Career Pathways of VIMS Graduates

Many excellent employment opportunities are open to those who pursue graduate education and training in marine science.  In addition to coursework, School of Marine Science students obtain research training that helps them develop in areas such as problem-solving, project management, and science communication.  While many of our graduates go on to research-focused careers, others successfully pursue different pathways in marine science and allied professional careers.  Perhaps you are more interested in a career outside of research - for example, in resource management, policy, or education and outreach - or want to use your knowledge and skills in business or industry.  As a graduate student in our program you will have opportunities for professional development in areas such as communication for non-technical audiences, leadership, proposal writing, and teaching that will help you develop the transferrable and "soft" skills many of today's employers seek in STEM graduates. 

Since 1992, graduates of the School of Marine Science master's program have sought and achieved diverse career paths in government agencies (33%), colleges and universities (26%), consulting or industry (24%), and education and outreach (15%). Most graduates of the doctoral program (56%) have sought and achieved faculty or research positions at colleges and universities.  We have alumni in faculty positions at Texas A&M, NC State, U Florida, Yale, U Hawaii, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Vanderbilt University, U Texas-Austin, U Maryland, LSU, Hampton University, U Delaware, American University and many other state and private institutions in the U.S. and abroad.  A significant percentage of doctoral program graduates (24%) seek and attain research, management and policy positions in federal agencies such as NOAA, NMFS, EPA and USGS, with most of the remainder in careers with state agencies, business and industry, or the nonprofit sector.  Nearly all students graduating from our program have a job in the field of marine science at the time of graduation.