost any other skill. I am currently doing this with business intelligence and blogging.
Purpose is in there because you can take the courses and still fail.
I failed the only programming course I ever took at university and three years later I was programming geophysical software.
When I failed the programming course it was because I did not have purpose. When I excelled at programming it was because I had a purpose.
School Training (and purpose)
In the case of GIS, there are course offered at college levels that are short and comprehensive. You will get all the “click-here-do-that” you need… and still not get job, unless you have a purpose.
Here is some more statistics, many people are happier after a career change.
There is a reason for this. People’s first choices of career are almost always not choices but random events, or events picked for them by other people. Most people lack purpose in their lives.
Purpose is a massive way forward.
Purpose behind the choices of your cross disciplinary skills or your career will drive you to be successful.
How do you find a purpose? I have no easy answers to this. I can offer only snippets of advice from my life.
Programming – Purpose: Turn all the complicated calculations and actions into simple lazy clicks.
GIS – Purpose: Have a cross industry, visually creative skill set that is super fun!
Geoscience – Purpose: Science. I love science. I hate the job cycle… but love science.
Become a Caveman.
You need to take care of your health. You need to eat right. You need to exercise and lift weights. Education and industry training do not matter if you are sick and unhealthy.
Most people miss this one completely. Don’t miss this one.