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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

AAPG Bulletin


Volume: 65 (1981)

Issue: 5. (May)

First Page: 981

Last Page: 981

Title: Future Success Factors for Petroleum Geologists or What They Don't Teach in Departments: ABSTRACT

Author(s): John W. Rold

Article Type: Meeting abstract


Educationally, today's graduates in geology are relatively well equipped. Yet, the post-academic success of these geologists relates to factors not in geology curricula or stressed by advisors. Although most supervisors consider technical competence, they base promotions and raises more on qualities of writing, oral presentation, work habits, creativity, initiative, logic, problem analysis, personality, and even appearance, rather than on geologic skills. Management selection often depends on impressions at conferences and brief contacts rather than on geologic aptitude. The formal evaluation system of companies often stresses non-geologic skills. Typical appraisal forms rate quality and quantity of work, initiative, creativity, judgment, relations with people, work habit , effectiveness of supervision, and other performance factors. Frustrations with paperwork and organizational procedures, and the resulting dislike for administrative activities, result from poor non-geologic management skills as much as the problems themselves. Success in pure staff geologic jobs depends on logic, creativity, writing, and speaking ability. In addition to teaching geologic skills, a professor's success depends on his ability to relate to, communicate with, and inspire students.

Solutions to these problems are difficult. Students and young geologists must become aware of these important factors. Curricula should be broadened and strengthened in these areas. Report writing and presentation should be emphasized in geologic course work. Course success should depend more on aptitudes in grammar, organization, logic, and spelling. Companies should include non-geologic factors in their training programs. Societies should include these critical factors, governing future success of members, in their short courses.

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Copyright 1997 American Association of Petroleum Geologists