Oceanography The Official Magazine of
The Oceanography Society
Volume 28 Issue 04

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Volume 28, No. 4
Pages 4 - 6

QUARTERDECK • The Career Profiles Column: Providing Job-Hunting Options and Insights for Five Years and Counting

Ellen S. Kappel
First Paragraph

Oceanography published its first “Career Profiles” column in the June 2010 issue, with the aim of providing graduate students with a window into the array of job possibilities outside of academia. Over the past five years, “Career Profiles” has become one of the most popular pages on The Oceanography Society website (http://tos.org/career-profiles). To date, we’ve published 47 profiles (counting the two in this issue on pages 102 and 103).

To produce these career profiles, we ask people to answer a series of questions: 

1.     Degree: When, where, what, and what in?

2.     Did you stay in academia at all, and if so, for how long?

3.     How did you go about searching for a job outside of the university setting?

4.     Is this the only job (post-academia) that you’ve had? If not, what else did you do?

5.     What is your current job? What path did you take to get there?

6.     What did your oceanographic education (or academic career) give you that is useful in your current job?

7.     Is the job satisfying? What aspects of the job do you like best/least?

8.     Do you have any recommendations for new grads looking for jobs?

As part of the “Career Profiles” fifth anniversary celebration, this column assembles some of the most useful and interesting recommendations for job seekers. By far the most common piece of advice concerns the importance of networking. In addition, many of the people we’ve profiled stressed that the skills gained in earning a PhD in the ocean sciences qualifies students for an unexpectedly large variety of rewarding positions outside of academia—but that students need to be open to learning about and applying for those positions. 


Kappel, E.S. 2015. Quarterdeck: The Career Profiles Column: Providing job-hunting options and insights for five years and counting. Oceanography 28(4):4–6, https://doi.org/10.5670/oceanog.2015.85.