Female student in a labThis page gives career information of relevance to Imperial Earth Science & Engineering (ESE) students.

You can find out how the Careers Service supports Imperial students on our services for students page, explore our career events, attend one to one appointments and sign up for our weekly newsletter, sent every Thursday (sign up by checking the relevant box on your personal profile on JobsLive). Whatever stage you are at with your studies, we’re here to help from first year undergraduates right through to PhD studies – you don’t even have to know what you want to do to make use of our services!

What can you do with Earth Science and Engineering?

A degree in the geosciences opens a wide range of career options. Some of our graduates move into a career directly related to their studies while others take alternative routes. Around 55% of Imperial ESE graduates go into employment at the end of their first degree while 35% choose to pursue further study or training options at MSc, PhD or specialist vocational levels. Use the resources below to help you start to explore and understand your options and to begin to develop your career plans.

ESE tabs

Develop your skills

Whatever career you choose, employers will want to see evidence of the skills you have developed in your studies. These may include technical skills and academic knowledge if you’re seeking a job related to ESE and ‘transferable skills’ like problem solving, resilience and intellectual curiosity that fit a broad range of roles within and outside of ESE related roles.

The typical skills developed by Imperial ESE students during their degree that are highly valued by employers and include:

  • Planning and organisation
  • Teamwork and communication skills
  • Data handling, processing, and interpretation
  • Problem solving and initiative
  • Report writing and presentation
  • Patience, perseverance and resilience

The skills above are all highly valued by employers in many sectors which is why the areas our graduates go on to work in is so broad. It’s good to reflect on your abilities and consider what skills you can evidence and which skills you may need to enhance. Use our self reflection webpages to help you understand and document your abilities.

During your degree you will have many opportunities to develop and learn new skills. Employers will want to see what you have been doing to develop your skills and knowledge outside your course while you have been a student. Experiences such as student societies, part-time work, volunteering and sports can develop your skills and will be valuable additions to your CV. Work experience can also help develop skills and help you decide what career direction you want to go in and become more competitive in future job or further study applications.

As an Imperial student you can participate, or take a leadership role, in a wide variety of Students’ Union activities where you’ll develop many skills. You also have free access to LinkedIn Learning and can use this to develop or improve your knowledge and abilities with software tools and skills through instructional videos taught by industry experts skills. You will also have access to several ESE presentations and workshops providing you with advice on career planning and giving you industry insights. Many of the sessions and lecture recordings are held within ESESIS under the “information” tab.

Throughout your ESE degree you can also learn and develop the skills required to be successful in the job or internship market. For example, you will need to know how to create a strong CV, write a good cover letter and perform well in interviews. We can help you to learn these skills. Start with the applications and interviews section of our website, and by attending our skills training and workshops.

Explore career areas

When you understand your skills through self reflection it’s a good idea to then learn about the range of career areas that might be of interest. Having a broad understanding of what you can do with a degree from ESE at Imperial is a great starting point to gain inspiration and deeper insights into career paths. You could pursue a career in geotechnical engineering, lead the energy transition, work in the environment sector, use your skills in finance, logistics and risk management or help answer critical global issues. Our what do Imperial Graduates Do? contains our Graduate Outcomes data which gives examples of employers and further study options of previous graduates. You can search the data to find what ESE graduates went on to do immediately after graduation and you may also find it useful to read some of the ESE Graduate Profiles or to explore Imperial College LinkedIn – “Earth Science and Engineering” where you can discover the career paths of our ESE alumni as their careers develop over time. However, don't feel limited by what others have done, but instead, follow your own interests.

It’s helpful to consider whether you want to use your ESE knowledge in a job. If so, would you like to be in the field, working in a lab or processing computational data? To help you begin ESE have collated a list of companies that employ ESE graduates which is taken from our what do Imperial Graduates Do? Graduate Outcomes data. Our exploring options resources can help you to learn more about these sectors including desirable skills, responsibilities, professional development and salary expectations across different roles and industries. Many ESE graduates want to use their knowledge and experience to build a sustainable future. The GreenCareersHub could be a great starting point if you’re looking for information and opportunities around green skills, jobs and careers. You can also meet employers from many of these areas through Careers Service events and fairs which are advertised on JobsLive and in our weekly newsletter

Through your research you’ll see that there’s a very wide range of options open to ESE graduates. Some of these are directly accessible from a first degree while others may require additional further study. This can create many questions that you’ll want to answer and speaking to a Careers Consultant through one of our one to one appointments may help after your initial research.

In addition to our resources you may also find the national resource Prospects - Geology to have a similar but alternative commentary to the resources we’ve specifically curated here for you.

Professional bodies

A professional body, association or society seeks to further a particular profession and the interests of individuals engaged in that profession. The body maintains an oversight of the knowledge, skills, conduct and practice of that profession and can offer accreditation or chartership. You can often use professional bodies to access training or networking events and explore related career options.

