Does the Geotechnical Industry have a Problem?

by Elizabeth Withington 22/06/2015 filed under Careers


Geotechnical Engineering Ltd recognises the value in encouraging students to choose geology and engineering geology as a profession.  Therefore, throughout the year we visit a number of educational establishments including schools, universities and the Geological Society Careers Day, talking to the students about careers related to geology. 


At schools level it is apparent that firstly there is a distinct lack of geology being taught at A level, that there is a lack of awareness of geology as a career, and in particular few students understand that there are opportunities in the geotechnical industry. 


Once we have students interested in studying geology at university a number of other factors then happen.  They are unaware of the variety of geology based courses available, with many having little knowledge of the UCAS resource where you can type in “geology” and every geological based course in the UK is listed.  Students are then reluctant to visit the universities on open days, and prefer to stay geographically close to home.  In particular students in the south west consider universities such as Birmingham, Manchester and Nottingham as too far north.


There is also a distinct lack of awareness of civil engineering as a growth industry in the UK.  Major projects such as HS2, renewables and flood protection are not recognised by the students and so the concept of what skills are required is missed.


We therefore challenge the geotechnical sector to educate our students, to inspire them to study geology at university, and provide a future for the industry.

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