Monday, June 11, 2012

Interviewing Young Geologists

Last week I had gone to meet a friend working in groundwater.  When I arrived he was about to interview a geologist for a position in his organization. I was invited to sit in. The applicant handed a six page resume to us. It was littered with references to the applicants expertise in various GIS and geological data manipulation software. He had some programming experience too.

We found him wanting in his understanding of aquifers and hydrogeological mapping.

I could not generalize from this one example, but my friend has been doing this for years. He shrugged his shoulders... Well, that's about how it always is.. he said. Young graduates and even more senior geologists apply for a position with us. They are savvy in technology but poor in the science. I asked him if this was an all India problem. He agreed that this is a big problem not restricted to just Pune or Maharashtra. There are always bright students who shine.. but it appeared to him that they do so despite the system.

I was left wondering whom to blame. Is the quality of students entering the sciences / geology stream that bad? And what do you say about the quality of faculty and teaching if students are graduating without a grasp of basic principles?  And if this is indeed a problem, why is the quality of faculty not good? Is the job reservation policy discouraging a substantial section of interested graduates from applying for faculty jobs? Are bright reservation category candidates being drawn towards the private sector?  My friend had some unkind words to say about the quality of faculty. I think the problem may have become a self perpetuating cycle.


  1. Tick choice no.4-all of the above!
    This person who your friend did not give a job to, will get a faculty position in a nearby college and teach generations of geologists.
    The emphasis is on writing the expected answer in the exam, getting the expected result in the practical exam..that is what gets the marks. So real life, where there is no 'expected' question, fazes everyone.

  2. When you have substandard faculty, you get substandard education. Get rid of the quota system.

  3. They don't really like geology or science, they want to be "software engineers".

  4. since geologist get job in various field and huge money no one bothers to do ph.d and hence there is a dearth of good faculty in geology.