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Deborah Bronk

Hello TOS members! I hope your new year is off to a great start! This month I am asking a question but it is more of a plea.

How to prepare for a career in industry?

In academia, we are very good at mentoring students who want to follow the path we have taken. We know how to make more academics. We have a much harder time helping students who want to follow a different career path. Here I’m going to focus on a career in industry. Since few professors have first-hand industry experience, we can’t give advice on the culture, networks, or norms.

This is a long-standing issue and one I have been thinking about for years. When I first arrived to serve at the National Science Foundation several years ago, there was a talk from someone in the chemistry directorate on this topic. I was excited to learn how they do it in a field where most of their graduates go on to industry. Unfortunately, it was more of a brainstorming session to try to figure out how to do it. Turns out that ocean science isn’t the only field struggling with this issue.

Which brings me to TOS. Is this a niche that we can help fill? We have members who have taken a variety of career paths, including working in industry. If you are one of them, would you be willing to help us figure out how we can support this choice? In hindsight, what skills, experiences, or mentoring do you wish you had when you started your career? What could TOS offer now to continue to support your career choice?

I could really use your input on this one, so please reach out to me at [email protected] if you have any ideas about how TOS can better serve its members.

For those interested in learning more about careers outside of academia, check out the 100+ career profiles that have appeared in Oceanography since 2010 (see below). These profiles include information about job searches, job satisfaction, additional training they wished they had, and recommendations for new grads looking for jobs.



The TOS JEDI Committee has compiled a partial list of OSM 2024 events focused on efforts to create a more just, equitable, diverse, and inclusive ocean sciences community. 



Building Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Ocean Sciences

The special issue is complete. Read individual articles or browse the entire issue as an online flipbook.


Building Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Ocean Sciences


Presenting short autobiograpies written by ocean scientists from diverse backgrounds.


Oceanography needs your help to make this column a continuing success. Finding the right subjects to profile is a challenging task, and we need your suggestions. Please send any names, as well as current employer and contact information, to Ellen Kappel, Editor, Oceanography.

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