Below are some links to professional bodies that deal with various areas related to ESE. Many offer student memberships which can give you access to job listings and careers information while offering great networking opportunities. Some memberships may even allow you to register your CV to vacancy matching services or to be viewed by other members of the community.

These are just some of the hundreds of societies and organisations dealing with Earth Science related fields. Wikipedia provides a list of geoscience organisations for reference.

Industry links

Information and advice about how to find employment opportunities can be found on our Jobs and experience webpages, which discusses various strategies and resources. We also host our own jobs board within JobsLive where you can search a database of thousands of organisations and employers by their “business area”. You will also get various emails sent to you during your studies from your department with relevant opportunities for you or inviting you to talks or networking events. These events can be a great way to find out about individuals working in certain industries and are an opportunity to understand the culture of various companies. We’ve created some resources to help with Networking and to improve your skills and confidence.

There are many well-known Multinational Companies (MNCs) offering graduate level jobs but Small or Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs), defined as organisations with fewer than 250 employees, also offer a wide range of interesting and unique graduate level roles. Due to a smaller marketing budget SMEs can be harder to find and they often rely on you approaching them speculatively to show motivation and interest. They will sometimes engage with universities through incubation hubs to help them grow skills and expertise. The Imperial Enterprise Lab often run events to help students understand and network with SME and start-up communities.

Below are useful websites to find SMEs relevant to ESE:

There are thousands of recruitment agencies operating in the UK and internationally. Essentially their role is to act as a bridge between a company who have a job vacancy and someone like you who’s looking for a job. Their basic function is to find the most suitable candidate for that job. While an agency can bring many benefits to a job seeker it’s important to remember that the agent is working for their client (that’s the company with the job vacancy) and you are simply a resource they can profit from. While agencies can form part of your job search they should not be your only strategy as they’re in it for themselves. Additionally, you should remember that the agent is paid by the client so if you’re asked to pay a fee we would encourage you to stop and think if it’s necessary and what you would gain in return!

Here are a few agencies and jobsboards that we know work in areas related to Earth Science & Engineering:

  • Acre – a recruitment company focused on the sustainability and climate change opportunities
  • Allen & York - a leading international recruitment consultancy with a passion for sustainable business growth
  • CA Mining - a mining recruitment consultancy with an initial focus on Africa but an extended global reach
  • Earthworks Jobs - job posting board for oil, energy, mining, seismology, sustainability, waste management and many more related areas
  • Environment Jobs - adverts for green jobs encompassing the specialisms of ecology jobs, sustainability jobs, climate change jobs etc.
  • Gradcracker - a leading website focused on STEM jobs, placements and internships for STEM students
  • GreenJobs Online - cover environmental and renewable energy jobs across all industry sectors
  • Hays Specialist Recruitment - a leading global recruitment agency placing over 63,000 people into permanent roles last year
  • Jobs.ac.uk - a jobs board for research, science, academic, teaching and management jobs and studentships in the public and private sector
  • Kinetica - specialists in scientific recruitment
  • Matchtech - provide clients with complete recruitment solutions across Engineering, Technology, Professional and Skills & Employability sectors
  • RigZone - job vacancies within the oil and gas sector
  • SRG - an award-winning resourcing company dedicated to the science, clinical and engineering sectors
  • WorkingSmart – a specialised energy recruitment company to the upstream oil and gas industry

The UK Science Park Association is also a useful resource as it contains a members list of science parks where you can find information on the SMEs based on at specific science parks across the UK. Some will have jobs boards advertising vacancies while others may provide contact details for speculative approaches to companies of interest to you.

SMEs can also be found using Google Maps by running a search for a specific term (e.g. “Mining” or “GIS”) in geographic areas where you would like to work or where you know one organisation is. Often SMEs will cluster together geographically around a larger organisation related to their work from hospitals to transport hubs.

LinkedIn is also a good tool to discover SMEs. Explore the profiles of different people who have roles that you are interested in and scroll down their profile to see where they have worked. You may find SMEs and other interesting organisations that you did not know about. For further support with LinkedIn, check out our LinkedIn webpage and attend a Careers Essentials: LinkedIn course.

While much of our service provision is focused on the UK we’ve paid a subscription to give you access to GoinGlobal which provides you with international job listings and employer directories alongside country specific information and application support.

Next steps

Career planning often takes time and can sometimes feel overwhelming. It’s a good idea to set aside a small amount of time on a regular basis to maintain momentum. Below are some things to get you started:

  • Sign up to the Imperial Careers Newsletter by checking the relevant box on your personal profile on JobsLive
  • Learn about the timescales for applying for further study, work experience and graduate employment
  • See our what's on pages to find out about the different types of events that we run, including: workshops, careers fairs, career talks  - and hear from alumni and employers about different types of work
  • Learn the skills that will help you succeed on the job market in the applications and interviews section of our website, and by attending our skills training and workshops

If you feel stuck with your career planning, you could book a one to one appointment to talk it through with a careers consultant. Richard Carruthers is the careers consultant for ESE but you can see any of our consultants for your first appointment.